United States District Court, S.D. New York
March 11, 2004.
THE CANADA LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff, -against- THE GUARDIAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: VICTOR MARRERO, District Judge
DECISION AND ORDER
By letter dated March 5, 2004, defendant Guardian Life Insurance
Company ("Guardian") requested the Court to schedule pre-motion
conference to consider Guardian's proposed motion seeking entry of a
final judgment dismissing this action, with or without prejudice, in
order to enable plaintiff Canada Life Assurance Company ("Canada Life")
to pursue an appeal, should it choose to do so, of this Court's Order
dated January 22, 2003 directing the parties to arbitration and staying
this action pending arbitration. Canada Life, in a letter dated March 10,
2004, opposes Guardian's request.*fn1 Having considered the parties'
positions with respect this matter, the Court denies Guardian's request.
The Court stayed this action and retained jurisdiction, as it has
discretion to do pursuant to 9 U.S.C. § 3 and 4, so
as to enable the parties to pursue arbitration to conclusion.
Guardian presents no compelling reason for entry of a final judgment at
this time for the purpose of permitting any appeal at this stage of the
proceedings and the Court is not persuaded that any efficient or
productive end would be served by such a course. In fact, because this
dispute is actually in arbitration, an appeal at this time is likely to
disrupt or delay that proceeding, or undermine it altogether. The Court
also notes that It was Guardian that initially requested a stay of the
underlying action. It seems curious, and perhaps gratuitious that
Guardian now seeks a final judgment presumably to enable Canada Life to
pursue an appeal. In opposing the request, Canada Life gives no
indication that it wishes its adversary to do Canada Life's bidding in
this regard. Accordingly, it is hereby
ORDERED that the request of defendant Guardian Life Insurance
Company of America for a pre-motion conference is DENIED.