United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
F. Rossiter, Jr., United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on plaintiff Mid-America Risk
Managers, Inc.'s (“MARM”) Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction
(Filing No. 4). MARM seeks a Temporary Restraining Order
(“TRO”) prohibiting Chubb & Son, a Division
of Federal Insurance Company (“Chubb”) from
contacting MARM's sub-producers. MARM also requests a
preliminary injunction hearing seeking the same relief. For
the reasons stated below, the Motion is granted in part and
denied in part.
a 22-year-old general insurance agency that operates as a
managing general underwriter. It has an established network
of independent agents, general agents, and sub-producers.
MARM specializes in inland marine polices which cover farm
October 29, 2013, MARM entered into a Producer Agreement
(“agreement”) with Chubb & Son, a Division of
Federal Insurance Company (“Chubb”). The
agreement gave MARM the authority to act as Chubb's
producer to solicit applications, submit the applications to
Chubb for approval, and to service approved policies. MARM
and Chubb also entered into a Policy Administration Agreement
(“PAA”) which set up an arrangement through which
MARM undertook the duties in the agreement through its
established network of sub-producers. MARM informed Chubb
prior to entering the agreement and PAA of its longstanding
relationship with its sub-producers, general agents, and
January 14, 2016, ACE Limited acquired Chubb and adopted the
Chubb name. MARM felt the business relationship changed and
informed Chubb on July 12, 2017, that MARM would no longer
place new business or renewals effective August 1, 2017.
Insurance Solutions Agency, Inc. (“CISA”),
presumed to be affiliated with Chubb, began contacting
MARM's sub-producers stating that MARM
“unilaterally terminated its relationship with Chubb in
favor of a different market, ” and soliciting the
sub-producers to work directly with CISA. CISA offered
various incentives to the sub-producers, including promising
to increase commissions to 20% if the sub-producer would
renew the policy directly with CISA.
Requirements for Injunctive Relief
district court considering injunctive relief evaluates the
movant's likelihood of success on the merits, the threat
of irreparable harm to the movant, the balance of the
equities between the parties, and whether an injunction is in
the public interest.” Conquest Commc'ns. Grp.,
LLC, v. Swanson (In re Gresham), 866 F.3d 853, 854 (8th
Cir. 2017) (quoting Dataphase Sys., Inc. v. C L Sys.,
Inc., 640 F.2d 109, 114 (8th Cir. 1981) (en banc)).
addition to qualifying for injunctive relief, a TRO granted
without written or oral notice to a party requires that (1)
specific facts in an affidavit or a verified complaint
clearly show that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or
damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can
be heard in opposition, and (2) the movant's attorney
certifies in writing any efforts made to give notice and the
reasons why it should not be required. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b).
Likelihood of Success
on the merits has been referred to as the most important of
the four factors.” Roudachevski v. All-American
Care Ctrs., Inc., 648 F.3d 701, 706 (8th Cir. 2011).
MARM states three claims for relief: (1) a breach of the
implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, (2) tortious
interference with business relationships, and (3) conversion.
Implied Covenant of Good ...