United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
LOCAL 513 INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS, AFL-CIO, et al., Plaintiffs,
CONCRETE CORING COMPANY OF ST. LOUIS a/k/a CONCRETE CORING COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA, INC., HOWARD H. HALL, III, and TINA NEWELL, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. COLLINS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. 21). The Motion is fully briefed and
ready for disposition. The parties have consented to the
jurisdiction of the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) (Doc. 9). For
the following reasons, Plaintiffs' Motion will be
GRANTED, in part and DENIED, in
part and this action will be DISMISSED, with
3, 2018, Plaintiffs filed this action pursuant to the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29
U.S.C. § 1132, and the Labor Management Relations Act of
1947, 29 U.S.C. § 185, seeking to collect fringe benefit
contributions owed to the Local 513 Operating Engineers
Benefit Funds (the “Local 513
Funds”) and union dues owed to the Local 513,
International Union of Operating Engineers (the
“Union”) pursuant to the terms of a Collective
Bargaining Agreement. The undisputed facts are as follows.
April 26, 2016, Defendant Howard H. Hall, III
(“Hall”) registered the name Concrete Coring
Company of North America as a fictitious name with the
Missouri Secretary of State (Plaintiffs' Statement of
Unconverted Material Facts (“PSOF”), Doc. 23 at
¶1). On August 3, 2017, Concrete Coring of St. Louis,
Inc. filed an amendment to its Articles of Incorporation with
the Missouri Secretary of State changing its name to Concrete
Coring of North America, Inc. (PSOF ¶2). Hall is
President and the sole member of the Board of Directors for
Concrete Coring Company of North America, Inc. (PSOF
¶3). Defendant Tina Newell
(“Newell”) is Secretary of Concrete Coring Company of
North America, Inc. (PSOF ¶4).
Concrete Coring Company of St. Louis Inc. a/k/a Concrete
Coring of North America, Inc. (hereinafter the
“Corporate Defendant”) is a party to a valid and
binding Collective Bargaining Agreement (the
“CBA”) with the Union (PSOF ¶10). At all
times relevant to this complaint, the Corporate Defendant was
and has also been signatory to a Participation Agreement with
the Local 513 Funds (PSOF ¶11). The CBA requires the
Corporate Defendant to submit monthly reports and remit
contributions to the Local 513 Funds (PSOF ¶12) The CBA
also requires payment of 20% liquidated damages on delinquent
contributions, as well as interest, attorneys' fees,
court costs and payroll examination fees if suit is filed to
enforce the CBA (PSOF ¶15).
October 25, 2013, Plaintiffs filed an action against Concrete
Coring Company of St. Louis Inc. for the collection of
delinquent fringe benefit contributions under the CBA.
See Local 513 International Union of Operating Engineers,
AFL-CIO et al. v. Concrete Coring Company of St. Louis,
Inc., No. 4:13-CV-02128-JCH. On December 20, 2013,
Concrete Coring Company of St. Louis Inc. and Hall entered
into a “Promissory Note and Settlement Agreement”
in which Concrete Coring Company of St. Louis Inc. and Hall
agreed that they were jointly and severally liable for a
total known delinquency of $83, 170.59 to Plaintiffs (PSOF
¶9). On July 22, 2014, a Consent Judgment was signed and
entered by the Honorable Jean C. Hamilton in the matter in
light of Concrete Coring Company of St. Louis Inc. and
Hall's default under “Promissory Note and
Settlement Agreement” (PSOF ¶16). The Consent
Judgment was subsequently amended by Court Order on September
5, 2014 to include additional delinquent contributions for a
total Judgment against Concrete Coring Company of St. Louis
Inc. and Hall of $103, 229.84 (Id.).
Coring Company of St. Louis Inc. filed for voluntary chapter
11 bankruptcy protection on September 12, 2014, which
resulted in a final decree dated October 6, 2015. (PSOF
¶18; DSOF ¶3). In re: Concrete Coring Company
of St. Louis, Inc., No. 14-47256 (E.D. Mo. Bnkr. Oct. 6,
2015). As a part of the bankruptcy plan, Concrete Coring
Company of St. Louis Inc. agreed to make monthly payments to
Plaintiffs for 6 years to satisfy the judgment entered
against it and Hall in No. 4:13-CV-02128-JCH (DSOF ¶12).
Although the parties dispute the amount outstanding, they
agree that the Judgment is unsatisfied (Compare Doc.
22 at 9 ($54, 421.16) and Doc. 27 at 4 ($48, 878.69)).
Plaintiffs have instituted a number of collection efforts
against Hall, including garnishment proceedings in No.
4:13-CV-02128-JCH (Defendants' Statement of Facts for
Which a Genuine Issue Exists (“DSOF”), Doc. 26 at
¶¶2, 13). Defendants indicate that the Corporate
Defendant continues to make its monthly payments to
Plaintiffs (DSOF ¶14).
September 12, 2017, Concrete Coring of North America, Inc.
was administratively dissolved by the Missouri Secretary of
State (PSOF ¶5). The Missouri Secretary of State
reinstated Concrete Coring of North America, Inc. on August
9, 2018 (PSOF ¶6). Hall and Newell continued to operate
the business during its administrative dissolution (PSOF
date, the Corporate Defendant has voluntarily submitted
contribution report forms evidencing hours of bargaining unit
work without submitting contributions to the Funds or
remitting deducted dues to the Union. At the applicable
contribution and dues deduction rate, the hours of bargaining
unit submitted work equate to $46, 384.33 in principal
accrued but unpaid deductions and contributions for the work
done September 2018 through December 2018 (PSOF ¶17).
April 24, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 21). In their Motion, Plaintiffs request $46,
384.33 in principal accrued deductions and contributions for
the work reports from September through December 2018.
Plaintiffs also seek liquidated damages ($51, 444.33),
interest ($9, 276.87), attorneys' fees ($10, 263.88), and
costs ($464.36). Plaintiffs also seek the remaining balance
from the Judgement in No. 4:13-CV-02128-JCH from Hall and the
Corporate Defendant. Finally, Plaintiffs appear to assert
that Hall and Newell are personally liable for
“obligations the corporation incurred” from
September 13, 2017 to August 9, 2018, while the Corporate
Defendant was administratively dissolved. However, Plaintiffs
indicate in their conclusion that they seek the deductions,
contributions, liquidated damages, interest, and
attorneys' fees from the Corporate Defendant only and the
remaining balance of the prior judgment from Hall only.
Newell is not mentioned (See Doc. 22 at 11).
concede that the Corporate Defendant owes Plaintiffs unpaid
deductions and contributions in the amount of $46, 384.33
through December 2018 (Doc. 27 at 1). Defendants further
concede that the Corporate Defendant owes Plaintiffs
liquidated damages and interest totaling $60, 721.20
(Id. at 2). Defendants, however, assert that a
genuine issue of dispute exists regarding whether Hall and
Newell are liable for the Corporate Defendant's debts
(Id.). Further, in light of their objection the
personal liability of the individual Defendants, Defendants
argue that Plaintiffs' request for attorneys' fees is
unreasonable and suggest the fees be reduced (Id.).
their reply, Plaintiffs acknowledge that the term of
administrative dissolution does not impact the liability of
the individual Defendants and that Newell is absolved from
the debt but Plaintiffs continue to assert that Hall is
jointly responsible for the debt as he registered Concrete
Coring of North America as his fictitious name (Doc. 28 at
4). Therefore, as a preliminary matter, in light of
Plaintiffs' concession that Newell is not liable for any
of balances at issue in the current litigation, the Court
will dismiss Newell from this action. The Court now turns to
the remaining issues.