United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S EMERGENCY EX PARTE MOTION
FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER
D. LEVY, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the court on Symetra Life Insurance
Company's ("Symetra") emergency ex parte motion
for a temporary restraining order (TRO) (ECF No. 4).
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(1).
considering a request for a temporary restraining order, the
court must determine: "(1) the movant's likelihood
of success on the merits; (2) whether and to what extent the
movant would suffer irreparable harm if the request were
rejected; (3) the balance of hardships between the parties;
and (4) any effect that the injunction or its denial would
have on the public interest." Diaz-Carrasquillo v.
Garcia-Padilla, 750 F.3d 7, 10 (1st Cir. 2014) (citing
Corporate Techs., Inc. v. Harnett, 731 F.3d 6,
9 (1st Cir. 2013)).
point, the Court has only the materials submitted by Symetra,
from which I glean the following facts: Symetra Financial
Corporation is a diversified financial services company with
more than 1, 600 employees nationwide. Symetra is a wholly
owned subsidiary of Symetra Financial Corporation. Symetra
has been in the insurance industry for over 50 years, and
during that time has developed its goodwill and reputation
within the industry. Symetra owns U.S. Federal registration
serial number 3127698 for the SYMETRA mark, ECF No. 1 ¶
7, and has also made extensive use of the mark SYMETRA LIFE
INSURANCE COMPANY to designate services that it provides,
id. ¶ 8. Symetra also maintains a website,
https://www.symetra.com, where it advertises its services and
provides biographical information about the leadership team
of Symetra. Id. ¶ 9. The website also contains
images of members of the leadership team.
Raymond Emerson ("Emerson") is and has been a
disability claimant under his former employer's Life and
Disability Plan with Symetra. As a plan participant, Emerson
submitted a claim for long term disability to Symetra, which
has been administering his claim, apparently to Emerson's
dissatisfaction. Without the knowledge or authorization of
Symetra, Emerson registered the domain name
"symetralifeinsurancecompany.com" for his own use.
Emerson then launched a website ("the Website")
hosted at that domain, where he has published personally
identifying information about numerous officers, directors,
and employees of Symetra and that of their family members,
some of whom are minors.
personally identifying information on the Website includes
the full names multiple Symetra employees, their home
addresses, and the names of their spouses, children, and
other relatives. The Website also encourages members of the
public to contact the named Symetra employees:
If a Symetra Claims Representative is delaying, denying,
engaging in bad faith tactics, or committing outright fraud
to avoid paying your valid insurance claim, call them, e-mail
them, or pay them a visit at home. If you don't have
their home address, home phone number, or e-mail address,
contact me and I will find them for you.
Id. ¶ 36. The Website also singles out one
particular employee and her children:
If [Symetra Employee] is delaying, or denying your valid
insurance claim feel free to stop by her home to discuss your
claim with her. If [Symetra Employee] is not home when you
arrive, I'm sure that her daughter [First Child], or her
daughter [Second Child], would be more than willing to keep
you company until she arrives home.
Id. ¶ 37.
Website is structured and designed in a way that makes it
appear as though the Website is affiliated with Symetra; for
example, it includes a copyright notice identifying Symetra
as the owner. The Website also includes allegedly false
statements about Symetra. For example, the Website includes
the following quotation, which is attributed to Symetra's
Chief Executive Officer: "Well of course we engage in
bad faith tactics like delaying and denying our policy
holders [sic] valid claims. How do you think me
[sic], my key executive officers, and my board
members stay so damn rich, [sic]" Id. ¶
Likelihood of ...