and deductions. To be more specific, they allege that defendant owes $ 11,455.14 for the period ending November 1991, and $ 14,263.97 for the period ending September 1992, (totalling $ 25,719.11), minus a credit of $ 4,866.84; for a TOTAL of $ 20,852.27. In addition, plaintiffs allege that they are due $ 4,813.51 in interest, $ 5,671.81 in liquidated damages and $ 5,188.59 in attorney's fees (plus $ 771.00 for submitting a response to defendant's reply affidavit); for a GRAND TOTAL of $ 37,297.18.
Defendant's Reply Affidavit does not dispute liability for failing to remit fringe benefit contributions and deductions, the amounts due for interest and liquidated damages, or the award of attorney's fees. However, defendant, through its president, Blase Larroca, does dispute the $ 20,852.27 figure as being the amount due for fringe benefit contributions and deductions. Defendant claims that this figure should to be $ 17,642.00 for a difference of $ 3,210.27. Specifically, defendant claims that as January 1, 1992, the amount due was $ 9,425.82, and on September 19, 1992, the amount due and payable was $ 13,083.02; for a TOTAL of $ 22,508.84. From this total, defendant alleges that it is due the credit of $ 4,866.84; for a TOTAL of $ 17,642.00. Defendant alleges that this difference is attributable to the fact that plaintiffs reduced a lien claim on one project by $ 3,454.76, and then failed to include that reduction in their calculations, thus overstating the figure by $ 3,210.27.
In their reply affidavit, plaintiffs allege that defendant received its credit for the reduction of the Route 481 mechanic's lien of $ 3,454.76 (above), which it claims was included in the $ 4,866.84 credit from the $ 25,719.11 figure above. They allege that the $ 3,210.27 difference is due to the fact that after commencement of the lawsuit and after a review of certified payroll records submitted by defendant, the Assistant Plan Administrator, Daniel P. Harrigan ("Assistant Plan Administrator"), determined that an additional $ 2,864.86 in fringe benefit contributions was due for the period September 1991, through November 1991, on behalf of employees who were not included on his original Audit Recap Sheet. He also determined that defendant was not required to remit fringe benefit contributions and deductions on behalf of some of the hours shown on his original Audit Recap Sheet. Therefore, the amount due for this same period was reduced by $ 835.54. Based on the foregoing, defendant allegedly owes $ 11,455.14 ($ 9,425.82 $ 2,864.86 - $ 835.54) not $ 9,425.82 in fringe benefit contributions and deductions for this period.
Additionally, plaintiffs allege that baked upon pay stubs submitted by defendant's employees they are due $ 14,263.97, not $ 13,083.02 in fringe benefit contributions and deductions for the period May 1992, through September 1992. In the end, plaintiffs allege that defendant still owes a TOTAL of $ 20,852.27 [($ 9,425.82 $ 2,864.86 - $ 835.54) $ 14,263.97 - $ 4,866.84] in fringe benefit contributions and deductions. Therefore, the only issue currently before this court on the plaintiffs' motion for default judgment is whether plaintiffs are due the additional $ 3,210.27 ($ 20,852.27 - $ 17,642.00) in fringe benefit contributions and deductions.
As an initial matter, this court notes that an entry of default is a prerequisite to a default judgment under Rule 55(b). Lee v. Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, 139 F.R.D. 376, 380 (D.Minn. 1991). The grant of a party's motion for entry of a default judgment lies within the sound discretion of the trial court. Georgia Power Project v. Georgia Power Co., 409 F. Supp. 332, 336 (N.D.Ga. 1975). Entry of default judgment on the issue of liability does not necessarily establish as a fact every imputation in an affidavit which relates to the extent of damages. Baccaro v. Pisa, 252 F. Supp. 900, 905 (S.D.N.Y. 1966). Regardless, this court finds that an entry of default has been made in this case. When a defendant has failed to plead or otherwise defend an action, as here, the clerk shall enter that party's default under Rule 55(a).
Moreover, the sanction of judgment by default, although most severe, is within the discretion of the trial judge. Flaks v. Koegel, 504 F.2d 702, 707 (2d Cir. 1974). Judgment by default may be entered as follows:
(1) By the Clerk. When the plaintiff's claim against a defendant is a sum certain or for a sum which can by computation be made certain, the clerk upon request of the plaintiff and upon affidavit of the amount due shall enter judgment for that amount and costs against the defendant . . . .