United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
BOARD OF TRUSTEES, NATIONAL STABILAZATION AGREEMENT OF THE SHEET M INDUSTRY TRUST FUND, et al., Plaintiffs,
LEADING WAY CONSTRUCTION CO., INC., Defendant.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
THERESA CARROLL BUCHANAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on plaintiffs' Motion for
Default Judgment (Dkt. 25.) When no representative for
defendant appeared at the hearing before Judge Nachmanoff on
September 23, 2016, the undersigned Magistrate Judge took the
matter under advisement to issue this Report and
are the Board of Trustees of the National Stabilization
Agreement of the Sheet M Industry Trust Fund
("SASMI"), the Board of Trustees of the Sheet M
Workers' National Pension Fund ("NPF"), the
Board of Trustees of the International Training Institute for
the Sheet M and Air Conditioning Industry ("ITI"),
the Board of Trustees of the Sheet M Workers'
International Association Scholarship Fund
("SMWIASF"), the National Energy Management
Institute Committee ("NEMIC"), and the Sheet M
Occupational Health Institute Trust ("SMOHIT")
(collectively "plaintiffs" or "Funds").
Plaintiffs are trust funds established and maintained under
29 U.S.C. § 186(c). (Compl. ¶¶ 4-7, 10-11;
Shaw Decl. ¶ 1.) Plaintiffs SASMI, NPF, ITI, and SWMIASF
are also multiemployer plans and employee welfare benefit
plans within the meaning of 29 U.S.C § 1002. (Compl.
¶¶ 4-7; Shaw Decl. ¶ 2.)
Leading Way Construction Co., Inc., d/b/a Leading Way Roofing
& Sheet M d/b/a Leading Way Roofing & SM
("defendant"), is a Massachusetts corporation and
an employer in an industry affecting commerce that does
business with plaintiff Funds. (Compl. ¶ 15.) At all
times relevant to this action, defendant was a party to a
collective bargaining agreement with Local Union No. 17 of
the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and
Transportation Workers, formerly known as the Sheet M
Workers' International Association. (Id. at
¶¶ 16-17; Shaw Decl. ¶ 4; Mem. Supp. Mot.
Default J. 2.) Defendant also agreed to abide by the terms of
the agreements and declarations of trust ("Trust
Agreements") establishing the Funds. (Compl. ¶ 18;
Shaw Decl. ¶ 4.)
filed this action under Sections 502 and 515 of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"),
as amended, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1132 and 1145, and Section
301 of the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA"),
29 U.S.C. § 185, which govern suits among parties to
enforce provisions of their collective bargaining agreements.
(Compl. ¶ 1; Mot. Default J. ¶ 12; Mem. Supp. Mot.
Default J. 1-2.) They seek unpaid contributions, liquidated
damages, interest, late charges, audit costs, and
attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to ERISA, LMRA, and
the collective bargaining agreement. (Compl. ¶¶ 29,
33; Mot. Default J. 4; Mem. Supp. Mot. Default J. 10-15.)
Jurisdiction and Venue
and venue over ERISA and LMRA cases such as this are
conferred upon the Court by 29 U.S.C. §§ 1132,
1145, and 185. Under Sections 502 and 515 of ERISA, an action
may be brought in any district court of the United States in
which the relevant benefit plan is administered, where the
alleged breach took place, or where a defendant resides or
may be found. 29 U.S.C. § 1132(e)(2). Furthermore, under
Section 301 of LMRA, a suit for breach of contract between an
employer and a labor organization representing employees in
an industry affecting commerce may be brought in federal
district court, regardless of the amount in controversy or
citizenship of the parties. 29 U.S.C. § 185(a). In this
case, jurisdiction and venue are proper because each Fund is
administered in this District. (Compl. ¶¶ 1, 3;
Shaw Decl. ¶ 1.)
Court has personal jurisdiction over defendant pursuant to
the decision in Board of Trustees, Sheet M Workers'
National Pension Fund v. McD Metals, Inc., 964 F.Supp.
1040, 1045 (E.D. Va. 1997). Defendant does business with
plaintiffs that is sufficient to create personal jurisdiction
over defendant in this district, and a substantial part of
the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred
from transactions with plaintiffs' office in this
district. (Compl. ¶ 15.)
Service of Process
February 9, 2016, plaintiffs' private process server
served defendant by delivering a copy of the Complaint and
Summons to Gerry M. Grabert, President, who is authorized to
accept service of process on behalf of defendant Leading Way
Construction Co., Inc. at 443 Poplar Street, Roslindale, MA
02131. (Dkt. 18.) Therefore, service was proper under Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 4(e) and 4(h) and under 29 U.S.C.
§ 1132(e)(2), which provides that process may be served
in any district where a defendant resides or may be found.
Grounds for Default Judgment
has not appeared, answered, or otherwise filed any responsive
pleadings in this case. On April 20, 2016, the Clerk of this
Court entered default pursuant to plaintiffs' Request for
Entry of Default and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a).
(Dkt. 20.) ...