The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert W. Sweet, U.S.D.J.
Plaintiff Building Service 32B-J Health, Pension and Annuity Funds (the
"Funds") have moved for reconsideration and reargument pursuant to Local
Rule 6.3, or to alter or amend this Court's November 21, 2000 opinion and
order, pursuant to Rules 52(b), 59(e) or 60(b), Fed.R.Civ.P., to the
extent that it held that defendant Vanderveer Estates Holding, LLC
("Vanderveer") was not liable for contributions to the Funds after April
20, 2000. Vanderveer opposes the motion.
Also pending are the Funds' motion to hold Vanderveer in contempt for
failing to file a $75,000 bond in compliance with this Court's October
5, 2000 opinion, and the parties' proposed judgments.
For the reasons set forth below, both the motion to reconsider and the
contempt motion are granted. Judgment shall issue in accordance with this
The Parties and Related Entities
Local 32B-J, Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO ("Union")
is a labor organization that represents members employed in the building
service industry in metropolitan New York City.
The Funds are jointly administered, multi-employer, labor-management
trust Funds based in New York City. The Funds are employee benefit plans
that provide benefit coverage for participants employed by employers who
are parties to collective bargaining agreements with the Union. The
purpose of the Funds is to receive contributions from employers who are
parties to collective bargaining agreements with the Union, to invest and
maintain those monies, and to distribute pensions, health and insurance
benefits, and annuity payments to eligible employees.
The Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, Inc. ("RAB") is a
multi-employer organization which is a signatory to a series of
collective bargaining agreements ("CBA") with the Union covering
of apartment buildings in New York City.
Vanderveer is a for-profit domestic limited liability company based in
New York City that owns several buildings in Brooklyn and employs workers
covered by the RAB collective bargaining agreement.
The prior proceedings in this case are set forth in two opinions of
this Court, familiarity with which is assumed. See Building Service 32B-J
Health Fund v. Vanderveer Estates Holding, LLC, 121 F. Supp.2d 750
(S.D.N.Y. 2000); ("Vanderveer II"); Building Service 32B-J Health Fund
v. Vanderveer Estates Holding, LLC, 115 F. Supp.2d 459 (S.D.N.Y. 2000)
On November 20, 2000, one day before Vanderveer II was issued, the
Funds moved to hold Vanderveer in contempt of Vanderveer I, which,
although denying the Funds' motion for a preliminary injunction, had
ordered Vanderveer to file a $75,000 bond. 115 F. Supp.2d at 464.
Vanderveer filed the $75,000 bond on December 13, 2000, and filed its
opposition to the contempt motion three days later. The Funds filed a
reply on December 19, 2000, and the motion was deemed fully submitted on
December 27, 2000.
Meanwhile, the Court issued its opinion on the Funds' motion for
summary judgment in Vanderveer II, holding that although Vanderveer was
not a signatory to the 1997 RAB Agreement, it was an assignee of a
signatory, and was therefore bound to contribute to the Funds. Vanderveer
II, 121 F. Supp.2d at 756-57. Vanderveer was found liable for back
contributions plus interest from the date it purchased the covered
properties to April 20, 2000, when the collective bargaining contract to
which it was an assignee expired, in addition to statutory liquidated
damages, attorneys' fees and costs. Id., 121 F. Supp.2d at 758. The
parties were invited to submit documentation calculating these amounts in
support of their proposed judgments in accordance with the opinion, id.,
which they did, from December 7, 2000 through December 15, 2000.
However, the Court abstained from entering a judgment in accordance
with Vanderveer II because the Funds filed the instant motion on December
1, 2000, seeking reconsideration of one aspect of that opinion.
Specifically, the Funds take issue with the holding that Vanderveer was
not obligated to contribute to the Funds after April 20, 2000, when a new
agreement was entered (to which Vanderveer was neither a party nor an
assignee) that abrogated the prior contract. Vanderveer opposed the
motion in a December 26, 2000 filing, and the motion was deemed fully
submitted on December 27, 2000.
I. The Motion to Alter, Modify or Reconsider a Summary