Garner et al v. Butterball LLC et al

Filing 159

ORDER that this action will proceed to trial; 147 Motion to Stay is DENIED. Signed by Chief Judge J. Leon Holmes on 5/22/12. (vjt)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS WESTERN DIVISION SHEILA HELMERT, WILMA BROWN, and LORI WEST, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated v. PLAINTIFFS No. 4:08CV00342 JLH BUTTERBALL, LLC DEFENDANT ********************** ROXIE GARNER, ROY GARNER, MIGUEL ANGUIANO ARAUJO, CHRISTOPHER SMITH, JOHN SNARR, and JASON FOSTER, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated v. PLAINTIFFS No. 4:10CV01025 JLH BUTTERBALL, LLC; and GARY R. LENAGHAN DEFENDANTS ORDER The defendants have filed a motion to stay the trial and expert deadlines pending a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Lopez v. Tyson Foods, Inc., No. 8:06CV-459 (D. Neb.) on appeal, No. 11-2344 (8th Cir.). That appeal presents issues also presented in this action, so the defendants request the Court to stay the trial and the expert deadlines so that we can obtain the benefit of guidance from the Eighth Circuit. The plaintiffs oppose the request. While this Court would be pleased to have a definitive ruling from the Eighth Circuit before these cases go to trial, the fact that one of these cases is already four years old and the other case is already two years old counsels against a stay, as does the fact that there is no certainty as to when a definitive ruling may be issued on appeal. There is no guarantee that the panel will rule on the merits inasmuch as the appellees in the Lopez appeal argue that at least some of the significant issues cannot be decided on the merits because the record was not preserved for appeal. Moreover, even if the panel reaches the merits of all of the issues, and even if the panel does so in the next few months, the appellate process will not necessarily be concluded at that point. The appellate process could include a petition for rehearing before the panel, a petition for rehearing en banc, and a petition to the United States Supreme Court for writ of certiorari. It is possible that the final conclusion of the Lopez appeal could be years away. Fairness to the parties, as well as efficient administration of the court’s docket, requires that this action proceed to trial. The motion for stay is DENIED. Document #147. IT IS SO ORDERED this 22nd day of May, 2012. ___________________________________ J. LEON HOLMES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 2

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