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PSG California LLC v. Hall

United States District Court, C.D. California

September 18, 2019

PSG CALIFORNIA LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Plaintiff,
v.
STERLING HALL, an individual, Defendant.

          PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

          HON. GEORGE H. WU, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         The Court, having read and considered the Ex Parte Application of Plaintiff PSG California LLC (“PSG California”) for a Temporary Restraining Order and an Order to Show Cause Why a Preliminary Injunction Should Not Issue, and the Notice of Defendant's Non-Opposition to Entry of Preliminary Injunction and Non-Compliance with Temporary Restraining, and good cause appearing, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED:

         1. This is a civil action for claims related to breaches of contract and of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1831 et seq.; violation of the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act, California Civil Code § 3426 et seq.; and violation of California Business and Professions Code § 17200. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the federal claims asserted below under 18 U.S.C. § 1836, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and 28 U.S.C. § 1338(b). This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the claims alleged under state law pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a) because the state law claims are so related to the federal claims that they form part of the same case or controversy and derive from the same operative facts and circumstances.

         2. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Hall because he has had a continuous, systematic, and substantial presence within the Central District of California and has engaged in conduct within this district, including committing the acts that give rise to the claims alleged by PSG California and causing damage to it within this district.

         3. Venue is proper in this district under 28 U.S.C. § 1391 in that the claims arise in this judicial district, Hall may be found and has transacted business in this judicial district, and the injury PSG California suffered took place in this judicial district.

         4. PSG California is a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of business in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. PSG has a production facility in Grand Terrace, California.

         5. Hall is an individual who formerly worked for PSG California in Grand Terrace, California and who currently resides in or near Florence, New Jersey.

         6. PSG California is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Dover Corporation. PSG California provides sophisticated, technologically advanced pumps for commercial uses in a variety of applications and markets.

         7. In 2008, Dover Corporation acquired Neptune Chemical Pump Company, then based in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Neptune was subsequently integrated into the company now known as PSG California.

         8. PSG California continues to sell Neptune-branded products in its Neptune product line, which includes metering pumps, mixers, and a range of products for use with wastewater, industrial, irrigation, and other agricultural systems.

         9. In 2018, Dover closed the former Neptune facility in Pennsylvania and offered certain key Neptune employees, including Defendant Sterling Hall, the chance to transfer to PSG California’s Grand Terrace, California plant.

         10. Defendant Hall accepted PSG California’s offer and relocated to California in 2018. PSG reimbursed Hall for his relocation expenses, with Hall agreeing to repay those funds if, as ultimately occurred, he terminated his employment within two years.

         11. Hall had worked on Neptune pumps as an assembler when he was in Pennsylvania. After moving to California, Hall was promoted to Product Supervisor. As such, he had access to highly sensitive PSG California information, including product design drawings and financial information. Hall continued working on the Neptune line, which annually generates tens of millions of dollar in revenue. Hall’s duties include executing product plans, and participating in production and revenue meetings. Workers on the Neptune line reported to him.

         12. After an internal change in reporting structure, Hall tendered his resignation on June 7, 2019. Hall’s formal resignation date was June 21, ...


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