United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
ST. LOUIS-KANSAS CITY CARPENTERS REGIONAL COUNCIL, et al., Plaintiffs,
HENRY GASSER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
E. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on plaintiffs' motion for
default judgment against defendant Henry Gasser Construction
Company, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2).
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 the St. Louis-Kansas City
Carpenters Regional Council (the Union) and the trustees of
three employee benefit plans (the Welfare, Pension, and
Vacation Trusts, collectively, the Funds). Defendant is an
employer in an industry affecting commerce within the meaning
of the LMRA and ERISA. Defendant is party to a collective
bargaining agreement with the Union, and is bound by various
trust agreements relating to the Funds. Plaintiffs allege
that defendant failed to make timely contributions to the
Funds as required by the terms of the collective bargaining
agreement. Plaintiffs seek a total of $23, 505.92 for unpaid
contributions, liquidated damages, and interest, plus $1,
381.00 for attorneys' fees and costs.
summons and a copy of the complaint were served on defendant
on November 2, 2016. Defendant did not file an answer or
other responsive pleading and, on February 2, 2017, the Clerk
of Court entered default against defendant.
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).
September 1, 2013, defendant entered into an agreement to be
bound by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement and
addendum between the Southwest Illinois Housing Advancement
Fund and the union, effective through May 5, 2018. [Docs. #
7-3 (Agreement); # 7-4 (Addendum), # 7-5 (signature page)].
The collective bargaining agreement and addendum require
defendant to make contributions to the funds for each hour
worked by employees covered by the agreement. Agreement,
Article 8; Addendum at 3-4. Failure to make timely
contributions subjects defendant to liquidated damages not
greater than 20% of the unpaid contribution, interest not
greater than 10% per annum, audit costs, court costs, and
submit the affidavit of Juli Laramie, the accountant and
controller for the funds, who states that defendant was
required by the terms of the collective bargaining agreement
to submit reports showing hours worked by each covered
employee. [Doc. #7-2]. Based on the reports submitted,
defendant owes contributions in the amount of $18, 839.08 for
the period of May 2015 through February 2016. As a result of
the delinquencies, defendant also owes $899.02 in interest
calculated at 4%, and $3, 767.82 in liquidated damages.
See Calculations [Doc. #7-6].
also submit the affidavit of attorney Greg A. Campbell. [Doc.
#7-1]. According to Mr. Campbell, in 2016, his firm's
standard hourly billing rates for his services was $190.00
and for the services of paralegals and legal assistants was
$100.00; in 2017, the hourly rate for paralegals and legal
assistants increased to $105.00. He states that he expended
1.1 hours on this matter at the billing rate of $190.00 per
hour ($209.00) and paralegals and legal assistants expended
.8 hours in 2016 at the rate of $100.00 per hour ($80.00) and
.6 hours in 2017 at the rate of $105.00 per hour ($63.00).
Thus, the legal fees total $352.00. The Court finds that the
hourly rates and hours expended are reasonable. In addition,
the firm paid $400.00 for the filing fee and $55.00 for
service of process, for a total of $455.00, to which
plaintiffs are also entitled.
on the documentation and affidavits submitted by plaintiffs,
the Court finds that defendant Henry Gasser Construction
Company was bound at all relevant times by a valid collective
bargaining agreement and that it breached its obligations by
failing to timely pay the required contributions. Plaintiffs
have established that defendant is liable to them for $18,
839.08 in unpaid fringe benefit contributions, $899.02 in
interest, and $3, 767.82 in liquidated damages, for a total
of $23, 505.92. Plaintiffs have also established defendant is
liable to them for $807.00 in legal fees and costs.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs' motion for default
judgment [Doc. #7] is granted.
judgment in accordance with this Memorandum and Order will be