UAW v. Kelsey-Hayes Co., No. 15-2285 (GIBBONS) (concurring opinion to denial of rehearing en banc), (SUTTON) (concurring opinion to denial of rehearing en banc), (GRIFFIN, Gilman) (dissenting opinion to denial of rehearing en banc).
This is one of three cases revolving around a disagreement about the benefits conferred by a collective bargaining agreement, which came to differing results although they were factually similar. The Sixth Circuit denied a petition for rehearing en banc, and Judges Gibbons, Sutton, and Griffin filed separate opinions regarding the decision.
Judge Gibbons found that one disagreement between the majority and dissenting opinions in the three cases was the interpretation of Gallo v. Moen, Inc., 813 F.3d 265 (6th Cir. 2016). She found that Gallo merely relied on ordinary contract principals requiring a case-by-case factual inquiry, and did not announce a more broadly applicable legal principle. She concurred with the denial because she found that the underlying cases came to differing results because of different facts, and “[a] difference of opinion about whether one case is factually similar to another is not good fodder for en banc review.”
Judge Sutton also concurred in the denial. Although he found that this case merited en banc review—because the three opinions in the three cases “face in different directions” and may be inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent and the approach of other circuits—he found good reason to doubt that the Court sitting en banc would agree on the proper approach to the lifetime vesting of healthcare benefits in time-limited collective bargaining agreements.
Judge Griffin dissented to the denial. He also found that the Supreme Court requires that collective bargaining agreements be interpreted according to ordinary contract principles, but found that panels of the Sixth Circuit have applied these “ordinary principles” in irreconcilably conflicting ways. Judge Griffin would have granted rehearing in order to bring uniformity to the Circuit’s application of the “ordinary principles.”