Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
May 3, 2011, Argued; June 6, 2011, Decided
Docket No. 09-3797-cv
[*109] Per Curiam:
John Meehan and Michael Fitzpatrick ("Defendants") are former directors of a retirees association of former unionized transportation workers. In an underlying ERISA action, the retirees association and six of its members alleged, among other things, that Defendants breached their fiduciary duty to the retirees association and its members by buying and maintaining a health insurance policy with premiums that far outstripped the benefits received by members. Defendants prevailed on all counts, see Mahoney v. J.J. Weiser & Co., 564 F. Supp. 2d 248 (S.D.N.Y. 2008), [**2] aff'd 339 Fed. App'x 46 (2d Cir. 2009) (summary order), and sought fees and costs pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(1). On August 18, 2009, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Marrero, J.) denied Defendants' fees motion. See Mahoney v. J.J. Weiser & Co., 646 F. Supp. 2d 582 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). Defendants now appeal that decision.
In denying Defendants' motion, the district court applied our Court's five-factor test for evaluating applications for attorney's fees pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(1), considering:
(1) [T]he degree of the offending party's culpability or bad faith, (2) the ability of the offending party to satisfy an award of attorney's fees, (3) whether an award of fees would deter other persons from acting similarly under like circumstances, (4) the relative merits of the parties' positions, and (5) whether the action conferred a common benefit on a group of pension plan participants.
[*110] Chambless v. Masters, Mates & Pilots Pension Plan, 815 F.2d 869, 871 (2d Cir. 1987). The district court reasoned:
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
648 F.3d 108 *; 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 11410 **; 51 Employee Benefits Cas. (BNA) 2430
ROGER TOUSSAINT, as President of Transport Workers Union, Local 100, ED WATT, as Secretary Treasurer of Transport Workers Union, Local 100, Plaintiffs-Appellees, JAMES MAHONEY, as the Director of the Transport Workers Union, Plaintiff-Counter-Defendant-Appellee, JOSEPH ALLMAN, BERNARD BEAVER, FRANK INGRAM, LAVERNE STUCKEY, MAURICE SCHIERMAN, MATTHEW TARNOWSKI, on their own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellees, -v.- JJ WEISER, INC., STANFORD J. COHEN, HARVEY T. GLUCK, Defendants, INTERBORO MUTUAL INSURANCE CO., Defendant-Cross-Defendant, MICHAEL J. FITZPATRICK, JOHN MEEHAN, Defendants-Counter-Claimants-Third-Party Plaintiffs-Appellants, LOCAL 100, TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION, TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION RETIREES ASSOCIATION, Third-Party Defendants. 1
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from an order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Marrero, J.) entered on August 18, 2009, denying Defendants-Counter-Claimants-Third-Party Plaintiffs-Appellants John Meehan and Michael J. Fitzpatrick's motion for fees and costs pursuant to Section 502(g) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001, et seq.
Mahoney v. J.J. Weiser & Co., 646 F. Supp. 2d 582, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76953 (S.D.N.Y., 2009)
district court, factors, attorney's fees, merits, degree of success, award fees, prevailed, claimant, prevailing party, good faith, bad faith, culpability, retirees, award of attorney's fees, relative merits, circumstances, five-factor, channeling, offending, positions, eligible, costs