United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
GREATER ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION LABORERS WELFARE FUND, Plaintiffs,
FITZGERALD CONSTRUCTION, INC., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CATHERINE D. PERRY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Union Nos. 42 and 110 of the Laborers International Union of
North America, AFL-CIO (the “Union”) and various
of its trust funds and their trustees bring this action under
ERISA, 29 U.S.C. § 1145, and the LMRA, 29 U.S.C. §
189, claiming that defendant Fitzgerald Construction, Inc.,
failed to make contributions to the various funds as it was
obligated to do under its Collective Bargaining Agreements
(CBAs) with the Union.
being served with process, Fitzgerald failed to timely answer
or otherwise respond to plaintiffs' complaint, and the
clerk of court entered default against it. At plaintiffs'
request, I ordered Fitzgerald to submit to a financial
compliance examination, and plaintiffs' auditor has since
provided an examination report to plaintiffs. Plaintiffs now
ask me to enter default judgment against Fitzgerald and have
submitted affidavits and other evidence - including the
examination report - in support of their request. Plaintiffs
have also submitted a proposed judgment. Because the evidence
is insufficient to award the requested interest, I will deny
the motion for default judgment. I will, however, provide
plaintiffs an opportunity to cure this deficiency.
default has been entered against a defendant, it is deemed to
have admitted all well-pleaded factual allegations in the
complaint. See Taylor v. City of Ballwin, 859 F.2d
1330, 1333 (8th Cir. 1988). While factual allegations in the
complaint are generally taken as true, those allegations
relating to the amount of damages must be proven to a
reasonable degree of certainty. Everyday Learning Corp.
v. Larson, 242 F.3d 815, 818 (8th Cir. 2001);
Stephenson v. El-Batrawi, 524 F.3d 907, 916-17 (8th
Cir. 2008). Evidence and supporting documents must provide a
basis for the amount of damages sought by plaintiffs and
awarded by the Court. Stephenson, 524 F.3d at 917.
entering judgment in favor of a benefits plan under 29 U.S.C.
§ 1132, I must award the plan:
(A) the unpaid contributions,
(B) interest on the unpaid contributions,
(C) an amount equal to the greater of--
(i) interest on the unpaid contributions, or
(ii) liquidated damages provided for under
the plan in an amount not in excess of 20 percent (or such
higher percentage as may be permitted under Federal or State
law) of the amount determined by the court under subparagraph
(D) reasonable attorney's fees and costs
of the action, to be paid by the defendant, and
(E) such other legal or equitable relief as
the court deems appropriate.
29 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(2). “[I]interest on unpaid
contributions shall be determined by using the rate provided
under the plan, or, if none, the rate prescribed under
section 6621 of Title 26.” Id.
motion and proposed judgment, plaintiffs seek to recover from
Fitzgerald $4635.09 in unpaid contributions from April 2013
through December 2015; $546.74 in interest; $1197.91 in
liquidated damages; $1641.50 in attorneys' fees; $232.03
in costs; and $735 in ...