Anheuser-Busch Co. convinced a federal appeals court to refrain from deciding whether to award attorneys’ fees to lawyers who successfully sued the company over its pension plan.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit granted the beermaker’s request and dismissed the appeal in a short Nov. 20 order. Anheuser-Busch argued the attorneys’ fees dispute wasn’t properly before the appeals court because the trial judge who declined to award fees didn’t issue a final order.
The case will continue to be heard by the federal judge in St. Louis.
The long-running dispute involves the beer maker allegedly shorting the pensions of about 800 former SeaWorld theme park workers.
It ended in a loss for Anheuser-Busch, which was ordered by the Eighth Circuit to pay enhanced pension benefits. Attorneys for the SeaWorld workers then asked the district judge to award them more than $14 million in fees, but the judge declined. He said he would revisit the issue later.
The SeaWorld workers didn’t oppose Anheuser-Busch’s motion to dismiss.
Anheuser-Busch is represented by Dowd & Bennett and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. The workers are represented by Stone & Leyton, Jacobson & Press, and Tucker & Ellis.
The case is Knowlton v. Anheuser-Busch Cos. Pension Plan, 8th Cir., No. 18-03099, judgment 11/20/18.
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