United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
D. Whitney Chief United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant's, Jeremy Ghent,
Motion to Consolidate this case with Sunbelt Rentals,
Inc. v. Vortex Companies, LLC et al, No.
3:18-cv-00018-RJC-DSC. (Doc. No. 38). Plaintiff,
Sunbelt Rentals, Inc., opposes consolidation. Having fully
considered the record, including the parties' briefs
(Docs. Nos. 39, 45, 46), the Court GRANTS the motion for the
Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. v. Jeremy Ghent, Plaintiff
filed its Complaint for Injunctive Relief and Damages against
Defendant on October 6, 2017, alleging breach of contract and
trade secret misappropriation relating to Ghent's alleged
violation of his Employment Agreement with Sunbelt and
alleged disclosure of proprietary information to his new
employer, Vortex Turnkey Solutions, Inc. (Doc. No. 1). On
October 24, 2017, this Court issued an order enjoining
Defendant from engaging in or performing acts in violation of
the non-competition and non-solicitation provisions of his
Employment Agreement. (Doc. No. 28).
Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. v. Vortex Companies, LLC et
al, (the “Related Action”) Sunbelt filed an
action against Vortex Companies, LLC and Vortex Turnkey
Solutions, LLC (collectively, “Vortex”) on
January 10, 2018, alleging federal and state claims for
misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference with
contract, and violations of North Carolina's Unfair Trade
Practices Act stemming from Vortex's employment of Ghent
and alleged acceptance of Sunbelt's proprietary
information from Ghent.
filed its Motion to Consolidate this case with Sunbelt
Rentals, Inc. v. Vortex Companies, LLC et al, No.
3:18-cv-00018-RJC-DSC (Doc. No. 38) on February 1,
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows the Court to
consolidate several actions into a single proceeding:
(a) Consolidation. If actions before the court involve a
common question of law or fact, the court may:
(1) join for hearing or trial any or all matters at issue in
(2) consolidate the actions; or
(3) issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or
(b) Separate Trials. For convenience, to avoid prejudice, or
to expedite and economize, the court may order a separate
trial of one or more separate issues, claims, crossclaims,
counterclaims, or third party claims. When ordering a
separate trial, the court must preserve any federal right to
a jury trial.
have broad discretion in determining whether to consolidate.
A/S Ludwig MowincklesRederi v. Tidewater Const.
Co., 559 F.2d 928, 933 (4th Cir. 1977). Consolidation
does not merge the suits into a single cause or change the
rights of the parties. Intown Properties Mgmt. Inc. v.
Wheaton Van Lines, 271 F.3d 164, 168 (4th Cir. 2001). In
determining whether to consolidate a case, the Court
considers several factors including: (1) the risk of
prejudice and confusion, (2) the burden on the ...