Sahagun, et al. v. Landmark Fence Company, Inc. (In re Landmark Fence Company, Inc.)

Citation:
James Sahagun and Gerardo Garcia v. Landmark Fence Company, Inc. (In re Landmark Fence Company, Inc.) --- F.3d --- (9th C.A. September 11, 2015)
Tag(s):
Ruling:
Pursuant to Fed.R.App.P., Rule 34(a)(2), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal Panel unanimously agreed this case was suitable for decision without oral argument. Based on prior case law in the Ninth Circuit, the Panel determined that to assess jurisdiction over a non-final order in the bankruptcy context; the Panel weighed 4 factors: “(1) the need to avoid piecemeal litigation; (2) judicial efficiency; (3) the systemic interest in preserving the bankruptcy court’s role as the finder of fact; and (4) whether delaying review would cause either party irreparable harm. Given that fact that the District Court remanded this case to bankruptcy court for further fact finding, the Panel dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
Procedural context:
The United States District Court for the Central District of California, affirmed the bankruptcy court's ruling regarding the Debtor's liable for the wage claim related to time spent fabricating components for public work contracts; however, the District Court remanded the case to the bankruptcy court for further fact finding to apply the correct legal standard to determine whether James Sahagun and Gerardo Garcia ("Sahagun") were entitled to damages for the travel time to and from work sites. Sahagun appealed the District Court's decision requesting reinstatement of bankruptcy court's damages award; and, Debtor cross-appealed District Court's decision to affirm bankruptcy court's determination regarding entitlement to prevailing wages for parts fabrication.
Facts:
In 2003 Sahagun filed a class action suit against the Debtor regarding certain wage-and-hour allegations, asserting the Debtor failed to pay certain wages pursuant to California law. Four years later, the state court certified the class, but prior to the class claims going to trial, the Debtor filed bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court held a 6 day trial on Sahagun's wages claims and awarded the class of plaintiffs $15 million in unpaid wages, interest, and penalties. A large portion of the damages awarded was attributable to the class prevailing on computation of wages for time spent traveling to and from work site and fabricating parts for public work sites.
Judge(s):
Stephen Reinhardt, M. Margaret McKeown, and Milan D. Smith, Jr., Circuit Judges

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