The opinion of the court was delivered by: LOUIS C. BECHTLE
Presently before the court are the cross-motions for summary judgment of plaintiff Frank J. Soriero ("plaintiff") and defendant Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC"). For the reasons set forth below, the court will grant Soriero's motion for summary judgment and will deny the FDIC's motion for summary judgment. Judgment will be entered in favor of plaintiff and against the FDIC.
This case involves a claim for supplemental pension benefits made by a former employee of a failed bank, against the FDIC, as receiver for the bank. Plaintiff brought suit pursuant to 12 U.S.C. § 1821(d)(2)(H) and 12 U.S.C. § 1821(d)(6) of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act ("FIRREA").
The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment and have agreed to a Joint Stipulation of Uncontested Facts.
Plaintiff began working for Philadelphia Savings Fund Society ("PSFS") in May, 1986, as vice-president for construction lending. (Stipulation at P 4). On May 20, 1986, plaintiff and PSFS entered into a supplemental pension agreement (the "SPA"). (Stipulation at P 5). The SPA was designed to augment plaintiff's standard pension plan by crediting plaintiff for his eight years of service with Industrial Valley Bank, his previous employer.
(Soriero Dep. at 17). By the terms of the SPA, PSFS agreed to provide plaintiff not only with his regular pension when he retired, but also a supplementary pension to be calculated as if he had joined PSFS on January 9, 1978, the day he joined Industrial Valley Bank. (See Pl. Mot. for Summary Judgment, Ex. 2 at P 1). The SPA further provided that the "supplementary pension payable to or on behalf of [plaintiff] under this Agreement shall be paid in the same form and at the same time as the benefit payable...to or on behalf of [plaintiff] under the Pension Plan." (Id.)
Several months after plaintiff began working at PSFS, PSFS became Meritor Savings Bank ("Meritor"). (Soriero Dep. at 13). Meritor succeeded to all of the rights and obligations of PSFS under the SPA. (Stipulation at P 5).
On December 11, 1992, the Secretary of Banking of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania seized Meritor, closed it, and appointed the FDIC as receiver. (Stipulation at P 6). At that time, all Meritor employees, including plaintiff, ceased to be employed by Meritor. (Stipulation at P 7). Three days later, on December 14, plaintiff elected to retire under the standard Meritor pension plan, effective January 1, 1993. (Stipulation at P 10). Prior to the FDIC's appointment as receiver for Meritor, plaintiff had reached the age of 64 years, nine months and eighteen days which made him eligible to retire under the terms and conditions of Meritor's pension plan if he chose to do so. (Stipulation at P 12). Plaintiff has been receiving benefits under the Meritor pension plan since then, and the FDIC does not contest plaintiff's right to such benefits. (Stipulation at PP 8, 10).
At the time the FDIC was appointed as receiver for Meritor on December 11, 1992, plaintiff was not entitled to receive benefits under the SPA because his employment with Meritor had not been terminated, and under the SPA, payment of benefits is conditioned on termination of employment. (Stipulation at PP 15-16). After retiring from Meritor, plaintiff filed a timely claim with the FDIC, requesting supplemental pension benefits under the SPA, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. § 1821(d)(3). (Stipulation at P 18). The FDIC disallowed plaintiff's claim by letter of January 27, 1994. (Stipulation at P 19). Plaintiff then commenced this suit seeking to compel the FDIC to pay him the sum of $ 103,563.50, which the parties agree is the present value of the benefits due plaintiff under the SPA if the court were to find in favor of plaintiff.
(Stipulation at P 23).
The function of a motion for summary judgment is to avoid a trial in cases where it is unnecessary and would only cause delay and expense. Goodman v. Mead Johnson & Co., 534 F.2d 566, 573 (3d Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 1038, 50 L. Ed. 2d 748, 97 S. Ct. 732 (1977). In evaluating a motion for summary judgment, the court may examine the pleadings and other material offered by the parties to determine if there is a genuine issue of material fact to be tried. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Sims v. Mack Truck Corp., 488 F. Supp. 592, 597 (E.D. Pa. 1980). A fact is material if it might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing substantive law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986).
In considering a motion for summary judgment, the court must determine whether the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, show there is a genuine issue of material fact, and thus whether the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Chipollini v. Spencer Gifts, Inc., 814 F.2d 893, 896 (3d Cir. 1987) (en banc). An issue is "genuine" only if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.