United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
TRUSTEES OF THE ELECTRICAL WELFARE TRUST FUND, et al., Plaintiffs,
TECHNOLOGY SERVICE GROUP, LLC, Defendant.
J. HAZEL, United States District Judge.
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b), Trustees of the Electrical Welfare
Trust Fund ("Welfare Fund"); Trustees of the
Electrical Workers Local No. 26 Pension Trust Fund
("Pension Fund"); Trustees of the Local No. 26
Joint Apprenticeship and Training Trust Fund
("Apprenticeship Fund"); Trustees of the Local No.
26 Individual Account Fund ("Account Fund");
Trustees of the Labor Management Corporation
Committee; Collection Agent for the National
Electrical Benefit Funds ("NEBF") and Collection
Agent for the Local No. 26, International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers (collectively, "Plaintiffs")
have filed a Motion for Default Judgment, with supporting
declarations and exhibits, against Defendant Technology
Service Group, LLC ("TSG" or
"Defendant"), ECF No. 10, which they have twice
supplemented. ECF Nos. 11 and 13. No hearing is necessary to
resolve the Motion. See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2016).
For the reasons that follow, Plaintiffs' Motion is
the Plaintiffs bring this action in their capacity as
Trustees of the following funds: Electrical Welfare Trust
Fund ("Welfare Fund"); Electrical Workers Local No.
26 Pension Trust Fund ("Pension Fund"); Local No.
26 Joint Apprenticeship and Training Trust Fund
("Apprenticeship Fund"); Local No. 26 Individual
Account Fund ("Account Fund") and Labor Management
Corporation Committee. ECF No. 6 ¶ 1. The remaining two
Plaintiffs bring this action in their capacity as Collection
Agents for the National Electrical Benefit Funds
("NEBF") and Local No. 26, International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ("Local 26"/
Id. Hereinafter, the Plaintiffs will be referred to
collectively as the "Trustees" of their respective
above referenced Funds were established and are maintained as
a result of a Collective Bargaining Agreement pursuant to the
Labor-Management Relations Act ("LMRA"), 29 U.S.C.
§ 186(c)(5), (6). ECF No. 6 ¶ 2. The plans of which
the Funds are a part are "multiemployer plans" as
those terms are defined in the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. §§
1002(3). Id. ¶ 4. Furthermore, the Trustees are
"fiduciaries" of the plans, as defined under ERISA,
29 U.S.C. §1002(21). Id. ¶ 5.
TSG is a Maryland Limited Liability Company that made
contributions to the Funds. Id. ¶ 8. TSG's
"Resident Agent" is located in Fort Washington,
Maryland. Id. ¶ 7. Venue in this Court is
proper as federal courts have jurisdiction over ERISA and
LMRA claims pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(e) and 29
U.S.C. § 185, the alleged breach occurred in this
district and Defendant's agent is located within the
allege that during the relevant time period, Defendant
entered into two Collective Bargaining Agreements
("CBAs") with Local 26, which also bound it to the
agreements and declarations of trust establishing the Funds
at issue in the present suit. ECF No. 6 ¶¶ 10-11;
ECF No. 13 at 2. Pursuant to said agreements, Defendant is
required to submit contribution reports to the Plaintiffs.
ECF No. 6 ¶ 12. The reports must list the name of each
person employed pursuant to the CBAs and the number of
compensable hours of wages paid to each such person, and are
due within 30 days after the contribution liability was
incurred. Id. Defendant is then required to submit
contributions to the Funds in the amounts due pursuant to the
to the above referenced agreements, if contributions are paid
after the due date, the Defendant must pay interest on the
untimely and unpaid contributions at an annual rate of 7% and
pay liquidated damages of 20% of the monthly contribution
balance due. ECF No. 11-2 ¶ 4. In addition, Defendant is
required to pay attorneys' fees and costs incurred by the
Trustees in collecting the amounts due the Funds. ECF No. 6
bring this action pursuant to both ERISA and the LMRA to
enforce Defendant's obligation to contribute to the Funds
and to enforce their rights ''arising out of
[Defendant's violation of the [CBAs]". Id.
¶ 8. Plaintiffs allege that Defendant has failed to file
contribution reports and make payments in a timely manner
from February 2014 through August 2014, and thus owes
Plaintiffs liquidated damages and interest for these months.
ECF No. 6 ¶ 13. In addition, they allege that Defendant
has failed to make contributions to the Funds for work
completed between September 1, 2014 through April 1, 2015.
Id. Defendant thus owes Plaintiffs their unpaid
contributions, along with liquidated damages and interest,
for these periods. Id.
further allege that they have demanded payment of these
delinquent amounts but Defendant has "failed and refused
to pay." Id. ¶ 14.
initiated the present action on September 24, 2014. ECF No.
1. Subsequently, Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint on
March 17, 2015, ECF No. 5, and a Second Amended Complaint on
April 1, 2015, ECF No. 6. In their Second Amended Complaint,
Plaintiffs alleged failures to make contributions and submit
reports from September 1, 2014, failures to make timely
payments or submit timely contributions report from February
2014 through August 2014 and stated that their requested
relief included amounts flowing from failures to pay
contributions accruing during this litigation. ECF No. 6
¶¶ 13, 15. Plaintiffs also request attorneys'
fees and costs pursuant to ERISA, 29 USC § 1132(g)(2),
their CBAs and the terms of the underlying trust agreements.
Id. ¶ 16.
Count II, Plaintiffs request that the Court (1) enforce the
terms of the CBAs and trust agreements by ordering Defendant
to permit a complete audit from January 1, 2014 through the
date of the audit and (2) enter, upon Affidavit of the
Plaintiffs, judgment against the Defendant for the full
amount determined in the audit, plus liquidated damages and
interest from the date of delinquency to the date of payment;
and any expenses, including accountant's fees, incurred
during the audit. ECF Nos. 6 ¶ 20 andl 1-1 ¶ 10.
April 28, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Clerk's
Entry of Default, ECF No. 7, and an Order of Default was
entered by the Clerk of the Court against Defendant on May
22, 2015. ECF No. 8. Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Default
Judgment on December 21, 2015, ECF No. 10, and a Supplemental
Motion for Default Judgment on January 6, 2016. ECF No. 11.
Defendant's response to Plaintiffs Motion for Default
Judgment was due on January 25, 2016. ECF No. 11. At the
request of the Court. Plaintiffs provided an additional
supplement to the Motion for Default on September 20, 2016.
ECF Nos. 12 and 13. To date, Defendant has failed to submit
any pleadings to this Court regarding the claims at issue.
Plaintiffs' initial Supplemental Motion for Default
Judgment, Plaintiffs indicate that, since the initiation of
the present action, Defendant has continued to fail to submit
reports and make contributions to the Funds as required under
its CBAs. See ECF No. 11-1 at 2.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
defendant's default does not automatically entitle the
plaintiff to entry of a default judgment: rather, that
decision is left to the discretion of the court."
Choice Hotels Intern., Inc. v. Savannah Shakti
Carp., No. DKC-11-0438, 2011 WL 5118328 at * 2 (D. Md.
Oct. 25, 2011) (citing Dow v. Jones, 232 F.Supp.2d
491, 494 (D. Md. 2002)). Although "[t]he Fourth Circuit
has a 'strong policy' that 'cases be decided on
their merits, '" id. (citing United
States v. Shaffer Equip. Co.,11 F.3d 450, 453 (4th Cir.
1993)), "default judgment may be appropriate when the