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Roofers Local No. 30 Combined Pension Fund v. D.A. Nolt

August 25, 2010

ROOFERS LOCAL NO. 30 COMBINED PENSION FUND; BOARD OF TRUSTEES, ROOFERS LOCAL NO. 30 COMBINED PENSION FUND; AND MICHAEL O'MALLEY, IN HIS FIDUCIARY CAPACITY, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
D.A. NOLT, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert F. Kelly, Sr. J.

MEMORANDUM

Presently before the Court is Plaintiffs Roofers Local No. 30 Combined Pension Fund, and its Board of Trustees and fiduciary Michael O'Malley's (collectively, the "Fund") Motion for Reconsideration of our decision granting Defendant D.A. Nolt Inc.'s ("Nolt") Motion for Summary Judgment and denying their own Motion for Summary Judgment for the reasons set forth below.

I. BACKGROUND

Nolt is a corporation that performs commercial roofing work. Local 30 is a labor union. Nolt was also a member of the Roofing Contractors Association, a multi-employer association of commercial roofing contractors that exists primarily to conduct negotiations for collective bargaining agreements with the Union on behalf of its members. We will not recite the facts here, but rather, refer to the facts as outlined in our June 18, 2010 decision. See Roofers Local No. 30 Combined Pension Fund v. D.A. Nolt, Inc., No. 09-1445, 2010 WL 2527885, at *1-3 (E.D. Pa. June 18, 2010).

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

"The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has held that the purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Cohen v. Austin, 869 F. Supp. 320, 321 (E.D. Pa. 1994). Accordingly, a district court will grant a party's motion for reconsideration in any of three situations: (1) the availability of new evidence not previously available, (2) an intervening change in controlling law, or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice. Id. Federal courts have a strong interest in the finality of judgments, and motions for reconsideration should be granted sparingly. Cont'l Cas. Co. v. Diversified Indus., Inc., 884 F. Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa. 1995). Dissatisfaction with the Court's ruling is not a proper basis for reconsideration. Glendon Energy Co. v. Borough of Glendon, 836 F. Supp. 1109, 1122 (E.D. Pa. 1993).

III. DISCUSSION

1. The Inclusion of Forfeitable Benefits in the Calculation of Vested Benefit Liabilities

The Fund asserts that the "Court takes a horrendous misstep in its ruling on the nonforfeitability of early retirement benefits, without apparent apprehension of the impact of its decision on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) guaranty program and thousands of people whose pension benefits will only be provided by that program." (Pls.' Mot. Recons. at 4.) The Fund further claims that: In holding that the retirement benefits do not become 'nonforfeitable" until the participant has satisfied both the retirement age and service requirements for early retirement, the Court voids the existing PBGC guarantee of the deferred early retirement benefits for thousands of participants. It places the PBGC personnel who have administered the program in that fashion for decades at risk of the wrath of the Comptroller General and associated personal liability and bankruptcy for misuse of government trust funds established under 29 U.S.C. § 1305.

(Id.)

As noted above, we will grant a motion for reconsideration only for the (1) availability of new evidence not previously available, (2) an intervening change in controlling law, or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice. Here, the Fund has offered no new evidence that was previously unavailable or alleged that there was an intervening change in the controlling law. Thus, the Fund has to establish that we need to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice. The Fund, despite its "doomsday" predictions concerning the results of our decision, has failed to establish either.

It must first be noted that our decision simply affirms the decision of the Arbitrator in this case. Here, we only determined that the Fund in this factual scenario improperly treated the benefits at issue as "nonforfeitable" and, therefore, improperly included them in the valuation of the Fund's unfunded vested benefit liabilities ("UVBLs").*fn1 In his determination, the Arbitrator relied upon a series of Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation ("PBGC")*fn2 Opinion Letters and the

Third Circuit decision, Huber v. Casablanca Industries, Inc., 916 F.2d 85 (3d Cir. 1990). As we noted, Opinion Letters from the PBGC are entitled to "considerable weight." The Supreme Court, in Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, stated that "[w]e have long recognized that considerable weight should be accorded to an executive department's construction of a statutory scheme it is entrusted to administer, and the principle of deference to administrative interpretations." 467 U.S. 837, 844 (1984); see also Huber, 916 F.2d at 96-97.

In Huber, the Third Circuit upheld the arbitrator's determination that a lump sum benefit was not nonforfeitable under the MPPAA because death was a condition to entitlement, and had not been met in the facts of that case. The court specifically overturned the district court's reversal of the arbitrator on the basis that death was not a condition for entitlement to such benefits. Huber, 916 F.2d at 85. The Third Circuit held that its position was consistent with the ...


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