September 25, 2019
from the United States District Court for the Western
District of Pennsylvania (D.C. Civil Action Nos.
2-18-cv-00456 and 2-18-cv-00458) District Judge: Honorable
Georgoulis (Argued) Georgoulis Robert O. Lampl Rober O Lampl
& Associates Counsel for Appellant
Aquino Charles Fastenberg (Argued) Jeffrey W. Spear Duane
Morris, Joel M. Walker Duane Morris Counsel for Appellees
Before: SMITH, Chief Judge, McKEE, AMBRO, Circuit Judges
Odyssey Contracting Corp. and Appellee L&L Painting Co.,
Inc. were, respectively, a subcontractor and the prime
contractor on a project to repaint the Queensboro Bridge.
Over the course of that project, Odyssey and L&L became
embroiled in a dispute over whether L&L was underpaying
Odyssey. Consequently, Odyssey stopped its work, and the
parties sued each other for breach of contract. After Odyssey
filed for bankruptcy, this litigation became the subject of
an adversary proceeding in the Bankruptcy Court.
final pre-trial conference, the parties entered into a
stipulation approved by the Bankruptcy Court. The stipulation
provided that if the Bankruptcy Court determined that Odyssey
was the breaching party, then "all of the [p]arties'
pending claims will be withdrawn and disposed of in their
entirety with prejudice" and the adversary proceeding
"shall be deemed to be finally concluded in all
a bench trial, the Bankruptcy Court concluded that Odyssey
was the breaching party. Accordingly, it entered an order
"direct[ing] [the] parties to resolve the . . .
adversary proceeding . . . in compliance with the
[s]tipulation." The order also required the parties to
provide a status update within three weeks as to whether that
had been done.
Odyssey appealed to the District Court, seeking review of the
Bankruptcy Court's decision that it was the breaching
party. L&L moved to dismiss the appeal, arguing that,
under the terms of the stipulation, Odyssey had released its
claims and waived its right to appeal. The District Court
agreed and modified the Bankruptcy Court's order to make
it a dismissal of the adversary proceeding with prejudice.
now appeals to us. Because we agree that Odyssey waived its
right to appeal by entering into the stipulation, we will
Bankruptcy Court had jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 157(a) and 1334(b). The District Court's
jurisdiction, on which our jurisdiction depends, is less
courts have jurisdiction to "hear appeals . . . from
final judgments, orders, and decrees . . . of bankruptcy
judges." 28 U.S.C. § 158(a)(1). The order from
which Odyssey appealed was the Bankruptcy Court's order
directing the parties to resolve the adversary proceeding per
the stipulation and requiring a status update on whether that
had been done. Was this a final order ...