United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
D. Whitney, Chief United States District Judge.
written order is intended to memorialize the Court's oral
rulings stated in court on February 4, 2019. For the reasons
stated in open court, Plaintiffs' “Motion for
Summary Judgment Against Defendants Smartcore, Winn and
Good”, (Doc. No. 70), is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN
PART. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.
Plaintiffs' Motion is granted with regards to liability
for Plaintiff's Breach of Contract and NC Wage and Hour
Act Claims. The Court finds that there is no genuine dispute
that Defendant violated the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act,
and that Plaintiff is owed wages in the amount of $6, 250
plus additional statutory interest. In addition, the Court
finds that double damages are appropriate under North
See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 95-25.22. The Court will
order briefing at a later date to determine the exact amount
of the judgment on this claim.
Plaintiffs' wrongful denial of benefits and breach of
ERISA fiduciary duty claims, the Court finds that there are
genuine disputes of material fact. Since there is no right to
a jury trial for ERISA claims, this case will proceed to a
bench trial, scheduled for April 3, 2019 at 9:00
a.m. in Courtroom 1-1 of the Charles R. Jonas Federal
Building, 401 W. Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202.
See Phelps v. C.T. Enters., Inc., 394 F.3d 213, 222 (4th
Cir. 2005) (“[P]roceedings to determine rights under
employee benefit plans are equitable in character and thus a
matter for a judge, not a jury.”) (citation and
internal quotations omitted). As stated in court, the Court
will hear testimony from all individuals who have submitted
an affidavit in this case. Parties may present additional
witnesses for their respective cases.
remainder of this Order is intended to revise and supplement
this Court's earlier pretrial order. (Doc. No. 35).
Except as stated in this Order, the Court's original
pretrial order remains in effect.
AND TRIAL PROCEDURES
Trial. This case shall be tried
without a jury. Counsel should be prepared
to proceed to trial on April 3, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
The Court anticipates trial to last for one (1)
Final Pretrial Conference. The Court will not hold a
final pretrial conference.
Pretrial Submissions. The Court requires the
following pretrial submissions to be jointly drafted
and submitted to Chambers by March 20,
i. Proposed Pretrial Order. This document shall
(1) A joint statement of the case.
(2) Stipulations as to all issues of law or fact to which the
parties can agree for purposes of streamlining trial. If a
party fails to stipulate to a fact (e.g., the
authenticity of a document) without articulating a good faith
basis for disputing it, the Court shall assess against that
party the opposing party's costs (including the cost of
subpoena service, witness travel costs and fees, and
reasonable attorney's fees) incurred in proving the fact
at trial. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(c)(2).
(3) A brief synopsis (no argument) of the legal or factual
contentions about which the parties have been unable to
stipulate. Any advocacy should be reserved for a trial brief
which may be submitted as provided in Paragraph 4(d) below.
A list of exhibits that each party may offer at trial
(except those offered solely for impeachment or
cross-examination), numbered sequentially; a brief
description of the exhibit; any stipulations as to
authenticity or admissibility; and the basis for any
objections. This information shall be entered into a
table in substantially the following format (the last two
columns should be left blank to be completed by the
courtroom clerk at trial):
Stipulation - Authenticity
Stipulation - Admissibility
Draft of Contract
Foundation, Relevance, Parol Evidence