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Trustees of The Plumbers v. 6-L Mechanical LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division

June 19, 2019

TRUSTEES OF THE PLUMBERS AND PIPEFITTERS NATIONAL PENSION FUND, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
6-L MECHANICAL LLC, Defendant.

          REPORT & RECOMMENDATION

          MICHAEL S. NACHMANOFF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on plaintiffs Trustees of the Plumbers and Pipefitters National Pension Fund's (“National Pension Fund”) and Trustees of the International Training Fund's (“International Training Fund”) (collectively, “plaintiffs”) Motion for Default Judgment (Dkt. No. 12). Having reviewed the record and the pleadings, the undersigned Magistrate Judge recommends entering default judgment in plaintiffs' favor for the reasons that follow.

         I. Procedural Background

         On January 23, 2019, plaintiffs filed the instant action against 6-L Mechanical LLC (“defendant”) alleging that defendant breached a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the United Association Local Union No. 344 (“Local Union 344”) and seeking an award for past due contributions, liquidated damages, interest, attorney's fees and costs, and for injunctive relief. Compl. (Dkt. No. 1) ¶¶ 9-33. The summons, Complaint, and supporting documents were served on defendant on January 28, 2019 (Dkt. No. 6).[1] Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(a), a responsive pleading was due 21 days later on February 19, 2019. Defendant failed to file a responsive pleading in a timely manner.

         On May 6, 2019, plaintiffs filed a Request for Entry of Default Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 55(a) (Dkt. No. 7). The Clerk of Court entered an Entry of Default that same day (Dkt. No. 10). On May 9, 2019, plaintiffs filed a Motion for Default Judgment (Dkt. No. 12), along with a Memorandum in Support of Motion for Default Judgment (Dkt. No. 13) and a Notice of Motion for Default Judgment with Certificate of Service (Dkt. No.14). Plaintiffs' motion was supported with two affidavits from Toni C. Inscoe (Dkt. Nos. 13-1 and 13-2) and a declaration from John R. Harney (Dkt. No. 13-3). On May 31, 2019, counsel for plaintiffs appeared at the hearing on their motion for default judgment and no one appeared on behalf of defendant (Dkt. No. 15).

         II. Factual Background

         The following facts are established by the Complaint, the memorandum in support of the motion for default judgment, and the affidavits and declaration attached to the memorandum in support of the motion for default judgment.

         Plaintiffs are the trustees of multi-employer employee benefit plans as defined in Sections 3(3) and 3(37) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1002(3) and (37). Compl. (Dkt. No. 1) ¶¶ 1-2. The National Pension Fund is established and maintained by a Restated Agreement, Declaration of Trust, and the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Local Union 344 and defendant. Id. at ¶ 1. The International Training Fund is established and maintained by a Restated Trust Agreement and the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Local Union 344 and defendant. Id. at ¶ 2. Both funds are administered in Alexandria, Virginia. Id. at ¶¶ 1-2.

         Defendant is a limited liability company existing under Oklahoma law with an office located in Choctaw, Oklahoma. Id. at ¶ 3. At all times, defendant transacted business as a contractor or subcontractor in the plumbing and pipefitting industry and was an “employer in an industry affecting commerce” as defined by Section 501(1), (3), and 2(2) of the Labor Management Relations Act (“LMRA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 142(1), (3) and 152(2); Sections 3(5), (9), (11), (12), and (14) of ERISA, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1002(5), (9), (11), (12), and (14); and Section 3 of the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980, 29 U.S.C. § 1001a. Id.

         Plaintiffs bring this action under Sections 502 and 515 of ERISA, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1132 and 1145, and under Section 301(a) and (c) of LMRA, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a), (c). Defendant is signatory to the Collective Bargaining Agreement with Local Union No. 344 establishing the terms and conditions of employment for journeymen and apprentice plumbers and pipefitters employed by defendant. Id. at ¶ 5. Pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, defendant agreed to pay plaintiffs certain sums of money for each hour worked by its employees covered by the agreement. Id. at ¶¶ 6-7. Plaintiffs claim that defendant employed certain employees covered under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and failed to make proper contributions to the National Pension Fund (Count I) and the International Training Fund (Count II) for work performed at defendant's request. Id. at ¶¶ 9-29. Plaintiffs also seek an order enjoining defendant from violating the terms of their respective employee benefit plans and requiring defendant to submit timely contributions and reports to plaintiffs (Count III). Id. at ¶¶ 30-33.

         Count I-National Pension Fund

         Plaintiffs assert that defendant failed to make contributions to the National Pension Fund for the months of December 2017 and April through July 2018 on behalf of members in Local 334's jurisdiction. Compl. (Dkt. No. 1) ¶ 9. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that defendant failed to make contributions in the amount of $3, 062.80 for December 2017 and April through June 2018. Id. at ¶ 10. With respect to July 2018, plaintiffs state that defendant failed to submit reports to the National Pension Fund indicating the amount owed for that month. Id. at ¶ 11. Plaintiffs allege that defendant is bound to the Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust that provides, under Article VI, Section 6, the National Pension Fund is authorized to project the delinquent amount to determine payments owed when an employer fails to file the properly completed report forms. Id. at ¶ 13. Under this provision, plaintiffs allege that defendant is obligated to pay the National Pension Fund in the amount of $765.70 for July 2018, totaling to $3, 828.50 in delinquent contributions for the months of December 2017 and April through July 2018. Id. at ¶¶ 15-16.

         Plaintiffs also allege that under Article VI, Section 5, an employer who fails to timely pay the amounts required by the Collective Bargaining Agreement shall be considered delinquent and may be assessed liquidated damages in the amount of 10% of the amount due if payment is not received by the date owed. Id. at ¶ 17. Under this provision, plaintiffs allege that defendant is obligated to pay the National Pension Fund in the amount of $382.85 in liquidated damages for the months of December 2017 and April through July 2018. Id. at ¶ 18.

         Plaintiffs also seek interest, assessed at a rate of 12% per annum on the amount due from the date of delinquency until the date of payment, and costs and reasonable attorney's fees ...


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