RBR Melville Contractors v. Feehan
Justice Thomas Whelan
RBR Melville Contractor's long-time employee Feehan resigned in July 2012, alleging he was informed in May his full-time, non-seasonal employment would soon terminate. RBR claimed Feehan formed Professional Snow Management in June, before his resignation, taking confidential information and documents considered trade secrets. RBR asserted claims for conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition and injunctive relief, seeking preliminary and mandatory injunctions. Feehan denied taking any documents or confidential information, and noted he was never asked to, nor did he sign any non-compete or non-solicitation covenants while at RBR. The court stated employees were free to compete with former employers unless trade secrets were involved, noting knowledge of the intricacies of a business operation did not constitute a trade secret. It found RBR failed to satisfy the three-prong test imposed upon the granting of preliminary injunction, including showing a likelihood of success on the merits. The court ruled there was no evidence Feehan took, stole or converted any documents belonging to RBR, nor any evidence of extraordinary circumstances warranting mandatory injunctive relief. It denied RBR's motion.