MANOS v. INTERNATIONAL UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION et al
OPINION FILED. Signed by Judge Joseph E. Irenas on 3/28/14. (js)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
HONORABLE JOSEPH E. IRENAS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 13-5045
UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL
WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION, et
HYDERALLY & ASSOCIATES, PC
By: Ty Hyderally, Esq.
Francine Foner, Esq.
33 Plymouth Street
Montclair, New Jersey 07042
Counsel for Plaintiff
O’BRIEN, BELLAND & BUSHINSKY, LLC
By: Steven J. Bushinsky, Esq.
David F. Watkins, Esq.
1526 Berlin Road
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08003
Counsel for Defendants International United Food and
Commercial Workers Union, United Food and Commercial
Workers Union Local 152, and Daniel Konczyk
ATTORNEYS HARTMAN, CHARTERED
By: Katherine D. Hartman, Esq.
505 S. Lenola Road
Moorestown, New Jersey 08057
Counsel for Defendant Mark Belland
Irenas, Senior District Judge:
This suit concerns tort and contract claims stemming from
an employment dispute between Plaintiff Art Manos (“Plaintiff”)
and Defendants United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local
152 (“Employer”), United Food and Commercial Workers
International Union (“International Union”), Dan Konczyk, and
Mark Belland (collectively, “Defendants”).
Presently before the
Court is the Defendants’ Motion to Stay Plaintiff’s Complaint
At present, an arbitration decision and
award has been issued in the Defendants’ favor, rendering any
In light of the Court’s limited subject-matter
jurisdiction, this Court must dismiss Plaintiff’s three statelaw breach of contract claims and remand Plaintiff’s eight other
state-law claims to the Superior Court for lack of jurisdiction.
Finally, the Court must retain jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s
ERISA claim, the sole claim brought under federal law.
The Court reviews only the essential facts and procedural
history to resolve the pending motion and jurisdictional
Plaintiff brings this lawsuit following his termination
from employment on July 25, 2012.
(Compl. ¶ 125)
contends that his termination came about as a result of various
injuries and disabilities he sustained from incidents on two
occasions in February 2007, one incident in July 2008, and one
incident in September 2008.
(Id. ¶¶ 32, 34, 77, 86)
particular, Plaintiff alleges that four parties are liable for
his harm: Local 152 (“Employer”), their associated International
Union, Daniel Koczyk, the Executive Assistant to the President
of Employer, and Mark Belland, an attorney for Employer.
In total, Plaintiff asserts thirteen claims against these
These claims include:
Count I: Violation of the New Jersey Conscientious Employee
Protection Act (“CEPA”), N.J.S.A. 34:19-1;
Count II: Common law retaliation pursuant to Pierce v.
Ortho Pharma. Corp., 84 N.J. 58 (1980);
Count III: Violation of the New Jersey Law Against
Discrimination (“NJLAD”), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1;
Count IV: Retaliation in violation of the NJLAD;
Count V: Violation of the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. § 1001;
Count VI: Tortious interference with contractual relations;
Count VII: Invasion of privacy;
Count VIII: Invasion of privacy, public disclosure of
Count IX: Invasion of privacy, placing one in a false
Count X: Invasion of privacy, intrusion on seclusion;
Count XI: Breach of express contract;
Count XII: Breach of the implied covenant of good faith and
fair dealing; and
Count XIII: Breach of implied contract.
On July 12, 2013, Plaintiff filed his Complaint in the
Superior Court, Atlantic County, docket number L 4820-13.
Defendants were served with the Complaint and a summons on July
(Notice of Removal ¶ 3)
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1441(a), the Defendants filed a notice of removal in this Court
on August 23, 2013.
The Defendants allege that this
Court had original jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s claims under
the doctrine of complete preemption subject to § 301 of the
Labor Management Relations Act (“LMRA”), codified at 29 U.S.C. §
(Notice of Removal ¶ 6)
Immediately following the notice of removal, the Defendants
filed this Motion to Stay in lieu of a Responsive Pleading on
August 30, 2013.
(Dkt. No. 2)
In their brief, the Defendants
contended that Plaintiff’s termination, and any grievance or
harm stemming from that termination, was covered by a collective
bargaining agreement (“CBA”) that governed Plaintiff’s
employment with Employer. 1
(Defs. Br. at 5)
further indicated that the parties, in accordance with the CBA,
had already begun to arbitrate Plaintiff’s grievance, which was
heard on August 27, 2013 and continued on September 10, 2013.
(Id. at 2-3)
Plaintiff has opposed the Defendants’ motion,
1 As the Defendants explained, Plaintiff was a member of the Federation
of Agents and International Representatives (“FAIR”), a labor organization
that entered into a collective bargaining agreement with Employer that
allegedly controlled the “terms and conditions” of Plaintiff’s employment.
(Defs. Br. at 2-3)
contending that his claims were not preempted by the LMRA, and
asserting that the Defendants were therefore not entitled to a
stay in the case.
(Pl.’s Opp. Br. at 1)
On February 25, 2014, the Defendants informed the Court
that an arbitrator reached a decision in the grievance stemming
from Plaintiff’s termination.
2014, Dkt. No. 7)
(Steven Bushinsky Ltr., Feb. 25,
In his decision, the arbitrator found that
Employer had just cause to terminate Plaintiff from employment.
(Id. at Opinion & Award at 15)
On March 25, Employer filed a
petition with this Court for an Order confirming the
See United Food & Commercial Workers Local
152 v. Fed’n of Agents & Int’l Represenative, No. 14-cv-1878
(JEI/KMW), March 25, 2014, Dkt. No. 1.
In light of the arbitrator’s Decision & Award, the Court
now turns to resolution of the pending motion and the
jurisdictional questions raised by Plaintiff in his opposition.
The Defendants contend that Plaintiff’s state-law claims
are subject to complete preemption under the LMRA, granting this
Court jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s claims as though they arose
under federal law.
Plaintiff argues that the LMRA does not
extend to his claims, thereby preventing the Defendants from
obtaining relief from this Court and effectively challenging
whether the Court has subject-matter jurisdiction over his
To resolve this threshold jurisdictional issue, the Court
must determine whether complete preemption applies to the
If not all claims are preempted, the Court
must also consider whether it has other independent grounds for
jurisdiction, including supplemental jurisdiction under §
The Court begins by considering Plaintiff’s ERISA
claim before proceeding to the state-law claims.
Though the federal courts are courts of limited
jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1331 vests the district courts with
original jurisdiction of “all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
codified at 29 U.S.C. §§ 1101-1461, is a federal statute.
Section 1132(a) empowers a participant or beneficiary to bring
suit under this federal statute.
Section 1132(e) grants
exclusive jurisdiction to the federal courts except for certain
actions arising under § 1132(a)(1)(B), in which case both
federal and state courts retain concurrent jurisdiction.
The Court could read Manos’s Brief in Opposition to include a motion
to remand to the Superior Court because the case was removed by the
Defendants on the grounds that federal labor law properly governed the
Under the federal removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), a
defendant may remove a civil action from state court to the
district court when the district court has original jurisdiction
over the civil action and the district court geographically
encompasses the state court where the action was originally
Plaintiff originally filed this federal law claim in
Atlantic County Superior Court, and as a result, this Court
properly has subject-matter jurisdiction over the ERISA claim. 3
The Court now turns to determine whether it may properly
exercise jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s twelve state-law claims.
Before considering the Court’s supplemental jurisdiction under
28 U.S.C. § 1367(a), the Court first addresses the doctrine of
complete preemption under the LMRA, the grounds by which the
Defendants removed this action.
(Notice of Removal ¶ 6)
Under the “well-pleaded complaint rule,” subject-matter
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 may only be granted when a
3 Plaintiff’s claim alleges that his benefits were terminated effective
March 31, 2012, nearly four months before his termination from employment.
(Compl. §§ 113, 125) However, the exact nature of the Plaintiff’s ERISA
claim is not before the Court, and the Court therefore takes no position as
to the merits of the claim other than to note that it arises under federal
federal question is presented on the face of the complaint.
Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987).
However, where the “pre-emptive force of a [federal] statute is
so extraordinary,” a state-law claim may be converted into a
claim “stating a federal claim for purposes of the well-pleaded
Id. at 393 (internal quotation marks omitted)
(quoting Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Taylor, 481 U.S. 58, 65
In such a circumstance, despite pleading a state-law
claim, the doctrine of complete preemption directs that any
state-law claims are considered to be claims arising under
Caterpillar, 482 U.S. at 393.
Section 301(a) of the LMRA, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a), is one such
statute that imposes the doctrine of complete preemption.
Under the terms of the statute:
Suits for violations of contracts between an
employer and a labor organization representing
employees in an industry affecting commerce as
defined in this chapter, or between such labor
organizations, may be brought in any district
court of the United States having jurisdiction
of the parties, without respect to the amount
in controversy or without regard to the
citizenship of the parties.
29 U.S.C. § 185(a).
The Supreme Court has held that this
statute “authorizes federal courts to fashion a body of federal
law for the enforcement of these collective bargaining
Lingle v. Norge Div. of Magic Chef, Inc., 486 U.S.
399, 403 (1988) (citation omitted).
The statute requires the
application of federal law “in order to ensure uniform
interpretation of collective-bargaining agreements,” which
serves to promote uniformity and “consistent resolution” of
Id. at 404.
Preemption under § 185(a) applies to state-law claims
falling into two categories: claims that are “founded directly
on rights created by collective-bargaining agreements, and also
claims substantially dependent on analysis of a collectivebargaining agreement.”
Id. at 410 n.10 (internal quotation mark
omitted) (quoting Caterpillar, 482 U.S. at 394); Allis-Chalmers
Corp. v. Lueck, 471 U.S. 202, 213 (1985).
In other words,
preemption does not apply to every state-law claim implicating §
185(a); for preemption to apply, a district court must determine
that the plaintiff’s state-law claim either rests upon rights
created by the collective-bargaining agreement or rights
determined under the interpretation of the agreement.
Snyder v. Dietz & Watson, Inc., 837 F.Supp.2d 428, 438 (D.N.J.
2011); see also Dickerson v. Palisades Med. Ctr., Inc., No. 13cv-3382 (WJM), 2013 WL 5603927, at *3 (D.N.J. Oct. 9, 2013).
Though a collective-bargaining agreement and state law may
protect similar rights, such overlap alone does not mandate
Reynolds v. TCM Sweeping, Inc., 340 F.Supp.2d 541,
547 (D.N.J. 2004).
Instead, “[t]he key inquiry under the
preemption analysis is whether an examination of the complaint
requires a factual inquiry into the actions and motivations of
the parties relative to rights conferred by state law or
relative to the rights of the parties under the collective
Id. at 546-47 (citing Patterson v. Exxon
Mobil Corp., 262 F.Supp.2d 453, 461 (D.N.J. 2003)).
The Court first turns to Plaintiff’s state-law contract
claims to determine whether they are subject to preemption and
the application of federal law.
The Court then addresses
Plaintiff’s tort claims, as well as those arising under New
Jersey statutory and common law protections.
In Counts XI, XII, and XIII, Plaintiff brings state-law
claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of
good faith and fair dealing, and breach of implied contract.
Each of these claims is brought pursuant to New Jersey law.
Under certain circumstances, state-law contract rights may
be preempted by § 185(a).
The Supreme Court directly addressed
this matter in Caterpillar, where the individual plaintiffs
sought to enforce state-law contract rights regarding individual
employment contracts that were separate from the collective
bargaining agreement in place between the employees and their
Caterpillar, 482 U.S. at 396.
State-law breach of
contract claims that concerned provisions of the collective
bargaining agreement would have been subject to complete
preemption; however, because the breach of contract claims in
Caterpillar concerned contracts independent from the collective
bargaining agreement, such state-law claims were not preempted
under the LMRA.
Id. (citing Allis-Chalmers, 471 U.S. at 211)
However, in the instant case, Plaintiff brings three statelaw contract claims expressly based upon the CBA governing his
employment with the Defendants.
Specifically, Plaintiff brings
his claim for breach of contract in reliance upon the
“contractual obligations to [Plaintiff] that were set forth in
their Union Contract, their Handbook, and other employment
(Compl. ¶ 183)
Plaintiff’s breach of the implied
covenant of good faith alleges that the “Defendants had
contractual obligations to [Plaintiff] as reflected above.”
(Id. ¶ 188)
Plaintiff’s breach of implied contract alleges that
the Defendants entered into other contracts, somehow modifying
Plaintiff’s employment relationship under the CBA.
(Id. ¶ 193)
By expressly relying upon the CBA to assert these state-law
contract claims, Plaintiff requires a court to inquire into the
terms of the CBA regarding the Defendants’ contractual
obligations with Plaintiff.
This demands preemption and grants
this Court subject-matter jurisdiction.
When a court determines that a state-law claim is subject
to preemption and arises under federal law, the court may either
treat the claim as a LMRA claim or dismiss the claim as
Allis-Chalmers, 471 U.S. at 220; see also Pickett v.
Ocean-Monmouth Legal Svcs., Inc., No. 11-cv-6980 (AET), 2012 WL
254132, at *2 (D.N.J. Jan. 27, 2012) (dismissing preempted LMRA
claims); Carluccio v. Parsons Inspection & Maint. Corp., No. 06cv-4354 (JLL), 2007 WL 1231758, at *4 (D.N.J. Apr. 4, 2007)
Here, the parties have already arbitrated their
dispute, and the Decision & Award of the arbitrator demonstrates
that Employer had just cause to terminate Plaintiff.
Ltr., Feb. 25, 2014, Decision & Award at 15)
To ensure the
uniformity of federal labor law, as directed by Allis-Chalmers,
this Court will dismiss Plaintiff’s preempted claims asserted in
Counts XI, XII, and XIII. 4
Plaintiff asserts eight other state-law causes of action,
none of which are subject to the LMRA doctrine of complete
9 U.S.C. §§ 10-11 permit the Plaintiff to vacate, modify, or correct
an arbitration award under the provisions of those statutes. The Defendants
contend that the time to bring such a challenge has now expired, (see
Bushinsky Ltr., Feb. 25, 2014, at 1), however the Court takes no position on
the merits of this assertion. Dismissal of the preempted breach of contract
claims does not preclude Plaintiff from pursuing such relief, if appropriate.
Nor does it implicate the Plaintiff’s ERISA claim, which was not addressed in
the arbitrator’s Decision & Award. (Id.)
In addition, the fact that Employer filed a petition to confirm the
arbitration award on March 25, 2014 has no bearing on dismissal of
Plaintiff’s claims. See United Food and Commercial Workers Local 152 v.
Fed’n of Agents and Int’l Representative, No. 14-cv-1878 (JEI/KMW), Dkt. No.
1. Such petition would be governed by 9 U.S.C. § 9 and other applicable
statutes, unrelated to Plaintiff’s state-law claims presently at issue.
The Court briefly addresses each claim to
demonstrate that complete preemption does not apply.
Counts I and II assert state-law claims protecting
Specifically, Count I alleges a violation of
CEPA, and Count II alleges that Plaintiff’s termination was in
violation of the retaliation protections articulated in Pierce
v. Ortho Pharm. Corp., 84 N.J. 58 (1980).
Plaintiff’s right to
relief as a whistleblower or victim of wrongful discharge does
not concern an inquiry into the terms of the CBA, which is
devoid of provisions regarding whistleblowers and retaliation
Rather, to determine the Plaintiff’s rights under
CEPA and Pierce, a court must inquire into other factual
circumstances, including an alleged March 30, 2012 meeting with
Defendants Belland and Konczyk.
(E.g. Compl. ¶¶ 64-67, 132-38,
As a result, complete preemption does not apply to
these CEPA and Pierce retaliation claims.
Similarly, Counts III and IV allege violations of the
Count III alleges that Defendants discriminated against
Plaintiff due to his handicap or disability, and Count IV
alleges that Defendants retaliated against Plaintiff for
complaining about discrimination resulting from his handicap or
(Id. ¶¶ 151, 155)
The NJLAD is “remedial
legislation” that seeks to “eradicate the cancer of
Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright Corp., 204 N.J. 239,
259-60 (2010) (citations omitted).
Here again, the preemption
analysis demands that the Court determine whether the claims
require an inquiry into the facts and motivations of the parties
relative to rights conferred by state law or rights conferred by
Reynolds, 340 F.Supp.2d at 546-47.
The CBA explains
that the parties agreed “that no person covered by this
Agreement shall be discriminated against because of age, sex,
race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, or
(CBA, Art. 8, § A)
This provision of the
CBA omits handicap and disability discrimination, which are
protected under the NJLAD and asserted by Plaintiff in Counts
III and IV. 5
To resolve these NJLAD claims, a court must inquire
into the facts and motivations of the parties relative to rights
conferred by state law, not under the CBA, and preemption is
therefore inapplicable to Plaintiff’s NJLAD claims.
Count VI asserts a claim for tortious interference with
This tort claim concerns “inducing a
third person not to continue a prospective relation.”
MacDougall v. Weichert, 144 N.J. 380, 403 (1996) (internal
quotation marks omitted).
No language concerning prospective
contractual relations appears in the CBA.
5 Specifically, N.J.S.A. 10:5-12 explains that it “shall be an unlawful
employment practice, or, as the case may be, an unlawful discrimination: (a)
[f]or an employer, because of the . . . disability . . . of any individual .
. . to discharge . . . from employment such individual or to discriminate
against such individual . . . .”
substance of Plaintiff’s claim concerns his assertion that the
Defendants interfered with his right to retain counsel of his
own choosing for a variety of personal injury actions, both
related to and separate from his employment.
(See, e.g., Compl.
¶¶ 79, 82, 98-99; see also Pl.’s Opp’n Br. at 8)
these factual circumstances concerns rights under state law and
has no relationship with the terms of the CBA.
claim for tortious interference with contractual relations is
therefore not subject to complete preemption.
Finally, Counts VII, VIII, IX, and X assert four state-law
privacy tort claims against the Defendants.
New Jersey law
recognizes four distinct types of privacy tort, which are bound
by the common thread that “each represents an interference with
the right of the plaintiff to be let alone.”
N.J. 173, 179-80 (1994) (quoting Canessa v. J.I. Kislack, Inc.,
97 N.J. Super. 327, 334 (Law Div. 1967)).
Here again, the CBA
lacks any term concerning the Plaintiff’s right to privacy.
Instead, factual inquiry into the actions and motivations of the
parties would focus solely on rights conferred by state law
rather than under the CBA.
Plaintiff’s privacy tort claims are
therefore not subject to complete preemption.
As a result of this preemption inquiry, the Court concludes
that it must dismiss the Plaintiff’s preempted state-law
contract claims asserted in Counts XI, XII, and XIII.
complete preemption does not apply to the remaining state-law
claims, the Court now turns to supplemental jurisdiction to
determine whether it may exercise subject-matter jurisdiction
over Plaintiff’s remaining claims. 6
The supplemental jurisdiction of the federal courts is
codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
In actions in which a district
court has original jurisdiction, § 1367(a) grants the court
supplemental jurisdiction over related claims that are part of
the same case or controversy.
However, § 1367(c) provides that
district courts may decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction under subsection (a) if:
(1) the claim raises a novel or complex issue
of State law,
(2) the claim substantially predominates over
the claim or claims over which the district
court has original jurisdiction,
(3) the district court has dismissed all
(4) in exceptional circumstances, there are
Here, the Court cannot apply § 1367(c)(3) because it has
not dismissed Plaintiff’s ERISA claim.
In addition, Plaintiff’s
state-law claims concerning CEPA, Pierce, NJLAD, and various
There is no indication that the Court’s diversity jurisdiction, 28
U.S.C. § 1332, applies to Plaintiff’s claims.
tort claims are longstanding claims under New Jersey state law,
rendering § 1367(c)(1) inappropriate.
Similarly, no exceptional
circumstance, like a pending trial in another venue, directs the
application of § 1367(c)(4).
However, Plaintiff’s state-law
claims concern wholly different rights and raise a substantially
different factual inquiry than Plaintiff’s ERISA claim, giving
grounds for the application of § 1367(c)(2).
The standard for determining that state law claims
“substantially predominate” over federal law claims comes from
the Supreme Court in United Mine Workers of America v. Gibbs,
383 U.S. 715 (1966).
See Borough of W. Mifflin v. Lancaster, 45
F.3d 780, 789 (3d Cir. 1995).
The Third Circuit instructs that
a district court’s decline of supplemental jurisdiction under §
1367(c)(2) should “track the Supreme Court’s explication of that
standard in Gibbs.”
Under Gibbs, “if it appears that state
claims substantially predominate, whether in terms of proof, of
the scope of the issues raised, or of the comprehensiveness of
the remedy sought, the state claims may be dismissed without
prejudice and left for resolution to state tribunals.”
383 U.S. at 726-27.
As the Third Circuit explained, “[t]his
will normally be the case only where . . . permitting litigation
of all claims in the district court can accurately be described
as allowing a federal tail to wag what is in substance a state
Borough of W. Mifflin, 45 F.3d at 789.
Reviewing the Plaintiff’s remaining state-law claims
reveals that these claims require inquiry into factual proofs
that are wholly separate from Plaintiff’s entitlement to
benefits under ERISA.
Plaintiff’s ERISA claim requires inquiry
into the allegation that Plaintiff’s benefits were terminated
effective March 31, 2012 despite his termination from employment
on July 25, 2012.
(Compl. ¶¶ 113, 125)
On the other hand, the
state-law claims concerning Plaintiff’s alleged invasion of
privacy, inability to select a lawyer of his choosing,
whistleblower protections, and disability discrimination focus
on the actions of the Defendants on a number of other occasions.
For example, Plaintiff alleges that the topics discussed at a
March 30, 2012 meeting, were “invasive of [Plaintiff’s] privacy”
and in violation of various laws protecting his privacy.
(Compl. ¶¶ 65-70)
This meeting concerned the Plaintiff’s
injuries and lawsuits dating back to 2007, allegedly the source
of Plaintiff’s disability, as well as the root of various
lawsuits implicated in Plaintiff’s NJLAD and tortious
(Id. ¶¶32-34, 40-41, 56)
In view of the state-law claims and the underlying events
related to those claims, much of the evidence that Plaintiff
would seek to introduce would not be relevant to his federal
Rather, litigation of Plaintiff’s ERISA claim
centers solely on whether benefits due to Plaintiff were paid,
while litigation of Plaintiff’s state-law claims requires
inquiry into the substance of the March 30, 2012 meeting and
Plaintiff’s disabilities and lawsuits from 2007 through 2012.
This is not a case where the same acts allegedly violate
parallel or related federal and state-law claims.
As a result, the Plaintiff’s remaining state-law claims
substantially predominate over Plaintiff’s single federal ERISA
Exercising supplemental jurisdiction to consider eight
state-law claims surrounding wholly different factual proofs
would not promote judicial efficiency, and the New Jersey state
courts (where this action was initially filed) offer an
appropriate venue to consider such state-law claims and their
As a result, this Court will remand Plaintiff’s
Counts I, II, III, IV, VI, VII, VIII, and IX to the Superior
Court, Atlantic County, Law Division. 7
Based on the foregoing, the Court must dismiss Plaintiff’s
state-law contract claims alleged in Counts XI, XII, and XIII
because they are subject to the doctrine of complete preemption
7 It is immaterial whether the Court interprets Manos’s opposition as a
Motion to Remand or makes this ruling sua sponte because the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure direct the Court to dismiss an action “[w]henever it appears
by suggestion of the parties or otherwise that the court lacks jurisdiction
of the subject matter.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3); see also 28 U.S.C. §
1447(c) (“If at any time before final judgment it appears that the district
court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.”).
under the LMRA.
The Court will remand the state-law claims
alleged in Counts I, II, III, IV, VI, VII, VIII, and IX because
these claims are not subject to complete preemption, nor would
the exercise of supplemental jurisdiction be appropriate in
light of 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(2).
Finally, the Court will retain
jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s ERISA claim alleged in Count V and
resolve the currently pending Motion to Stay as moot in light of
the December 10 issuance of the arbitrator’s Decision & Award.
s/ Joseph E. Irenas
Joseph E. Irenas, S.U.S.D.J.
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