Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Raymond v. Spirit Aerosystems Holdings, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Kansas

April 30, 2019

DONETTA RAYMOND, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
SPIRIT AEROSYSTEMS HOLDINGS, INC., et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JOHN W. BROOMES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the court on Plaintiffs' motion to certify the court's Memorandum and Order filed December 17, 2018, for interlocutory appeal. (Doc. 387.) The motion is fully briefed. (Docs. 388, 390, 394-1.[1]) For the reasons state herein, the motion to certify is DENIED.

         I. Background

         Plaintiffs allege that Spirit[2] discriminated against them in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by terminating their employment in a reduction-in-force (RIF), and by refusing to rehire them for new job openings. Plaintiffs bring both a collective action and individual ADEA claims, and some Plaintiffs also assert claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

         The parties agreed to conduct the litigation in two phases, with the first phase addressing the validity of ADEA waivers signed by some Plaintiffs at the time of the RIF. (See Doc. 153 at 1-2.) In a Memorandum and Order filed December 17, 2018, the court ruled on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment relating to the waivers. (Doc. 385.) As to those Plaintiffs who had signed the waivers and conceded they had received a 65-page disclosure list from Spirit pursuant to the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), the court found the waivers were knowing and voluntary, meaning Spirit was entitled to summary judgment on ADEA claims covered by the waivers. (Id. at 38.) The court found a genuine issue of fact remained with respect to eight Plaintiffs who claimed they had not received the 65-page OWBPA disclosure list from Spirit.

         Plaintiffs ask the court to certify that order for an interlocutory appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b). They argue the order addressed two issues of controlling law on which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and as to which an immediate appeal would materially advance the litigation. It identifies the two issue as: 1) the meaning of “eligibility factors” under 29 U.S.C. § 626(f)(1)(H)(i); and 2) whether the “decisional unit” in 29 C.F.R. 1625.22(f)(3)(ii)(D) includes groups of individuals “categorically excluded from the reduction in force….” (Doc. 388 at 6.) Plaintiffs argue there is conflicting case law on the meaning of “eligibility factors, ” and that the scope of the “decisional unit” presents a novel and debatable legal question. Plaintiffs contend both of these are controlling questions of law because they are determinative of the validity of the waivers. Plaintiffs argue an immediate appeal would further judicial economy and advance the litigation because it would avoid the prospect of duplicative discovery, it would avoid the risk of multiple trials on similar issues, it would clarify OWBPA standards for employers and employees, and it would benefit those Plaintiffs who have serious health conditions or other circumstances that favor a prompt determination of the validity of their waivers. (Id. at 15-17.)

         II. Section 1292(b) standards

         The statute governing Plaintiffs' motion provides:

When a district judge, in making in a civil action an order not otherwise appealable under this section, shall be of the opinion that such order involves a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and that an immediate appeal from the order may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation, he shall so state in writing in such order. The Court of Appeals which would have jurisdiction of an appeal of such action may thereupon, in its discretion, permit an appeal to be taken from such order, if application is made to it within ten days after the entry of the order: Provided, however, That application for an appeal hereunder shall not stay proceedings in the district court unless the district judge or the Court of Appeals or a judge thereof shall so order.

28 U.S.C.A. § 1292(b).

         Section 1292(b) gives district courts “first line discretion” to allow interlocutory appeals. Swint v. Chambers Cty. Comm'n, 514 U.S. 35, 47 (1995). It allows certification of an order if three elements are met: 1) the order involves a controlling question of law; (2) a substantial ground for difference of opinion exists with respect to the question of law; and (3) an immediate appeal from the order may advance the ultimate termination of the litigation materially. Little v. Budd Co., No. 16-4170-DDC-KGG, 2018 WL 5084315, at *1 (D. Kan. Oct. 18, 2018) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b)).

         A “question of law” involves the meaning of a statute, constitution, regulation, or common-law doctrine, as opposed to a question of fact. XTO Energy, Inc. v. ATD, LLC, 189 F.Supp.3d 1174, 1193 (D. N.M. 2016) (citation omitted). A “controlling” question is one that could materially affect the outcome of the litigation in the district court. City of Neodesha v. BP Corp. of N. Am. Inc., No. 15-4025-KHV, 2016 WL 3522092, *3 (D. Kan. June 28, 2016) (citation omitted). An issue need not be dispositive of the entire action to be controlling. “A controlling question of law would generally constitute reversible error on final appeal if the district court arrived at the wrong legal conclusion.” XTO Energy, 189 F.Supp.3d at 1194. As for “substantial ground for difference of opinion, ” that exists if the ruling

appears contrary to the rulings of all courts of appeals which have reached the issue, if the circuits are in dispute on the question and the court of appeals of the circuit has not spoken on the point, if complicated questions arise under foreign law, or if novel and difficult questions of first impression are presented.

Id. (citing 2 Fed. Proc., L.Ed. § 3:218). Finally, an immediate appeal may “advance the ultimate termination of the litigation” if it would eliminate the need for a trial, eliminate complex issues so as to simplify the trial, or make discovery easier and less costly. Id. (citations omitted). If the litigation will be conducted in substantially the same manner regardless of the decision, an immediate appeal will not advance the termination of the litigation. Id. This element turns on pragmatic considerations, assessed by reviewing the procedural and substantive status of the case, the extent ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.