The opinion of the court was delivered by: GARY LANCASTER, District Judge
This is an action alleging violations of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1140, and
the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 185.
Plaintiffs, Service Employees International Union ("SEIU"), and
nine individuals who are members of Local 3 (collectively
"plaintiffs"), allege that defendants, Independence Management
Company, Inc., Independence Enterprises, Inc. and Center City
Partners, L.P. (collectively "defendants") intentionally
interfered with plaintiffs' healthcare benefits and collective
In Count I, plaintiffs allege that defendants violated section 510 of ERISA, by intentionally interfering with their
health care benefits when defendants chose not to renew their
contract with plaintiffs' employer, St. Moritz Building Service,
Inc. ("BSI"). In Count III,*fn1 plaintiffs allege that
defendants violated section 301 of the LMRA, by tortiously
interfering with a collective bargaining agreement between
plaintiffs and BSI. Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages and
Defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c), arguing that plaintiffs cannot demonstrate an
ERISA or LMRA violation. Defendants argue that plaintiffs' ERISA
claim must fail because they cannot establish that defendants
engaged in "prohibited employer conduct." Defendants further
argue that plaintiffs cannot show that defendants' specifically
intended to violate ERISA. As to plaintiffs' claim for tortious
interference in violation of the LMRA, defendants argue that
plaintiffs cannot demonstrate that defendants purposely intended
to harm the existing contractual relationship between plaintiffs
and BSI. For the reasons that follow, defendants' motion will be
Except where indicated, the following material facts are undisputed.
At all relevant times, plaintiffs were employees of BSI. The
Local 3 SEIU is the union that represents the BSI employees.
Beginning in 1990, BSI contracted with defendants to provide
cleaning services at Centre City Towers. Under a series of
contracts between BSI and defendants, BSI employed the cleaners
working at Centre City Towers.
On December 31, 2003, the cleaning services contract between
BSI and defendants expired. Defendants chose not to renew their
contract with BSI, and instead, hired a non-union company to
provide cleaning services at Centre City Towers. Defendants
notified BSI of their decision not to renew their contract on
December 23, 2003, and on December 29, 2003, BSI instructed its
employees to vacate the building. The nine individual plaintiffs
were laid off following defendants' non-renewal of their contract
Plaintiffs claim that defendants' termination of their services
was an intentional interference with the plaintiffs' rights to
healthcare benefits they had become entitled to under the
collective bargaining agreement between SEUI and the Managers
Owners and Contractors Association ("MOCA").
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) provides that summary judgment may be granted if, drawing all inferences in favor of the
non-moving party, "the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment
as a matter of law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986) (internal quotation marks omitted).
The mere existence of some factual dispute between the parties
will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for
summary judgment. Id. at 247-48. A dispute over those facts
that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing
substantive law, i.e., the material facts, however, will preclude
the entry of summary judgment. Id. at 248. Similarly, summary
judgment is improper so long as the dispute over the material
facts is genuine. In determining whether the dispute is genuine,
the court's function is not to weigh the evidence or to determine
the truth of the matter, but only to determine whether the
evidence of record is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party. Id.
It is on the standard discussed above that the court has
reviewed defendants' motion and plaintiffs' response thereto.
Based on the pleadings and evidence of record, the arguments of counsel, and the briefs filed in support and opposition thereto,
the court concludes, as a matter of law, that there are no
genuine disputes ...