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REBECCA COOPER, et al., Plaintiffs, v. HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL, INC., Defendant.
January 6, 2017, Filed
January 6, 2017, Decided
For Rebecca Cooper for herself and others similarly-situated, Morris McKenney for himself and others similarly-situated, Robert Kolinske for himself and others similarly-situated, plaintiffs: William A. Wertheimer, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of William A. Wertheimer, Bingham Farms, MI; John G. Adam, Stuart M. Israel, Legghio & Israel PC, Royal Oak, Mi.
For Honeywell International, Inc., defendant: Cody D. Rockey, Dykema Gossett PLLC (Ann Arbor), Ann Arbor, MI; James S. Brady, Mark John Magyar, Dykema Gossett PLLC (Grand Rapids), Grand Rapids, MI.
HON. JANET T. NEFF, United States District Judge.
JANET T. NEFF
On December 13, 2016, this Court held a hearing on Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (Dkt 41) and ruled from the bench in Plaintiffs' favor. An Order effectuating the Court's bench ruling was entered on December 14, 2016 (Dkt 65). In accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(d) , the Court relies on the findings of fact and conclusions of law contained in the Court's bench ruling as reflected in the certified transcript of the hearing, docketed on January 4, 2017 (Dkt 70).1 For the reasons stated more fully therein, the Court determines that Plaintiffs have raised questions going to the merits that are "so serious, substantial, difficult, and doubtful as to make them a fair ground for litigation and thus for more deliberate investigation," satisfying Plaintiffs' burden at this stage in the proceedings. See Certified Restoration Dry Cleaning Network, L.L.C. v. Tenke Corp., 511 F.3d 535 , 543 (6th Cir. 2007) (citation omitted). See also Univ. of Texas v. Camenisch, 451 U.S. 390 , 395 , 101 S. Ct. 1830 , 68 L. Ed. 2d 175 (1981) (a party "is not required to prove his case in full at a preliminary injunction hearing and the findings of fact and conclusions of law made by a court granting the preliminary injunction are not binding at trial on the merits"). The Court is disinclined to terminate Plaintiffs' healthcare coverage while the merits of these questions are being briefed and resolved. Rather, the Court, in its discretion, determines that the overall weighing and balancing of the relevant equities warrant the issuance of a Preliminary Injunction to preserve the relative positions of the parties while this case proceeds to resolution.2 Therefore:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant Honeywell International, Inc., including its officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys and other persons who are in active concert or participation with Defendant Honeywell International, Inc., are PRELIMINARILY ENJOINED from implementing Defendant Honeywell International, Inc.'s plan, stated in its December 28, 2015 letter (Dkt 25-5), to terminate retiree medical and prescription drug coverage, pending resolution of this case or further Order of the Court.
DATED: January 6, 2017
/s/ Janet T. Neff
JANET T. NEFF
United States District Judge
The Court ordered Plaintiffs' counsel to file proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law for its review, which Plaintiffs submitted on December 21, 2016 (Dkt 67-1). As set forth more fully by Defendant in its subsequent objections (Dkt 69), Plaintiffs' document wholly failed to accurately reflect the Court's bench ruling or meet the Court's expectation that counsel would provide a draft to defense counsel, consistent with this Court's published guidelines and the practice in this district. Such failings will not be tolerated by the Court during the remainder of this litigation.
In their submissions to this Court, neither side identified any purpose that requiring a security under Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(c) would serve.
The Court therefore waives the security requirement. See Moltan Co. v. Eagle-Picher Indus., Inc., 55 F.3d 1171 , 1176 (6th Cir. 1995) ("While ... the language of Rule 65(c) appears to be mandatory, and many circuits have so interpreted it, the rule in our circuit has long been that the district court possesses discretion over whether to require the posting of security.").