Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Pension Plan, et al. v. Universal Elevator Corp. D/B/A University Elevator Company

November 3, 2011

TRUSTEES OF THE NATIONAL ELEVATOR INDUSTRY PENSION PLAN, ET AL. PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNIVERSAL ELEVATOR CORP. D/B/A UNIVERSITY ELEVATOR COMPANY, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Schiller, J.

MEMORANDUM

Plaintiffs bring this case under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"). They claim that Defendants have failed to timely remit contributions to various employee benefit funds as required by a collective bargaining agreement signed by the parties. Defendants have not responded to the Complaint, and the Clerk of Court entered a default. Now before the Court is Plaintiffs' motion for a default judgment. For the reasons below, the Court grants the motion.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs are the Boards of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Pension, Health Benefit, Educational, Elevator Industry Work Preservation, Elevator Constructors Annuity and 401(k) Retirement Plan Funds (the "NEI Trust Funds"). The NEI Trust Funds are multi-employer employee benefit plans under ERISA. (Compl. ¶ 1.)

Defendant Universal Elevator Corporation ("Universal") is a contractor and subcontractor in the elevator industry. (Id. ¶ 2.) Universal entered into a collective bargaining agreement ("CBA") with the International Union of Elevator Constructors on July 15, 2002 and continues to be bound by the terms of the CBA to this day. (Id. ¶¶ 5-6.)

Pursuant to the CBA, Universal agreed to pay to the NEI Funds certain sums of money for each hour worked by employees of Defendants who were covered by the CBA. (Id. ¶ 7.) During an audit, it was discovered that Universal owed $10,886.66 for incorrectly reported contributions and interest. (Id. ¶ 11.) Additional interest of $4,562.96 and auditing fees of $2,345.00 have accrued on the account. (Id.) According to calculations performed in accordance with certain trust agreements to which Universal is bound, Universal also has a projected delinquency for November 2009 through February 2011 of $94,539.52. (Id. ¶ 12.) Furthermore, an employer who fails to pay the amounts due under the CBA "shall be obligated to pay interest at the rate currently charged by the Internal Revenue Service from five days after the date of the delinquency to the date of payment and liquidated damages of 20%, as well as necessary costs of collection incurred by the Funds, including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys' fees, audit fees and court costs." (Id. ¶ 13.) Plaintiffs claim that the liquidated damages total $20,883.16. (Id. ¶ 14.)

Defendant Greg Regalado owns and is an officer of Universal. (Id. ¶ 4.) Pursuant to ERISA, Plaintiffs claims that Regalado is a fiduciary of the NEI Trust Funds. (Id.) According to Plaintiffs, Regaldo retained and used a portion of the employer's payment that should have gone to Defendants' funds on behalf of his employees. (Id. ¶¶ 21-22, 29.)

Plaintiffs seek a judgment against Defendants for: (1) $10,886.66 in contributions and interest; (2) $2,345.00 in audit fees; (3) $94,539.52 in estimated contributions; (4) $20,883.16 in liquidated damages; (5) reasonable attorneys' fees and costs; (6) interest due on the unpaid audit contributions; (7) all contributions and liquidated damages that become due or owing subsequent to the filing of this lawsuit through the date of judgment; and (8) such further relief as the Court may deem appropriate.

Universal was served on June 8, 2011, and Regalado was served on June 25, 2011. A default was entered on September 15, 2011. The motion for entry of default judgment was filed on September 26, 2011. To date, neither Defendant has responded to any of the filings in this matter.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A district court faced with a motion for default judgment should consider: (1) prejudice to the plaintiff if default is denied; (2) whether the defendant appears to have a litigable defense; and (3) whether the defendant's delay is due to culpable conduct. Chamberlain v. Giampapa, 210 F.3d 154, 164 (3d Cir. 2000). The Court accepts as true any factual allegations, other than those as to damages, contained in the complaint. DIRECTV, Inc. v. Pepe, 431 F.3d 162, 165 n.6 (3d Cir. 2005)

III. DISCUSSION

A. ERISA Liability

1. Universal's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.