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Trustees of Sheet Metal Workers v. Williams & Son Mechanical & Construction LLC

United States District Court, D. Maryland

August 31, 2018

Trustees of the Sheet Metal Workers' Local Union No. 100, Washington, D.C. Area Pension Fund et al. Plaintiffs
v.
Williams & Son Mechanical & Construction LLC Defendant. Defendant.

          Francis J. Martorana O'Donoghue and O'Donoghue LLP

          Rebecca Walsh Richardson O'Donoghue and O'Donoghue LLP

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Gina L. Simms United States Magistrate Judge

         Dear Counsel:

         A copy of the “Report and Recommendations” rendered in the above-captioned case is attached. Any objections you wish to make thereto must be made in writing and within 14 days pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(2) and Local Rule 301.5(b).

         After the time for filing written objections has expired, Judge Theodore D. Chuang will review the “Report and Recommendations” regardless of whether you have filed written objections to it. If you should fail to file written objections within the time set forth above (or within the time of any extension specifically granted by the Court) and Judge Chuang subsequently adopts the Report and Recommendations, you will have lost your right to appeal the findings and conclusions set forth therein to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, except upon grounds of plain error.

         This Report and Recommendation addresses Plaintiffs' “Motion for Entry of Default Judgment” (“Motion for Default Judgment”) (ECF No. 10) and Plaintiffs' “Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Default Judgment” (ECF No. 13).

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, and Local Rule 301, the Honorable Theodore Chuang referred this matter to me on February 20, 2018 for the making of a Report and Recommendation concerning default judgment and/or damages. (ECF No. 11). For the reasons stated herein, I recommend the Court enter judgment in favor of Plaintiff in the following amounts: (1) $16, 346.32 in contributions to the Benefit Fund Plaintiffs; (2) $4, 595.86 in liquidated damages; (3) $1, 185.63 in interest; (4) $1, 944.28 in dues and assessments; (5) $490.00 in costs; and (6) $6, 466.75 in attorney's fees. The total amount to be awarded to Plaintiffs is $31, 027.84.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Plaintiffs are the “Board of Trustees of the Sheet Metal Workers' Local Union No. 100, Washington, D.C. Area Pension Fund, ” “Board of Trustees of the Sheet Metal Workers' Local Union No. 100 Washington, D.C. Area Apprenticeship Trust Fund, ” “Board of Trustees of the Sheet Metal Workers' Local Union No. 100, Washington, D.C. Area Vacation Fund, ” “Board of Trustees of the Sheet Metal Workers' Local Union No. 100 401(k) Fund, ” “Board of Trustees of the Sheet Metal Workers' Local Union No. 100, Washington, D.C. Area Recruitment Fund, ” “Board of Trustees of the Sheet Metal Workers' Local Union No. 100, Washington, D.C. Area Health Benefit Fund, ” and “International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, Local Union No. 100” (collectively, “Plaintiffs”). (ECF No. 1 at 2-5).

         On September 21, 2017, Plaintiffs filed their three-count complaint, alleging that, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1132 (“ERISA”), Plaintiffs can collect contributions due to employee benefit plans under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, a participation agreement, and a trust agreement by Defendant Williams & Son Mechanical & Construction LLC (“Defendant”). (ECF No. 1). Plaintiffs also alleged that they had a contractual right to audit Defendant's records. Id. Service upon Defendant occurred on October 26, 2017. (ECF No. 5). On January 23, 2018, the Clerk of the Court made an entry of default as a result of Defendant's failure to file an answer or other defense. (ECF No. 8). Plaintiffs filed their Motion for Default Judgment on February 7, 2018 (ECF No. 10), which was then supplemented per this Court's May 10, 2018 order (ECF No. 11) on May 24, 2018 (ECF No. 13).

         In Counts One and Three of the Complaint, Plaintiffs assert that Defendant, at all relevant times, was bound by and signatory to a collective bargaining agreement that obligated it to: (1) pay to Plaintiffs certain sums of money for each hour worked by employees of Defendant performing work covered by the agreement; and (2) provide a monthly remittance report to show the hours worked by all covered employees and all monies owed to Plaintiff for the work performed by its covered employees. (ECF No. 1 at ¶¶ 14-17). In addition, Plaintiffs claim that Defendant, at all relevant times, was bound by and signatory to a participation agreement that obligated it to pay contributions to Plaintiffs on behalf of Defendant's owner. (Id. at ¶¶ 18-19). By virtue of its being bound to these two agreements, Plaintiffs also assert that Defendant is bound by the Agreements and Declarations of Trust. (Id. at ¶ 23).

         In May and June of 2017, Plaintiffs aver that Defendant “failed to submit . . . reports and contributions for the work performed.” (ECF No. 10-1 at 4). Although Defendant allegedly remitted all but $100 owed under the participation agreement in May 2017, Plaintiffs contend that Defendant failed to remit any contributions under the collective bargaining agreement, and it did not submit a remittance report. Id. Furthermore, in June 2017, Plaintiffs claim that Defendant failed to remit any contributions under any agreement and did not submit a remittance report. Id. In total, Plaintiffs initially calculated $16, 855.95 in owed contributions from Defendant. Id. at 4-5. Plaintiffs subsequently corrected this number, which was wrong due to illegibility of the workers' pay stubs, to $16, 346.32. (ECF No. 13 at 5).

         Because Defendant did not pay these contributions, Plaintiff asserts that under Section 502(g)(2)(B) of ERISA, Defendant owes interest in the amount determined by the rate provided by the plan, which is 12%. (ECF No. 10-1 at 5) (citing Mele Decl. ¶ 12). In addition, because Defendant untimely paid the April 2017 amount due, Plaintiffs assert that Defendant owes interest for April 2017. Id. In total, Plaintiffs initially asked for $1, 184.52 in interest. Id. ...


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