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Cottillion v. United Refining Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

December 23, 2014

JOHN COTTILLION, et al.,
v.
UNITED REFINING COMPANY, et al., Defendants. on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

CATHY BISSOON, District Judge.

I. MEMORANDUM

This matter is before the Court upon Defendants' Motion to Stay Pending Appeal (Doc. 272). For the reasons that follow, Defendants' Motion will be denied.

BACKGROUND

The facts underlying the instant motion are well known to the parties and will be summarized only briefly here. On April 8, 2013, District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs on their claim that Defendants had violated ERISA's anti-cutback provision, § 204(g), 29 U.S.C. § 1054(g)(2). (Doc. 186). On November 13, 2013, this Court granted Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification (Doc. 192) and entered, by way of remedy, the following pertinent orders:

F. Defendants are enjoined by applying any actuarial reduction for early commencement to the unreduced early retirement benefits that class members accrued under the 1980 and/or 1987 Plan Documents.
G. With respect to those class members who have reached their early retirement date and have commenced receiving their benefits, judgment is entered for the difference between the amount of the unreduced benefit payments they should have been paid and the amount of the benefit payments they actually received, plus interest at 7.5 percent.
* * * * * * * *
H. With respect to those class members who have reached their early retirement date but have not yet commenced receiving benefits, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendants must provide each class member so situated with the opportunity to immediately elect to commence receiving an unreduced benefit if they so choose.

(Doc. 223) ("November 13 Order"). Both parties subsequently appealed. (Docs. 234, 242, 270, 271).

Shortly thereafter, the parties entered into negotiations in an attempt to reach an agreement to stay the judgment pending appeal. They were able to reach an agreement with respect to Part G of the Court's November 13 Order, secured by Defendants' entry of a supersedeas bond in the amount of $700, 773.38. See Brett Declaration, Ex. 1 ¶¶ 3-4 (Doc. 282-1). However, the parties could not reach a negotiated agreement to stay the injunctive relief ordered in Parts F and H of the November 13 Order.

LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 62(c) provides that, when "an appeal is taken from an interlocutory or final judgment... denying an injunction, " a court, in its discretion, "may suspend, modify, restore, or grant an injunction during the pendency of the appeal upon such terms as to bond or otherwise as it considers proper for the security of the rights of the adverse party." Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 8(a)(1)(C) provides that the party seeking an order "suspending, modifying, restoring, or granting an injunction while an appeal is pending" must "ordinarily move first in the district court" for such relief. Both Rules generally are governed by the same factors: "(1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay;

(3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceedings; and (4) where the public interest lies." Groupe SEB USA, Inc. v. Euro-Pro Operating LLC, 2014 WL 2504741, at *1 (W.D. Pa. June 3, ...


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