United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
TRUSTEES OF THE PLUMBERS AND PIPEFITTERS NATIONAL PENSION FUND, Plaintiff,
BLUE MATRIX, LLC, Defendant.
REPORT & RECOMMENDATION
MICHAEL S. NACHMANOFF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on plaintiff Trustees of the
Plumbers and Pipefitters National Pension Fund's
(“plaintiff” or “National Pension
Fund”) Motion for Default Judgment (Dkt. No. 11).
Having reviewed the record and the pleadings, the undersigned
Magistrate Judge recommends entering default judgment in
plaintiff's favor for the reasons that follow.
April 8, 2019, plaintiff filed the instant action against
Blue Matrix, LLC (“defendant”) alleging that
defendant breached a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the
United Association Local Union No. 51 (“Local Union
51”) and seeking an award for past due contributions,
liquidated damages, interest, attorney's fees and costs,
and for injunctive relief. Compl. (Dkt. No. 1) ¶¶
4-18. The summons, Complaint, and supporting documents were
served on defendant on April 16, 2019 (Dkt. No. 5). Under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(a), a responsive pleading was due 21 days
later on May 7, 2019. Defendant failed to file a responsive
pleading in a timely manner.
15, 2019, plaintiff filed a Request for Entry of Default
Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 55(a) (Dkt. No. 9). The Clerk of Court
entered an Entry of Default on May 16, 2019 (Dkt. No. 10). On
May 20, 2019, plaintiff filed a Motion for Default Judgment
(Dkt. No. 11), along with a Memorandum in Support of Motion
for Default Judgment (Dkt. No. 12) and a Notice of Motion for
Default Judgment with Certificate of Service (Dkt. No. 13).
Plaintiff's motion was supported by an affidavit from
Toni C. Inscoe (Dkt. Nos. 12-1) and a declaration from John
R. Harney (Dkt. No. 12-2). On May 31, 2019, counsel for
plaintiff appeared at the hearing on the motion for default
judgment and no one appeared on behalf of defendant (Dkt. No.
following facts are established by the Complaint, the
memorandum in support of the motion for default judgment, and
the affidavit and declaration attached to the memorandum in
support of the motion for default judgment.
is the trustees of a multi-employer employee benefit plan 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.
The National Pension Fund is established and maintained by a
Restated Agreement, Declaration of Trust, and Collective
Bargaining Agreement between Local Union 51 and defendant.
Id. The fund is administered in Alexandria,
Virginia. Id. Defendant is a domestic limited
liability company existing under Massachusetts law with an
office located in South Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Id. at ¶ 2. 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.
brings 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 a
signatory to the Collective Bargaining Agreement with Local
Union No. 51 establishing the terms and conditions of
employment for journeymen and apprentice plumbers and
pipefitters employed by defendant. Id. at ¶ 4.
Pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, defendant
agreed to pay plaintiff certain sums of money for each hour
worked by its employees covered by the agreement.
Id. at ¶ 5. Plaintiff alleges two claims
against defendant: Count I seeks damages for defendant's
failure to submit reports and pay contributions to the
National Pension Fund for the months of September 2018
through February 2019,  Id. at ¶¶ 4-14; and
Count II seeks injunctive relief to require defendant to
submit timely contributions and reports to plaintiff,
Id. ¶ 15-18.
respect to Count I, plaintiff alleges that defendant failed
to make contributions to the National Pension Fund in the
amount of $18, 357.60 for the months of September through
November 2018. Id. at ¶ 8. Plaintiff further
alleges that defendant failed to submit reports and pay
contributions to the National Pension Fund for the months of
January through February 2019. Id. at ¶ 9.
Plaintiff alleges that the amount of contributions is unknown
for these months because of defendant's failure to submit
reports identifying hours worked and amounts owed.
Id. Pursuant to the terms of the Collective
Bargaining Agreement, plaintiff states that defendant is
obligated to pay such contributions. Id. at ¶
also alleges that under the Restated Agreement and
Declaration of Trust, 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 ¶¶ 11-12. Under this provision,
plaintiff alleges that defendant is obligated to pay the
National Pension Fund liquidated damages in the amount of $1,
835.76 for late payments for the months of September through
November 2018. Id. at ¶ 13. Plaintiff also
seeks liquidated damages for unreported and unpaid
contributions for the months of January through February
also seeks 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
pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1332(g)(2) and 29 U.S.C. §
Jurisdiction and Venue
and venue over ERISA and LMRA actions, such as the instant
action, are conferred upon the Court pursuant to 29 U.S.C.
§§ 1132, 1145, and 185, which provide that 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. Here, jurisdiction and venue ...