Brief Fact Summary. Defendant, Hospital Products, Ltd., seeks to overturn a preliminary injunction granted by the district court that forces Defendant to follow their contract with Plaintiffs, American Hospital Supply Corp.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. When determining whether a preliminary injunction should be granted, a court should follow the formula P x Hp > (1-P) X Hd, wherein the probability of the plaintiff winning is multiplied by their potential hardship, and determining if it is greater than a defendant’s hardship multiplied by their probability of winning.
Issue. The issue is whether the preliminary injunction granted to Plaintiff should be upheld.
Held. The court implemented a formula, P x Hp > (1-P) X Hd, that basically restated the traditional balancing factors in a mathematical format. The court then affirmed the injunction and supported the decision by noting the high probability of Plaintiff’s success at trial and the lack of significant hardship to Defendant versus the hardship to Plaintiff. The court still applied hardship to the public (which was considered hardship for Defendant for the sake of the formula) and concluded that the left side of the equation was greater (favored Plaintiff’s side).
Dissent. The dissenting judge favors the traditional four-prong test for granting preliminary injunctions (irreparable harm and no other remedy as equitable; the irreparable harm outweighs the other party; likelihood of success; and no danger to public interest) rather than the proposed formula.
Discussion. The court attempts to establish a formulaic approach to weighing the traditional factors. The same factors still apply, and the end result is not significantly different, but the four-prong test is still the majority view in most jurisdictions.