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HSG, LLC v. Edge-Works Manufacturing Co.

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Southern Division

November 1, 2017

HSG, LLC d/b/a “HIGH SPEED GEAR, ” Plaintiff and Counterdefendant,
v.
EDGE-WORKS MANUFACTURING COMPANY d/b/a “G-CODE, ” et al., Defendants and Counterclaimants.

          Matthew C. Coxe North Carolina State Bar No. 34567 The Coxe Law Firm, PLLC Attorney for Defendants Albert Gene Higdon, Jr. and A G Higdon, LLC d/b/a “Mean Gene Leather”.

          Thomas G. Varnum North Carolina State Bar No. 38567 BROOKS, PIERCE, MCLENDON, HUMPHREY & LEONARD, LLP Attorney for Plaintiff and Counterdefendant HSG, LLC d/b/a High Speed Gear.

          CONSENT ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

          LOUISE W. FLANAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter came before the Court on a Motion for Preliminary Injunction [DE-70] filed by Plaintiff and Counter defendant HSG, LLC d/b/a “High Speed Gear” (“Plaintiff”). For good cause shown, and given that Defendants Albert Gene Higdon, Jr., (“Defendant Higdon”) and A G Higdon, LLC d/b/a “Mean Gene Leather” (“Defendant Mean Gene Leather”), through counsel, consent to the entry of this Order the Court hereby FINDS and CONCLUDES that:

         1. The parties to this action entered into a Global Settlement Agreement dated December 8, 2015, which Global Settlement Agreement contains a clause prohibiting the Defendants Higdon and Mean Gene Leather from disparaging Plaintiff and others (the “Non-Disparagement Clause”), which Non-Disparagement Clause reads

Each of the Defendant Parties [including Defendants Higdon and Mean Gene Leather], including their Representatives, hereby agree not to make, or cause or encourage others to make, any statements-written or verbal- that defame, disparage or in any way criticize the character, personal and business reputations, practices, or conduct of HSG, its employees, its members, its managers, and its officers. This prohibition extends to statements made to any party, specifically including but not limited to the news media, potential investors, directors, competitors, partners, vendors, current and former employees, and current or prospective customers.

         2. Defendants Higdon and Mean Gene Leather have, since September 21, 2017, published a series of social media postings to social media accounts controlled by Defendants Higdon and Mean Gene Leather (the “Social Media Posts”).

         3. Plaintiff HSG contends the Social Media Posts disparage both Plaintiff HSG and its member manager in violation of the Non-Disparagement Clause.

         4. Plaintiff HSG's claims in this action allege that, inter alia, Defendants Higdon and Mean Gene Leather have breached the express and implied terms of Global Settlement Agreement.

         5. Defendant Higdon and Defendant Mean Gene Leather make no admissions as to the allegations in plaintiff's Complaint, Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction, or in Plaintiff's filings in support of its Motion, but nonetheless agree to entry of a preliminary injunction and removal of the Social Media posts as outlined below.

         6. The parties further stipulate that Plaintiff has sufficient assets with which to pay damages to the Defendants Higdon and Mean Gene Leather in the event it is later determined that they were wrongfully enjoined or restrained hereby, and that such Defendants will not likely be harmed by the entry of this Order.

         7. Based on the Parties' agreement to the entry of a preliminary injunction order with the terms stated herein, it is not necessary for the Court to adjudicate the Plaintiff's Motion or to make any further findings of fact.

         WHEREAS, without any admission of liability and without any preclusive effect, the parties have jointly agreed to entry of a preliminary injunction to preserve the status quo pending the present litigation, on the following terms:

         In part upon agreement of the Parties and in part upon the findings and conclusions set forth herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a ...


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