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VA and DC Health and Welfare Fund v. WW Reid Masonry, LLC.

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division

September 2, 2016

TRUSTEES OF THE BRICKLAYERS LOCAL 1 OF MD, VA AND DC HEALTH AND WELFARE FUND, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
WW REID MASONRY, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          GEORGE J. HAZEL United Stales District Judge.

         Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b). Bricklayers Local 1 of MD, VA and DC Health and Welfare Fund; Trustees of the Marble. Tile and Terrazzo Workers Individual Account Fund: Trustees of the Bricklayers Local 1 Apprenticeship and Training Fund: Trustees of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsman Local #1 of Maryland Pension Fund[1]: Bricklayers and Trowel Trades Pension Fund ("IPF"); International Masonry Institute ("IMF); the Masonry, Stone. Marble, Tile and Terrazzo Communication Preservation and Productivity Fund ("CPP Fund"): Bricklayers Local 1 of MD. VA and DC Prevailing Wage and Industry Compliance Trust Fund ("Compliance Fund") and Bricklayers and Allied Craltworkers Local #1 of MD, VA & DC ("Local 1") (collectively. "Plaintiffs") have filed a Motion for Default Judgment, with supporting declarations and exhibits, against Defendant WW Reid Masonry LLC. ECF No. 6. No hearing is necessary to resolve the Motion. See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons that follow. Plaintiffs" Motion is granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Six of the Plaintiffs are multiemployer employee benefit plans as those terms are defined in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1002(1). (3), and (37): Bricklayers Local 1 of MD. VA and DC Health and Welfare Fund: Trustees of the Marble. Tile and Terrazzo Workers Individual Account Fund: Trustees of the Bricklayers Local 1 Apprenticeship and Training Fund: Trustees of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsman Local #1 of Maryland Pension Fund, (hereinafter referred to collectively as "Local Funds"): IPF and IMF ECFNo. 1 ¶¶ 1-3. These Plaintiffs are trustees of their respective funds, in accordance with each fund's trust agreement, and are fiduciaries as defined under ERISA. 29 U.S.C. § 1002(21). Id.

         Two plaintiffs, the CPP Fund and the Compliance Fund, are labor-management cooperation committees as that term is defined in the Taft-Hartley Act. 29 U.S.C § 186(c)(9). and the Labor-Management Cooperation Act. 29 U.S.C. § 175a. Id. ¶¶ 4-5. Each fund's Board of Trustees is a designated fiduciary in accordance with each fund's respective trust agreement. Id. The final Plaintiff Local Lisa labor organization as that term is defined in the Labor-Management Relations Act ("LMRA"). 29 U.S.C. § 152(5). Id. ¶ 6.

         Defendant is a Maryland corporation with offices located in Glenwood. Maryland. Id. ¶ 7. Defendant is an employer in an industry affecting commerce as defined by ERISA. 29 U.S.C. § 1002(5). 11 and (12), and the Labor-Management Relations Act. 29 U.S.C. § 152(2). Id.

         Plaintiffs allege that Defendant entered into a collective bargaining agreement with Local I. which also bound it to the agreements and declarations of trust establishing the Local Funds, IMF IPF. the Compliance Fund and the CPP Fund (together the "Benefits Funds"). ECF No. 1 ¶ II. Pursuant to said agreements. Defendant is required to submit monthly reports regarding the hours worked by its employees. Id. If 13: see also ECF No. 6-3 ¶ 5. Defendant is further required to make monthly contributions to the Benefit Funds along with monthly dues payments to Local 1 based on The number of hours worked by Defendant's employees. Id. ¶ 14: see also ECF No. 6-3¶6.

         According to Plaintiffs, at various times between November 2013 and January 2016. Defendant 1) submitted monthly reports but failed to make complete contributions and due payments to the Benefit Funds and Local 1 respectively; 2) failed to submit monthly reports or make any type of payment: and 3) made late payments to the Benefit Funds and Local 1. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 15- 16. 19-20: see also ECF No. 6-3 ¶¶ 7-11.[2]

         Pursuant to the above referenced agreements, when an employer fails to submit the required reports and payments, the trustees may estimate the amount owed on the basis of prior reports or payments. ECF No. 1 ¶ 17. In addition, the agreements provide for liquidated damages and interest payments on any late payments, each calculated at varying interest rates based on the fund at issue. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 21. 23. Furthermore, in order to determine the accuracy of contributions to the Benefit Funds, the trustees are authorized to conduct an audit of Defendant's payroll and wage records. ECF No. 1 ¶ 27; see also ECF No. 6-3 ¶ 14.

         Plaintiffs initiated the present action on October 22. 2015. ECF No. 1. In Count 1 of their Complaint, Plaintiffs alleged that Defendant had "fail[ed] to remit contributions and dues checkoff as contractually required and to pay liquidated damages and interest for delinquent contributions... in contravention of the Local 1 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Agreements and Declaration of Trust establishing the various Benefit Funds and Sections 502 and 515 of ERISA [29 U.S.C. §§ 1132 and 1145]." ECF No. 1 ¶ 24. Plaintiffs sought a judgment in the amount of $6, 591.99 in unpaid contributions and dues. $2, 067.23 in liquidated damages and interest assessed on the late contributions, plus costs and reasonable attorneys" fees. ECF No. 1 ¶ 25(A-B). Plaintiff additionally requested relief in the form of "all contributions and liquidated damages which become due subsequent to the filing of this action through the dale of judgment..." Id. ¶ 25(C).

         In Count II of their Complaint. Plaintiffs requested that the Court enforce the terms of their collective bargaining agreement by ordering an audit of Defendant's wage and payroll records for January 1. 2013 through the date of the audit. Id. at *j 30(A). They further requested judgment against the Defendant for the sum determined in the audit, plus liquidated damages. interest, costs, attorneys" fees and any expenses incurred during the audit. Id. ¶ 30(B-C).

         The time for Defendant to respond to Plaintiffs" Complaint expired on December 26. 2015. See ECF No. 5-1; Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(a)(1)(A)(i). On February 26. 2016. Plaintiffs tiled a Motion for Clerk's Entry of Default. ECF No. 5. and the presently pending Motion for Default Judgment. ECF No. 6. An Order of Default was entered by the Clerk of the Court against Defendant on March 21. 2016. ECF No. 7.

         In Plaintiffs* Motion for Default Judgment. Plaintiffs indicate that, since the initiation of the present action. Defendant has continued to fail to submit reports or make contributions to the Benefit Funds and Local 1 as required under its collective bargaining agreement. See ECF No. 6-3¶9.

         II. ...


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