265 F.3d 811 (9th Cir. 2001), 99-17040, Abraham v. Norcal Waste Sys.

Docket Nº:99-17040, No. 99-17474, No. 99-17132
Citation:265 F.3d 811
Party Name:JULIO ABRAHAM; PAUL AGAZZI; GIUSPPE AIELLO; BENNIE ANSELMO, SR.; THOMAS ARENS; RENATO AVANZINO; LILY BACIGALUPI; PETER BACIGALUPI, JR.; DAVID E. BALLESTRAZZE; MIKE BALLESTRAZZE; WILLIAM BANDETTINI; MARY BARIERI; JOHN BARONI; PIETRO BATTILANA; ANTOINETTE BAVOSO; MICHAEL J. BIAGINI; WILLIAM BIONDINI, SR.; FRANKLIN BISHOP; HERBIE BOYD; MADELINE BRANDI
Case Date:September 07, 2001
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 811

265 F.3d 811 (9th Cir. 2001)

JULIO ABRAHAM; PAUL AGAZZI; GIUSPPE AIELLO; BENNIE ANSELMO, SR.; THOMAS ARENS; RENATO AVANZINO; LILY BACIGALUPI; PETER BACIGALUPI, JR.; DAVID E. BALLESTRAZZE; MIKE BALLESTRAZZE; WILLIAM BANDETTINI; MARY BARIERI; JOHN BARONI; PIETRO BATTILANA; ANTOINETTE BAVOSO; MICHAEL J. BIAGINI; WILLIAM BIONDINI, SR.; FRANKLIN BISHOP; HERBIE BOYD; MADELINE BRANDI; PAUL BRUNETTA; NATALIO CADEMATORI; FLAVIO CALCAGNO; FERNANDO CAMBRI; RITA CANEVARI; THOMAS J. CANEVARI; PRIMO CAPELLA; COSTANTINO CARAMATTI; JOHN CARUSO; AMY M. CATELLI; GETULIO CATENA; FRANK CHAPPELLONE; EDWARD CHIAPPARI; ATTILIO CHIESA; ESTATE OF GEORGE CODINO; QUANITO CUNEO; UGO CUNEO; VICTOR D'AGNOLO; RAY DAL POGETTO; CASIMIRO DAMELE; ALFRED DE MARTINI; EUGENE DE MARTINI; GINO DE MARTINI; PAUL DE MARTINI; ADOLFO DEL CARLO; VINCE DELFINO; LAWRENCE DELLA CELLA; MARY DELLA CELLA; SUSAN DELLA CELLA; ANITA DELUCCHI; MARIO DELUCCHI; NORMAL DEPAOLI; ANGELO L. DEVINCENZI; GLORIA DEVINCENZI; JAMES D. DEVINCENZI; VICKI DUHAGON; ESTATE OF J.B. ELLIS; ALIPIO FATICA; ELMO FATICA; GIOBATTA FAZIO; LEON FERGUSON; ANA FERRANDO; LUCIANO FERRARI; CHAROLETTE FINI; JAMES FIRPO; SERGIO FOLENA; ALESIO FOPPIANO; FORTUNATO CONTI; EVA FRANCESCHI; PETE FRANCESCHI; ESTATE OF ANNA MARIE FRANCO; GIACOMO FRANCO; JOHN P. FRANCO; JOHN FREDERICK; DOROTHEA GARAVENTA; EDWARD GERMANO; BENEDETTO GHIGLIAZZA; BERNARDO GHIGLIAZZA; FREDERICO GHIGLIERI; ANNA GHIRARDOZZI; ANNA GHIRARDOZZI; GLORIA GHIRARDOZZI; LOU GIANNONE; CARLO GINOCCHIO; HUGO GIOVANNINI; SISTO GIULIACCI; UBALDO GOBBO; MARIO GRELLI; PIERO GRELLI; BARBARA HAMILTON; OREL JACKSON, JR.; PEARLIE B. LEE; HAROLD LOPEZ; JOSEPH LUCCHETTI; LUIGI SCIAMANNA; ATTILIO MALATESTA; EMIL MANGINI; LOUIS MATTEUCCI; ROGER MICHELI; LUIS MORALES; GIACOMO MOSCONE; JOHN MOSCONE; ANGELO MUSANTE; ALVARO NARDI; ESTATE OF MICHELE NARDI; SANDY OBERTELLO; TONY ONETO; IVAN OPLANIC; VINCENZO PASQUINELLI; ANTONIO PASSETTI; QUINTO PASSETTI; ALFREDO PERLI; OTTO PERUCCI; ROBERT PESSAGNO; VIRGINIA PESSAGNO; RODOVAN PESUSIC; VONDA PEVERADA; HUGO PISANI; ARMANDO PUCCI; GRACE PUCCINELLI; SERGO PUCCINELLI; FLORA RAGGIO; INEZ RAJEWSKI; JACK RAJEWSKI; LOUIE J. RATTO; PAUL RATTO; PETER RATTO; ANGELO RICCHETTI; FRANCESCO RISSOTO; WILLIAM S. ROBERTS; ERNEST RONZANI; RANIERO ROSELLI; MARIO ROSSI; ALBERT SCIAMANNA; WILLIAM SEGARINI; RAY SHARP, SR.; DANTE STECCONE; MARIO STECCONE; LUIS STELLA; ESTATE OF BILLY TERRY; LUIS M. TORRES; TOM TRAVERSO; LINDA TREGENZA; JUDY VUCCI; PAUL WORDEN; TONY ZAPPETTINI, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,

v.

NORCAL WASTE SYSTEMS INC; MANUEL C. CONTE; ROBERT L. ANDERSON; ARCHIE HUMPHREY; JAMES PAYE; NORCAL WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. EMPLOYEE STOCK OWNERSHIP PLAN AND

Page 812

TRUST; CHASE MANHATTAN BANK, N.A.; SECURITY PACIFIC BANK; BANK OF CALIFORNIA; CALIFORNIA FEDERAL BANK; MICHAEL T. SANGIACOMO; PETER GARDELLA; JOHN DEMARTINI; FIORE GARBARINO; JOHN B. MOLINARI; LEROY MORETTI, DEFENDANTS,

AND

BANK OF AMERICA, AS SUCCESSOR TO SECURITY PACIFIC NATIONAL BANK, THE INDENTURE TRUSTEE, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.

JULIO ABRAHAM; PAUL AGAZZI; GIUSPPE AIELLO; BENNIE ANSELMO, SR.; THOMAS ARENS; RENATO AVANZINO; LILY BACIGALUPI; PETER BACIGALUPI, JR.; DAVID E. BALLESTRAZZE; MIKE BALLESTRAZZE; WILLIAM BANDETTINI; MARY BARIERI; JOHN BARONI; PIETRO BATTILANA; ANTOINETTE BAVOSO; MICHAEL J. BIAGINI; WILLIAM BIONDINI, SR.; FRANKLIN BISHOP; HERBIE BOYD; MADELINE BRANDI; PAUL BRUNETTA; NATALIO CADEMATORI; FLAVIO CALCAGNO; FERNANDO CAMBRI; RITA CANEVARI; THOMAS J. CANEVARI; PRIMO CAPELLA; COSTANTINO CARAMATTI; JOHN CARUSO; AMY M. CATELLI; GETULIO CATENA; FRANK CHAPPELLONE; EDWARD CHIAPPARI; ATTILIO CHIESA; ESTATE OF GEORGE CODINO; QUANITO CUNEO; UGO CUNEO; VICTOR D'AGNOLO; RAY DAL POGETTO; CASIMIRO DAMELE; ALFRED DE MARTINI; EUGENE DE MARTINI; GINO DE MARTINI; PAUL DE MARTINI; ADOLFO DEL CARLO; VINCE DELFINO; LAWRENCE DELLA CELLA; MARY DELLA CELLA; SUSAN DELLA CELLA; ANITA DELUCCHI; MARIO DELUCCHI; NORMAL DEPAOLI; ANGELO L. DEVINCENZI; GLORIA DEVINCENZI; JAMES D. DEVINCENZI; VICKI DUHAGON; ESTATE OF J.B. ELLIS; ALIPIO FATICA; ELMO FATICA; GIOBATTA FAZIO; LEON FERGUSON; ANA FERRANDO; LUCIANO FERRARI; CHAROLETTE FINI; JAMES FIRPO; SERGIO FOLENA; ALESIO FOPPIANO; FORTUNATO CONTI; EVA FRANCESCHI; PETE FRANCESCHI; ESTATE OF ANNA MARIE FRANCO; GIACOMO FRANCO; JOHN P. FRANCO; JOHN FREDERICK; DOROTHEA GARAVENTA; EDWARD GERMANO; BENEDETTO GHIGLIAZZA; BERNARDO GHIGLIAZZA; FREDERICO GHIGLIERI; ANNA GHIRARDOZZI; ANNA GHIRARDOZZI; GLORIA GHIRARDOZZI; LOU GIANNONE; CARLO GINOCCHIO; HUGO GIOVANNINI; SISTO GIULIACCI; UBALDO GOBBO; MARIO GRELLI; PIERO GRELLI; BARBARA HAMILTON; OREL JACKSON, JR.; PEARLIE B. LEE; HAROLD LOPEZ; JOSEPH LUCCHETTI; LUIGI SCIAMANNA; ATTILIO MALATESTA; EMIL MANGINI; LOUIS MATTEUCCI; ROGER MICHELI; LUIS MORALES; GIACOMO MOSCONE; JOHN MOSCONE; ANGELO MUSANTE; ALVARO NARDI; ESTATE OF MICHELE NARDI; SANDY OBERTELLO; TONY ONETO; IVAN OPLANIC; VINCENZO PASQUINELLI; ANTONIO PASSETTI; QUINTO PASSETTI; ALFREDO PERLI; OTTO PERUCCI; ROBERT PESSAGNO; VIRGINIA PESSAGNO; RODOVAN PESUSIC; VONDA PEVERADA; HUGO PISANI; ARMANDO PUCCI; GRACE PUCCINELLI; SERGO PUCCINELLI; FLORA RAGGIO; INEZ RAJEWSKI; JACK RAJEWSKI; LOUIE J. RATTO; PAUL RATTO; PETER RATTO; ANGELO RICCHETTI; FRANCESCO RISSOTO; WILLIAM S. ROBERTS; ERNEST RONZANI; RANIERO ROSELLI; MARIO ROSSI; ALBERT SCIAMANNA; WILLIAM SEGARINI; RAY SHARP, SR.; DANTE STECCONE; MARIO STECCONE; LUIS STELLA; ESTATE OF BILLY TERRY; LUIS M. TORRES; TOM TRAVERSO; LINDA TREGENZA; JUDY VUCCI; PAUL WORDEN; TONY ZAPPETTINI, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES,

v.

NORCAL WASTE SYSTEMS INC; MANUEL C. CONTE; NORCAL WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. EMPLOYEE STOCK OWNERSHIP PLAN AND TRUST, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES,

Page 813

THE BANK OF AMERICA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT,

AND

CHASE MANHATTAN BANK, N.A.; BANK OF CALIFORNIA; CALIFORNIA FEDERAL BANK, DEFENDANTS.

BANK OF AMERICA NT&SA, AS SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST BY MERGER WITH SECURITY PACIFIC NATIONAL BANK, INDENTURE TRUSTEE, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

NORCAL SOLID WASTE SYSTEMS OPINION EMPLOYEE STOCK OWNERSHIP PLAN AND TRUST, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.

No. 99-17040, No. 99-17474, No. 99-17132

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

September 7, 2001

Argued and Submitted December 11, 2000

Page 814

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 815

Stephen H. Dye, Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, San Francisco, California, for the plaintiffs-appellants and cross-appellees, in No. 99-17040 and No. 99-17474.

Paul J. Ondrasik, Jr., Washington, D.C., for defendant-appellee Norcal Waste Systems, Inc., in No. 99-17040 and 99-17474.

Deborah S. Ballati, San Francisco, California, for defendant-appellee Norcal Waste Systems, Inc., Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Trust, in No. 99-17040 and No. 99-17474, and for defendant-appellee in No. 99-17132.

James B. Wright, San Francisco, California, for defendant-appellee and cross-appellant Bank of America, N.A., in No. 99-17040 and No. 99-17474, and for the plaintiff-appellant in No. 99-17132.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California Charles A. Legge, District Judge, Presiding

Page 816

D.C. No. CV 94-3076 CAL, D.C. No. CV 94-3076 CAL, D.C. No. CV 99-1175 CAL

Before: David R. Thompson, Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, and A. Wallace Tashima, Circuit Judges.

Tashima, Circuit Judge

These consolidated appeals arise out of a complex background of financial transactions and litigation stemming from the leveraged buyout of company stock by an employee stock ownership plan. Plaintiffs in the earlier of the two actions (No. 99-17040 and No. 99-17474) ("Plaintiffs") originally brought suit in California state court, alleging only state law causes of action in their complaint. Defendants successfully removed the case to federal district court on the basis of complete preemption, pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001 et seq. The parties raise numerous issues on appeal from the ensuing litigation. Because we conclude that the district court lacked original subject matter jurisdiction, necessary for removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441, we must vacate the judgments below. We have jurisdiction to entertain this appeal from the district court's final judgment, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1291, and to decide the jurisdictional issue, Toumajian v. Frailey, 135 F.3d 648, 652-53 (9th Cir. 1998)

I. BACKGROUND

a. Facts

Norcal Solid Waste Systems, Inc. ("Norcal"), a California corporation, was an employee-owned garbage company. Plaintiffs are former employee-shareholders (or their heirs and assigns) of Norcal. Norcal created the Norcal Solid Waste Systems, Inc., Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Trust (the "Norcal ESOP" or "ESOP") to purchase shares from Plaintiffs in a leveraged buyout of company stock. There is no dispute that the ESOP is an employee benefit plan within the meaning of ERISA. In December 1986, Plaintiffs sold their stock to the ESOP as part of the leveraged buyout transaction for $65 million in cash and $36.5 million in long-term notes. Forty-four of the Plaintiffs also were Norcal employees and participants in the benefit plan ("ESOP participants").

The 1986 leveraged buyout was accomplished through a complex financing arrangement in which the ESOP's acquisition of Norcal's shares was financed by bank loans to Norcal, which in turn then lent those funds to the ESOP. Bank of America (the "Bank") served as a senior lender (among several banks) and a financial advisor to Norcal for the leveraged buyout. The long-term notes that were issued to the former shareholders pursuant to the buyout were governed by the terms of a trust indenture agreement (the "Indenture") between the Norcal ESOP, as obligor, and Security Pacific National Bank, as the trustee ("Security Pacific " or the "Trustee"). Security Pacific...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP