just and desirable, reliance may be placed upon the ordinary rule of stare decisis. Before a party can invoke the collateral estoppel doctrine in these circumstances, the legal matter raised in the second proceeding must involve the same set of events or documents and the same bundle of legal principles that contributed to the rendering of the first judgment.' 333 U.S. 601-602, 68 S. Ct. 721.
It appears from the complaint that only one of the claims presented -- that of Crawford -- would arise under the 1954 contract which was involved in the Vaughn dispute. But in addition to separability of the contracts involved, there are intervening doctrinal changes -- mandatory resort to federal law -- which justify independent examination of this suit. See 50 C.J.S. Judgments §§ 650, 652, 674 (1947); Restatement, Judgments § 70 Comments (e) and (f); cf. Towns & James, Inc. v. Barasch, 197 Misc. 1022, 96 N.Y.S.2d 32.
Proceeding to the substance of the motion, it does not appear from undisputed facts that defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Rule 56(c), F.R.Civ.P.
The grievances which defendant seeks to have arbitrated do not involve the interpretation or application of any express section of the contract. Seemingly, they involve implied obligations under the terms of 'the Company's so-called Welfare Plan,' which is barely referred to in a section of the contract dealing with illness benefits. Although that section spells out the Company's right to deduct from illness benefits, monies distributed to employees under the 'Company's so-called Welfare Plan,' there are no specific terms in the writing itself from which arbitrators might determine whether the Company was or was not obligated to make such payments. Nor can we hold, on this record, that defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the basis of 'the entire contract.' For although it could be asserted that the statement of intent and purpose of the parties to improve and maintain harmonious relations between Union and employer authorizes arbitration of grievances not expressly or impliedly excluded from arbitration, we regard such expressions as merely an aid to construction -- together with other indications of the scope of the contract.
And finally, defendant has not established a case for judgment as a matter of law on the basis of 'past practices.' the nature of which has not as yet even been disclosed. See Restatement, Contracts § 247 (1932).
Denial of the motion is further required because a material factual question is presented as to whether, if the dispute is arbitrable, all conditions precedent to arbitration have been faithfully performed. As stated in Boston Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Insurance Agents' International Union, 1 Cir., 258 F.2d 516, 522,
'* * * whether the Employer had agreed to submit this matter to arbitration depends upon a determination by the court, as a preliminary matter, whether all the conditions precedent to arbitration have been fulfilled, including a determination whether the Union acted 'within a reasonable time' in pressing for arbitration by the American Arbitration Association.'
Except on fuller examination of the surrounding facts and circumstances it could not be determined if reasonable men would not differ whether defendant acted within a reasonable time in initiating arbitration procedures on the grievances in dispute.