Anheuser-Busch has been successful in convincing 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 US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit granted the beermaker’s request and dismissed the appeal in a short November 20 order. Anheuser-Busch argued the attorneys’ fees dispute was not properly before the appeals court, because the trial judge who declined to award fees did not issue a final order. The case will continue to be heard by the federal judge in St. Louis.
The dispute involves Anheuser-Busch allegedly shorting the pensions of about 800 former SeaWorld theme park workers, resulting in a loss for the beer-maker. The Eighth Circuit ordered the firm to pay enhanced pension benefits, and attorneys for the SeaWorld workers then asked the district judge to award them more than $14 million in fees. However, the judge declined and said he would revisit the issue later. The SeaWorld workers did not oppose Anheuser-Busch’s motion to dismiss.