Pollard PLLC has defeated another request for a preliminary injunction, this time in a dispute between Federated National Holding Company and its former CFO, Peter Prygelski. Federated is a publicly traded insurance company (FNHC) with a focus on Florida admitted homeowners’ policies. In March, after learning that Prygelski was working for another company in the insurance industry, Federated filed suit. Federated argued that Prygelski’s continued employment in the industry violated various non-compete restrictions and threatened irreparable harm. Shortly after launching the suit, Federated moved for an “emergency” temporary injunction.
The firm countered, arguing that Prygelski’s new role as CFO of another company did not violate any enforceable restrictive covenants. At an injunction hearing in April, Prygelski’s legal team put on evidence that Federated and Prygelski’s new company were not direct competitors. Their evidence suggested that there was at most a 5% overlap in the respective businesses. Given this minor degree of overlap, Federated could not demonstrate that Prygelski’s new employment threatened unfair competition, let alone irreparable harm to Federated.
The Court agreed. In an order issued on July 25th, the Court held that Federated and Prygelski’s new company were not direct competitors. And based on the facts presented, that Federated had failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits or demonstrate irreparable harm. Although Florida non-compete law presumes irreparable harm flowing from the breach of an enforceable restrictive covenant, that presumption is rebuttable. And in this case, the Defendant successfully rebutted that presumption.
In addition to the litigation, the Parties are currently involved in arbitration pending before the American Arbitration Association. Prygelski is represented by a Pollard PLLC team led by Jonathan Pollard and Christopher Prater. Federated is represented by Broad & Cassel.
Pollard PLLC is a litigation boutique focused on competition law. The firm has extensive experience litigating and arbitrating complex non-compete, trade secret, trademark and unfair competition cases. Their office can be reached at 954-332-2380.