Greater St. Louis Construction Laborers Welfare Fund et al v. SFR & W, LLC
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion for default judgment [Doc. # 17 ] is granted. A separate judgment in accordance with this Memorandum and Order shall be entered this same date. Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 1/4/13. (KJS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
GREATER ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION
LABORERS WELFARE FUND, et al.,
SFR & W, LLC, d/b/a St. Louis
No. 4:11-CV-1863 (CEJ)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on plaintiffs’ motion for default judgment against
defendant SFR&W, LLC, pursuant to Rule 55(b)(2), Fed.R.Civ.P.
Plaintiffs bring this action to collect delinquent fringe benefit contributions
pursuant to Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1974 (LMRA), as
amended, 29 U.S.C. § 185, and pursuant to Section 502 of the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 1132. Plaintiffs are
four employee benefit plans (the Pension, Welfare, Vacation and Training funds), their
trustees (collectively, the plans), and Local Union Nos. 42, 53 and 110 of the Laborers
International Union of North America (the Union). Defendant SFR&W is an employer
in an industry affecting commerce within the meaning of the LMRA and ERISA.
Plaintiffs allege that defendant failed to make timely contributions to the plans as
required under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.
In their motion,
plaintiffs seek $181,621.41 in delinquent contributions, $36,324.60 in liquidated
damages, and $18,811.90 in interest. Plaintiffs additionally seek $1,301.50 for the
cost of a payroll examination, $3,322.50 in attorney’s fees, and $553.86 in court costs.
The summons and a copy of the complaint were served on defendant on
December 15, 2011. Defendant did not file an answer or other responsive pleading
and, on January 11, 2012, the Clerk of Court entered default against defendant.
ERISA provides that employers shall make contributions when required by the
terms of a collective bargaining agreement. 29 U.S.C. § 1145. Employers who fail to
make the required contributions may be liable for the unpaid contributions, liquidated
damages, interest, attorney’s fees, and costs. 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(2).
On October 13, 2008, defendant entered into an agreement to be bound by the
terms of a collective bargaining agreement between the Site Improvement Association
and the Union (the Site Agreement), through March 1, 2009. [Doc. #18-5]. On March
25, 2009, defendant entered into the successor agreement that remains in effect
through March 1, 2014. [Doc. #18-3]. The collective bargaining agreement requires
defendant to make contributions to the funds for each hour worked by employees
covered by the agreement. §§ 5.03 - 5.06 [Docs. #18-2, #18-4]. Failure to make
timely contributions subjects defendant to liquidated damages equal to 20% of the
unpaid contribution, interest, accounting costs, court costs, and attorney’s fees. Id.
§§ 5.10 - 5.11.
Plaintiffs submit the affidavit of John Massa, an auditor with the accounting firm
of Wolfe Nilges Nahorski, and an exhibit showing the results of a payroll audit for the
period of October 1, 2008, through December 31, 2010. This exhibit establishes that,
for this period, SFR&W owes $177,956.70 in unpaid contributions, $35,591.66 in
liquidated damages, $18,811.90 in interest, and $1,301.50 for an audit fee. Plaintiffs
also submit the affidavit of Kevin Schell, the Administrative Manager of the Benefit
Funds. Mr. Schell states that, between March and May 2011, defendant failed to pay
$3,664.71 in reported contributions and incurred $732.94 in additional liquidated
damages. These amounts are set forth in a discrepancy report attached to Mr. Schell’s
Based on the documentation and affidavits submitted by the plaintiffs, the Court
finds that defendant SFR&W, LLC, was bound at all relevant times by a valid CBA and
that it breached its obligations by failing to timely pay the required contributions.
Plaintiffs have established that SFR&W, LLC, is liable to them for $181,621.41 in
delinquent contributions, $36,324.60 in liquidated damages, and $18,811.90 in
interest, for a total of $236,757.91.
Plaintiffs also submit the affidavit of attorney Matthew J. Gierse. Mr. Gierse
attests that his firm’s standard hourly billing rates are $175.00 for partners’ services,
$165.00 for associates’ services, $85.00 for paralegal services, and $65.00 for law
clerk services. In this case, a total of 21 hours was expended in connection with this
matter, primarily by associates, for a total of $3,322.50 for legal services. The Court
finds that the hourly rates and hours expended are reasonable. In addition, the firm
paid $350.00 for the filing fee and $203.86 for service of process, for a total of
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs’ motion for default judgment [Doc.
#17] is granted.
Mr. Schell also states that defendant has failed to submit contribution reports
since October 1, 2011.
A separate judgment in accordance with this Memorandum and Order shall be
entered this same date.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 4th day of January, 2013.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?