The action was originally brought in Supreme Court, New York County. Defendant has removed the case to the federal court on the ground that the claim is preempted by two federal statutes, ERISA and LMRA.
Plaintiff moves to remand. Defendant moves to dismiss. Plaintiff's motion is denied and defendant's motion is granted.
The facts are not in dispute. On July 1, 1990 Goodee Fashions and the Union entered into a collective-bargaining agreement which, among other things, required Goodee Fashions to make contributions to four employee benefit funds: (1) the ILGWU National Retirement Fund, (2) the ILGWU Health Services Plan, (3) the ILGWU Health & Welfare Fund and (4) the Sportswear Industry Trust Fund. It is agreed between the parties that the first three of these are ERISA funds. Plaintiff alleges that the Sportswear Industry Trust Fund is not an ERISA fund. Plaintiff appears to be correct on the latter point, so that no federal defense would exist as to the amount owed to the Sportswear Industry Trust Fund. This amount is $ 598.27.
Between January 1, 1992 and June 30, 1992, Goodee Fashions failed to make its required contributions to the funds. Pursuant to the collective-bargaining agreement, the Union sought arbitration of the benefit contribution dispute. On October 9, 1992 the Union won a default arbitration award. The award was confirmed by a judgment in Supreme Court, New York County on April 22, 1993 for the sum of $ 70,647.17. Execution against Goodee Fashions, however, was returned unsatisfied.
ERISA contains a provision entitled "Supersedure." This provision states that, with exceptions not here relevant, ERISA "shall supersede any and all State laws insofar as they may now or hereafter relate to any employee benefit plan" covered by ERISA. 29 U.S.C. § 1144(a). The question, under the statute, is therefore whether the state law relates to an employee benefit plan.
The statute here in question, N.Y. Bus. Corp. Law § 630, provides in relevant part as follows:
(a) The ten largest shareholders . . . of every corporation . . ., no shares of which are listed on a national securities exchange or regularly quoted in an over-the-counter market by one or more members of a national or an affiliated securities association, shall jointly and severally be personally liable for all debts, wages or salaries due and owing to any of its laborers, servants or employees . . . .