United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING MOTIONS TO STAY PROCEEDINGS
GUIROLA, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
THE COURT are the  Motion to Stay Proceedings
filed by the defendants Roy Anderson Corp., W.G. Yates &
Sons Construction Company, and Yates Anderson, JV, and the
 Motion to Stay Proceedings filed by the defendant,
Thompson Engineering, Inc. All the other defendants have
joined in each of these Motions, and the parties have fully
briefed the Motions. After reviewing the submissions of the
parties, the record in this matter, and the applicable law,
the Court finds that both Motions to Stay should be denied.
plaintiff, Southern Industrial Contractors, LLC, served as
the general contractor for the West Pier Facilities project
at the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi. It filed this lawsuit
against the project's consultants and engineers -
Neel-Schaffer, Inc., CH2M, T.L. Wallace Construction, Inc.,
Thompson Engineering, Inc., W.G. Yates & Sons
Construction Company, Roy Anderson Corp., Yates Anderson, JV,
and Quality Engineering Services, Inc. Southern Industrial
alleges that these defendants failed to provide notice of a
large underground debris field at the project site, which
made the project much more expensive and time-consuming. At
the defendants' request, the Court stayed this lawsuit
pending the appeal of the decision ordering arbitration in
the separate state court lawsuit Southern Industrial had
filed against the project's owner, Mississippi State Port
Authority. The Mississippi Court of Appeals reversed the
lower court's decision compelling arbitration of Southern
Industrial's claims against the Port Authority.
the conclusion of the state court appeal, this Court lifted
the stay imposed in the present case. The defendants Roy
Anderson, W.G. Yates & Sons, and Yates Anderson then
filed a Motion seeking a stay pending resolution of the
arbitration of Southern Industrial's claims against ADS,
LLC, which was one of Southern Industrial's
subcontractors during the project. The defendant Thompson
Engineering filed a separate Motion requesting a stay pending
(1) resolution of the ADS, LLC, arbitration; (2) resolution
of Southern Industrial's state court lawsuit against
another subcontractor, Baker Pile Driving & Work, LLC;
and (3) resolution of the state court lawsuit Southern
Industrial filed against the Port Authority.
SOUTHERN INDUSTRIAL'S ARBITRATION AGAINST ADS
the parties finished briefing the Motions to Stay, Southern
Industrial settled its claims against ADS, and the
arbitration was canceled. As a result, the defendants'
Motions requesting a stay pending the ADS arbitration must be
SOUTHERN INDUSTRIAL'S LAWSUIT AGAINST BAKER
argues that this lawsuit should be stayed pending resolution
of Southern Industrial's lawsuit against its
subcontractor Baker, but Thompson has not provided sufficient
information concerning the Baker lawsuit to demonstrate that
a stay is warranted. Therefore, Thompson has not demonstrated
that the Baker case justifies a stay of the present lawsuit.
SOUTHERN INDUSTRIAL'S LAWSUIT AGAINST THE PORT
argues that the Landis standard should apply to the
determination of whether this lawsuit should be stayed
pending resolution of the Port Authority case in state court.
In Landis, the United States Supreme Court held that
courts have authority and discretion to stay proceedings to
further the goal of judicial economy. Landis v. N. Am.
Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). Southern Industrial
counters that this Court must apply the Colorado
River “exceptional circumstances” standard
to determine whether a stay is appropriate. See Colo.
River Water Conservation Dist. v. United States, 424
U.S. 800, 814 (1976). For the reasons stated below, a stay is
unwarranted under either standard; thus, it is not necessary
to determine which standard is most appropriate.
Landis, the United States Supreme Court held that
“the power to stay proceedings is incidental to the
power inherent in every court to control the disposition of
the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for
itself, for counsel, and for litigants.”
Landis, 299 U.S. at 254. To accomplish this, the
court “must weigh competing interests and maintain an
even balance.” Id. “A stay can be
justified only if, based on a balancing of the parties'
interests, there is a clear inequity to the suppliant who is
required to defend while another action remains unresolved
and if the order granting a stay can be framed to contain
reasonable limits on its duration.” GATX Aircraft
Corp. v. M/V Courtney Leigh, 768 F.2d 711, 716 (5th Cir.
1985). As a result, “before granting a stay pending
resolution of another case, the court must carefully consider
the time reasonably expected for resolution of the