Stryker Corporation et al v. Prickett et al
OPINION ; signed by Judge Robert Holmes Bell (Judge Robert Holmes Bell, kcb)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
STRYKER CORPORATION, a Michigan
corporation; and STRYKER SALES
CORPORATION, a Michigan corporation,
Case No. 1:14-CV-1000
HON. ROBERT HOLMES BELL
WILLIAM PRICKETT, an individual; and
PHYSICIAN’S CHOICE MEDICAL REPAIR,
INC., a purported North Carolina Corporation,
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' motion for contempt for violations of this
Court’s October 22, 2014, Preliminary Injunction Order (ECF No. 31) and on the Magistrate
Judge’s January 25, 2015, Report and Recommendation recommending that Defendant
William Prickett be held in contempt of Court for his failure to appear at a hearing on
Plaintiffs’ motion to compel answers to interrogatories and production of documents on
December 18, 2014 (ECF No. 53).
No objections have been filed to the January 25, 2015, R&R, and the deadline for
doing so has expired. The Court has reviewed the R&R and concludes that the Magistrate
Judge’s recommendation that Defendant be held in contempt of court for failing to appear
at the December 18, 2014, hearing is appropriate.
A hearing was held on Plaintiffs’ motion for contempt for violations of the
Preliminary Injunction order on February 20, 2015. Defendant William Prickett did not
A court can enforce its injunctive orders with a finding of contempt. Innovation
Ventures, LLC v. N2G Distributing, Inc., 763 F.3d 524, 546 (6th Cir. 2014). The power to
punish for contempt should not be used lightly.” Elec. Workers Pension Trust Fund of Local
Union 58, IBEQ v. Gary’s Elec. Serv. Co., 340 F.3d 373, 378 (6th Cir. 2003) (quoting
Gompers v. Buck’s Stove & Range co., 221 U.S. 418, 450 (1911)). Nevertheless, contempt
power is “a necessary and integral part of the independence of the judiciary, and is absolutely
essential to the performance of the duties imposed on them by law. Without it they are mere
boards of arbitration, whose judgments and decrees would be only advisory.” Id. (quoting
Gompers, 221 U.S. at 450). “Contempt proceedings enforce the basic proposition that “‘all
orders and judgments of courts must be complied with promptly.’” N.L.R.B. v. Cincinnati
Bronze, Inc., 829 F.2d 585, 590 (6th Cir. 1987) (quoting Jim Walter Resources, Inc. v.
International Union, United Mine Workers, 609 F.2d 165, 168 (5th Cir.1980)). “A litigant
may be held in contempt if his adversary shows by clear and convincing evidence that ‘he
violate[d] a definite and specific order of the court requiring him to perform or refrain from
performing a particular act or acts with knowledge of the court’s order.’” Id. at 591 (quoting
SEC v. First Financial Group of Texas, Inc., 659 F.2d 660, 669 (5th Cir. 1981)).
In light of the declaration and other evidence attached to Plaintiffs' motion for
contempt, and for the reasons stated on the record in open court on February 20, 2015, the
Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that Defendant William Prickett has violated
the definite and specific provisions of the preliminary injunction prohibiting him from using
the Stryker name in his business, from using Plaintiffs' confidential and proprietary
information, from servicing any Stryker equipment, from competing with Stryker, from
soliciting Plaintiffs' customers, and from soliciting Plaintiffs' employees. The Court also
finds by clear and convincing evidence that he has violated the definite and specific provision
of the preliminary injunction requiring him to provide to Plaintiffs all passwords he used on
Stryker electronic devices.
As a result of his contempt, the Court will order that Defendant William Pricket be
arrested, brought before this Court, answer questions posed to him at his deposition, provide
passwords for electronic devices, respond to Plaintiffs' written discovery, and pay fees and
costs associated with his contemptuous conduct. Plaintiffs shall submit a petition for fees
and costs incurred as a result of William Prickett’s contemptuous conduct. Bond will be set
at $100,000 full cash. Accordingly,
An order and arrest warrant consistent with this opinion will be entered.
Dated: February 20, 2015
/s/ Robert Holmes Bell
ROBERT HOLMES BELL
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?