Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Life Image Inc. v. Shockman

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

September 27, 2017

LIFE IMAGE, INC., Plaintiff,


          Patti B. Saris, Chief United States District Judge.


         Plaintiff Life Image, Inc. (“Life Image”) seeks to enjoin its former employee, defendant Carrie Shockman, from working for Nuance Communications, Inc. (“Nuance”), its competitor. Life Image argues that Ms. Shockman is in violation of the non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality provisions of her employment contract. After a hearing, Judge Talwani, as emergency judge, denied Life Image's motion for a temporary restraining order on August 24, 2017. After further briefing and an evidentiary hearing at which Ms. Shockman testified credibly, the Court DENIES Life Image's motion (Docket No. 6).


         The Court finds the following facts are likely true based on the admissible evidence in the record, including the verified complaint.

         Ms. Shockman worked for Life Image for seven years, most recently as Regional Vice President of Sales, until she resigned and joined Nuance in July 2017. Life Image is a medical imaging technology company that sells software solutions for hospital systems to allow them to transfer medical images with ease. Nuance competes with Life Image. While she worked at Life Image, Ms. Shockman wrote entries in Life Image's customer relations database describing Nuance as Life Image's primary competitor for new business with potential clients. Nuance and Life Image compete directly to sell medical image sharing software to hospital systems and other medical practices. Life Image's image sharing product is called “Image Exchange.” Nuance's image sharing product is called “PowerShare.”

         As a condition of her employment with Life Image, Ms. Shockman signed a Confidentiality, Developments, and NonCompetition agreement (the “Agreement”). Specifically, Ms. Shockman is subject to a clause titled, “Non-Competition, ” which states:

While I am employed by or acting as a consultant to the Company, and for a period of twelve (12) months following the date of termination of my employment or consulting relationship with the Company (which period will automatically be extended by a period of time equal to any period in which I am in breach of any obligation under Section 3; including any such extension, the “Restricted Period”), I will not engage, directly or indirectly, as a[n]...employee, consultant, or representative, or in any other capacity, in any business presently engaged in by the Company or in which the Company may engage at any time during the period of my employment or consulting relationship with the Company.

         Docket No. 1-1 at 34 (Agreement ¶ 3(a) (first)). Ms. Shockman covenanted to not solicit her coworkers or customers during the aforementioned “Restricted Period.” Id. (Agreement ¶ 3(a) (second)-(b)). Finally, Ms. Shockman promised to not disclose and promptly return all Confidential Information in her possession as a result of her employment with Life Image. Id. at 32-33 (Agreement ¶ 1).

         Nuance recently acquired another company, Primordial Designs, and is now selling two Primordial products, “Workflow Orchestration” and “Lung Cancer Screening, ” as part of its “PowerScribe 360” product line. Nuance hired Ms. Shockman to sell these two products, which are now sold under the PowerScribe brand. Docket No. 43 at 32-33 (Prelim. Inj. Hrg. Transcript).

         Nuance marketing materials encourage potential customers to bundle PowerShare, the image sharing software which competes directly with Life Image software, with PowerScribe Reporting, a dictation tool. Ms. Shockman is not selling PowerScribe Reporting. There is no record evidence that Nuance is marketing “PowerScribe 360 Workflow Orchestration” as a bundle with PowerShare. However, there is a brochure for “PowerScribe 360 Lung Cancer Screening” which discusses “leveraging” the tool with PowerScribe 360 Reporting and “Nuance's PowerShare Network.” See Docket No. 37, Ex. 8. Ms. Shockman testified that if a potential customer for “Workflow Orchestration” or “Lung Cancer Screening” asked her about PowerShare she would recuse herself and refer the customer to a different Nuance salesperson. Docket No. 43 at 44-45. Ms. Shockman further testified that no one has “raised” PowerShare in conversations with her so far in the six weeks of her employment, although she has spent little of that time engaged in sales. Id. at 45.

         Ms. Shockman has not solicited former coworkers from Life Image to join her at Nuance, nor has she solicited any of her former customers at Life Image. Furthermore, Ms. Shockman did not retain any of Life Image's data or other proprietary information when she resigned. Id. at 55-56.


         In order to determine whether a preliminary injunction should issue, the Court must weigh (1) the likelihood of success on the merits; (2) the potential for irreparable harm to the plaintiff if the injunction is denied; (3) the balance of the hardship to defendant if enjoined as contrasted with the hardship to plaintiff if no injunction issues; and (4) the effect of the court's ruling on the public interest. See Wine & Spirits Retailers, Inc. v. Rhode Island, 418 F.3d 36, 46 (1st Cir. 2005). “The sine qua non of this four-part inquiry is likelihood of success on the merits: if the moving party cannot demonstrate that he is likely ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.