case involves a claim of continuing violation of the terms of a pension fund agreement in which transactions occurred both prior to and following the passage of ERISA.
Although it is clear that jurisdiction under ERISA does not extend to events occurring prior to January 1, 1975; see, Cowan v. Keystone Employee Profit Sharing Fund, 586 F.2d 888 (1st Cir. 1978), we nonetheless feel that this court could still adjudicate claims arising prior to that date under the doctrine of pendant jurisdiction. See, Trustees of Retirement Benefit Plan v. Equibank Bank, N. A., 487 F. Supp. 58 (W.D.Pa.1980). At this stage in the proceedings, however, we are unable to determine whether the exercise of pendant jurisdiction would be appropriate. We will, therefore, deny the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss on this ground, subject to later consideration of the appropriateness of exercising pendant jurisdiction in this case.
III. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.
The Defendants further contend that a number of the Plaintiffs' claims in this case are barred by the statute of limitations. ERISA itself does not contain any explicit time limitations for the bringing of suits. Therefore, in determining the appropriate time limitation we must look to the most clearly and analogous state statute of limitations. See, Johnson v. Railway Express Agency, Inc., 421 U.S. 454, 95 S. Ct. 1716, 44 L. Ed. 2d 295 (1975). In this case the Defendants argue that Plaintiffs' complaint is grounded essentially in tort, and therefore the two year Pennsylvania statute of limitations be applied. See, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5524.
However, a review of the Plaintiffs' complaint reveals that its central allegations involve the breach of contractual duties. Therefore, in our view under Pennsylvania law the appropriate time limitation would be the six year statute of limitations for written contracts. See, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5527(2).
Under Pennsylvania law, however, the statute of limitations will not begin to run until the plaintiff knows or should have known of his injury. See, e.g. Gee v. C. B. S., Inc., 471 F. Supp. 600 (E.D.Pa.1979), aff'd 612 F.2d 572 (3d Cir. 1980); Tober v. Charnita, 58 F.R.D. 74 (M.D.Pa.1973). The question of when an individual knew or should have known of an injury is clearly a factual one particularly resistant to resolution through a motion to dismiss. Therefore, at this time we cannot grant the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss on the basis of a bar of the statute of limitations.
IV. LACHES, ESTOPPEL AND WAIVER.
The Defendants also raise the defenses of laches, estoppel and waiver in this motion to dismiss. These are essentially equitable defenses and as such their resolution typically depends on a full development of the facts of the individual case. A review of the pleadings and briefs submitted in this matter indicate that there are significant disputes over the facts in this case. Accordingly, we must conclude that these equitable defenses are not subject to resolution by way of a motion to dismiss. Therefore, we will deny the Defendants' motion to dismiss to the extent that it relies upon these defenses.
V. FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF CAN BE GRANTED.
Defendants also assert that they are entitled to dismissal of this action because the Plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. As we understand it Defendants' argument on this point is that they had no contractual duty to accurately report the number of employees eligible for benefits under the Welfare Fund. However, we note in reviewing the contracts attached to Plaintiffs' complaint that a duty to report accurately is implied, if not expressly stated. Therefore, we will refuse to dismiss Plaintiffs' complaint on the grounds that they have failed to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted.
VI. FAILURE TO JOIN INDISPENSABLE PARTIES.
The Defendants also allege that the Plaintiffs have failed to join several indispensable parties, namely, the individual labor unions and the allegedly ineligible benefit recipients. We fail to see how any of these parties are necessary for the just adjudication of this case. See, Rule 19, Fed.R.Civ.P. In fact, prior cases have specifically held that in an action by pension fund trustees the labor union representing the employees is not an indispensable party. See, Lewis v. Quality Coal Co., 243 F.2d 769 (7th Cir.) cert. denied, 355 U.S. 882, 78 S. Ct. 149, 2 L. Ed. 2d 113 (1957); Thomas v. Reading Anthracite Co., 264 F. Supp. 339 (M.D.Pa.1966). Similarly, we fail to see why it is necessary that the allegedly ineligible benefit recipients be joined as parties in this case. Whatever the result of this case, the Defendants will be free time to pursue these individuals in whatever forum they chose. Therefore, we will not require the joinder of these additional parties in this case.
VII. REQUEST FOR MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT UNDER RULE 12(b)(6).
Finally, Defendants request that Plaintiffs be required to file a more definite complaint in this case. We feel that the complaint already on file with this court is perfectly adequate. If the Defendants seek a more definite statement of the nature of Plaintiffs' claims, they should do so through discovery procedures and not by way of a motion to this court. We will, therefore, deny Defendants request for a more definite statement.
An appropriate order shall issue.
NOW, November 24, 1980, the Motion of Defendants to Dismiss is DENIED. The causes of action found invalid in the foregoing opinion are STRICKEN, and the trial of the action shall be governed by the rulings of law made therein.
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