Carpenters' District Council Of Greater St. Louis and Vicinity et al v. Knaust Drywall, Inc.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion for summary judgment against defendant Knaust Drywall, Inc. [Doc. # 19 ] is granted. Judgment will be entered against Knaust Drywall, Inc. at the conclusion of the proceedings in this case. Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 9/26/12. (KJS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
CARPENTERS’ DISTRICT COUNCIL OF
GREATER ST. LOUIS AND VICINITY,
KNAUST DRYWALL, INC. and
GATEWAY DRYWALL, INC.,
Case No. 4:12-CV-113 (CEJ)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment
against defendant Knaust Drywall, Inc. Defendant has not filed a response to the
motion and its time for doing so has expired.
Plaintiffs are four employee benefit plans (the Pension, Vacation, Welfare, and
Training funds), their trustees (collectively, the plans), and the Carpenters’ District
Council of St. Louis (the union). On April 1, 2009, defendant Knaust Drywall, Inc.,
(Knaust), executed an agreement to be bound by the collective bargaining agreement
(CBA) negotiated between the union and the Missouri/Illinois Independent Building
Contractors. The CBA is in effect through April 30, 2013. Pls. Ex. 1 and Ex. 2 [Docs.
#19-2 and # 19-3]. Plaintiffs bring this action pursuant to Section 301 of the Labor
Management Relations Act of 1974, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 185, and Section 502 of
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 1132,
alleging that Knaust failed to make timely contributions to the plans as required under
the terms of the CBA. Plaintiffs further allege that Knaust ceased operating in January
2012 and that defendant Gateway Drywall, Inc., is an alter ego of Knaust and therefore
jointly liable for amounts owed by Knaust.
Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that summary
judgment shall be entered if the moving party shows “that there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.”
In ruling on a motion for summary judgment the court is required to view the facts in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party and must give that party the benefit
of all reasonable inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts. AgriStor Leasing
v. Farrow, 826 F.2d 732, 734 (8th Cir. 1987). The moving party bears the burden of
showing both the absence of a genuine issue of material fact and its entitlement to
judgment as a matter of law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986);
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986).
Once the moving party has met its burden, the non-moving party may not rest on the
allegations of his pleadings but must set forth specific facts, by affidavit or other
evidence, showing that a genuine issue of material fact exists. United of Omaha Life
Ins. Co. v. Honea, 458 F.3d 788, 791 (8th Cir. 2006) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)).
Rule 56 “mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery
and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish
the existence of an element essential to that party’s case, and on which that party will
bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex Corporation v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322
ERISA provides that employers shall make contributions when required by the
terms of a CBA.
29 U.S.C. § 1145.
Employers who fail to make the required
contributions may be liable for the unpaid contributions, liquidated damages, attorney’s
fees, and costs. 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(2). The CBA at issue here requires defendant
to make contributions to the funds for each hour worked by employees covered by the
agreement. §§ 5.07 - 5.09. Failure to make timely contributions subjects defendant
to liquidated damages equal to 20% of the unpaid contribution, interest, court costs,
and attorney’s fees. Id. § 5.12.
Plaintiffs submit the affidavit of Julie Laramie, controller for the benefit funds,
who attests that defendant Knaust owes $90,818.99 in unpaid contributions for the
period of September 27, 2011, through January 10, 2012.1 Ms. Laramie has calculated
that Knaust owes $18,163.80 in liquidated damages and $1,883.27 in interest on those
contributions, for a total of $110,866.06.
Based on the documentation and affidavits submitted by the plaintiffs, the Court
finds that defendant Knaust was bound at all relevant times by a valid CBA and that
it breached its obligations by failing to timely pay the required contributions. The Court
further finds that Ms. Laramie’s calculations accurately reflect the liquidated damages
and interest amounts owed by defendant under the terms of the CBA.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment against
defendant Knaust Drywall, Inc. [Doc. #19] is granted.
It appears that defendant Knaust submitted reports for these months but did
not pay contributions.
Judgment will be entered against Knaust Drywall, Inc. at the conclusion of the
proceedings in this case.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 26th day of September, 2012.
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