United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Russell, Senior Judge United States District Court
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff PolyOne
Corporation's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and
Preliminary Injunction. [R. 4.] Defendant Westlake Vinyls,
Inc. responded, [R. 26], and PolyOne replied, [R. 30.] Fully
briefed, this matter is ripe for adjudication. For the
following reasons, PolyOne's Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction, [R. 4], is
history of the relationship between the parties is laid out
in this Court's Memorandum Opinion in PolyOne
Corporation v. Westlake Vinyls, Inc, No.
5:17-CV-157-TBR, 2018 WL 2437241 (W.D. Ky. May 30, 2018).
According to PolyOne, it filed an arbitration demand on May
17, 2017 “seeking to allocate liability for certain
environmental costs related to the Westlake Chemical Facility
in Calvert City, Kentucky pursuant to the December 19, 2007,
Settlement and Release Agreement to resolve the parties'
prior litigation in this Court.” [R. 1 at 1 (PolyOne
Complaint).] A seven-week arbitration hearing is scheduled to
begin on August 6, 2018. [Id.] On July 10, 2018,
PolyOne filed the Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order
and Preliminary Injunction, [R. 4], that is currently before
determine whether a preliminary injunction should issue under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(a), the Court weighs four
factors: “(1) whether the movant has a strong
likelihood of success on the merits, (2) whether the movant
would suffer irreparable injury absent a stay, (3) whether
granting the stay would cause substantial harm to others, and
(4) whether the public interest would be served by granting
the stay.” Ne. Ohio Coal. for Homeless & Serv.
Employees Int'l Union, Local 1199 v. Blackwell, 467
F.3d 999, 1009 (6th Cir. 2006). “These factors are not
prerequisites that must be met, but are interrelated
considerations that must be balanced together.”
Mich. Coal. of Radioactive Material Users, Inc. v.
Griepentrog, 945 F.2d 150, 153 (6th Cir. 1991).
“For example, the probability of success that must be
demonstrated is inversely proportional to the amount of
irreparable injury the movants will suffer absent the
stay.” Blackwell, 467 F.3d at 1009. The party
seeking the preliminary injunction bears the burden of
justifying such relief. McNeilly v. Land, 684 F.3d
611, 615 (6th Cir. 2012) (citing Granny Goose Foods, Inc.
v. Bhd. of Teamsters & Auto Truck Drivers Local No.
70, 415 U.S. 423, 441 (1974)).
argues that each of the four preliminary injunction factors
weigh in its favor. [R. 4-1 at 8 (PolyOne TRO Memo).]
Westlake disagrees. [See generally R. 26 (Westlake
Response).] The Court will address each factor in turn.
Whether the movant has a strong likelihood of success on the
argues there is a strong likelihood it can show that the
arbitration provisions of the 2007 Settlement Agreement,
(“the 2007 Agreement”), are invalid and
unenforceable. [R. 4-1 at 8.] In support of this assertion,
PolyOne first contends that Section 6.3 of the Agreement,
labelled “Complaint for Judicial Determination, ”
is unenforceable pursuant to the Supreme Court's holding
in Hall Street Associates, LLC v. Mattel, Inc., 552
U.S. 576 (2008). [Id. at 9.] In Hall
Street, the Supreme Court faced the question of
“whether statutory grounds for prompt vacatur and
modification may be supplemented by contract.” Hall
St. Assocs., 552 U.S. at 578. There, the two parties
entered an arbitration agreement with the following
[t]he United States District Court for the District of Oregon
may enter judgment upon any award, either by confirming the
award or by vacating, modifying or correcting the award. The
Court shall vacate, modify or correct any award: (i) where
the arbitrator's findings of facts are not supported by
substantial evidence, or (ii) where the arbitrator's
conclusions of law are erroneous.
Id. at 579. The Court held that “§§
10 and 11 respectively provide the FAA's
exclusive grounds for expedited vacatur and
modification” rather than a contract provision that
expands judicial review following arbitration. Id.
contends that two of the provisions under Section 6 of the
Agreement, Sections 6.1 and 6.3, “unambiguously
conflict with the more limited grounds for review of an
arbitrator's award set forth in Sections 10 and 11 of the
FAA, ” making Section 6.3 unenforceable. [R. 4-1 at
response, amongst several arguments, Westlake contends that
PolyOne waived the right to challenge the validity of the
arbitration clause. [R. 26 at 24.] PolyOne retorts that
“participating in an arbitration is not sufficient to
support waiver, ” and it did not intentionally waive
its current argument because it did not learn of the Tenth
Circuit's ruling in Citizen ...