United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
AMENDED ENTRY AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER (DOC. 7)
M. ROSE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
unlawful termination case under Ohio's whistleblower
statute, Ohio Rev. Code § 4113.52, is before the Court
on the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (Doc. 7) filed
by Plaintiff James Walther ("Plaintiff").
Plaintiff, a former employee of Defendant Florida Tile, Inc.
("Florida Tile"), alleges that his former
supervisor at Florida Tile called Plaintiff's prospective
employers and current employer to interfere with his efforts
to secure further employment in the tile industry. Plaintiff
seeks a temporary restraining order that would prohibit
Florida Tile from communicating with his employer or any
prospective employers regarding him and this litigation.
Florida Tile filed a Memorandum in Opposition (Doc. 9) to the
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, in response to which
Plaintiff filed a Reply (Doc. 11), and the Court held a
telephone conference on August 23, 2017, during which the
parties made arguments on the record. This matter is
therefore ripe for the Court's review.
Plaintiff has not presented evidence showing that he would
suffer irreparable harm without the requested injunction, the
Court DENIES the Motion for Temporary
factors to be weighed before issuing a temporary restraining
order are the same as those considered before issuing a
preliminary injunction. Workman v. Bredesen, 486
F.3d 896, 904-05 (6th Cir. 2007). When deciding a motion for
preliminary injunction, a district court must consider:
(1) Whether the movant would suffer irreparable harm without
(2) Whether issuance of the injunction would cause
substantial harm to others;
(3) Whether the public interest would be served by the
issuance of the injunction; and
(4) Whether the movant has demonstrated a strong likelihood
of success on the merits as to each claim.
Overstreet v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County
Gov't, 305 F.3d 566, 573 (6th Cir. 2002). While
these factors are not prerequisites, but factors to be
balanced together, a finding that there is no likelihood of
irreparable harm or no likelihood of success on the merits is
often fatal. Gonzales v. Natl Bd. of Med.
Exam'rs, 225 F.3d 620, 625 (6th Cir. 2000).
"The party seeking a preliminary injunction bears a
burden of justifying such relief, including showing
irreparable harm and likelihood of success."
Kentucky v. U.S. ex rel. Hagel, 759 F.3d 588, 600
(6th Cir. 2014), quoting Michigan Catholic Conf. &
Catholic Family Servs. v. Burwell, 755 F.3d 372, 382
(6th Cir. 2014).
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order fails because he has
not shown that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm if the
requested injunction is not granted. Plaintiff claims that
his former supervisor at Florida Tile - a man named Jason
Tackett - contacted Plaintiffs current employer on August 16,
2017 and discussed Plaintiffs employment. (Doc. 7-1 at ¶
4.) Plaintiff also asserts that Tackett previously attempted
to contact Plaintiffs prospective employers on at least four
occasions. (Id. at ¶ 3.) Plaintiff does not
know of any business reason why Tackett would call his
current employer and therefore fears that Tackett is
defaming him and attempting to sabotage his career.
(Id. at ¶¶ 5-6.)
most significant about these assertions is what Plaintiff
does not know. Plaintiff does not know what Tackett said to
his current employer or what Tackett planned to say to his
prospective employers. Plaintiff also does not know what his
employer thought of the August 16th discussion with
Tackett-assuming Tackett defamed Plaintiff - and whether the
employer plans to take any action in response. Thus, there is
no evidence that Plaintiff is in any real jeopardy of losing
his current job or that he would be unable to secure other
employment if he did. These are significant unknowns that
make it impossible for Plaintiff to establish that he is
likely to suffer irreparable harm without an injunction.
also significant that Plaintiff is currently employed,
despite whatever actions Tackett might-or might not-have
taken to sabotage Plaintiffs career. As Plaintiff stated
during the telephone conference on his motion, what is at
issue is Plaintiffs duty to mitigate the damages on his claim
for unlawful termination of employment under Ohio's
whistleblower statute. Where a harm can be remedied by money
damages, however, it is not irreparable. Plaintiff also
asserts that the ...