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Ufcw Local One Pension Fund and Its Trustees: Frank C. Deriso, John P. Barrett, Robert v. Anami Foods

January 10, 2013

UFCW LOCAL ONE PENSION FUND AND ITS TRUSTEES: FRANK C. DERISO, JOHN P. BARRETT, ROBERT BOEHLERT, ERIC GLATHAR, KRISTINE WYDRO AND RAYMOND WARDYNSKI AND UFCW LOCAL ONE HEALTH CARE FUND AND ITS TRUSTEES: FRANK C. DERISO, JOHN P. BARRETT, I. STEPHEN DAVIS, ERIC GLATHAR, DONALD E. ELIASON, GREGORY P. GOREA, KRISTINE WYDRO AND RAYMOND WARDYNSKI, AND UFCW LOCAL ONE 401K SAVINGS FUND AND ITS TRUSTEES: FRANK C. DERISO, JOHN P. BARRETT, EDWARD COLBURN AND ERIC GLATHAR, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ANAMI FOODS, LLC, D/B/A EAST AURORA JUBILEE, DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mae A. D'Agostino, U.S. District Judge:

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

This is an action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"),

29 U.S.C. §§ 1001 et seq. Plaintiffs UFCW Local One Pension Fund ("Pension Fund") and UFCW Local One Health Care Fund ("Health Fund") and UFCW Local One 401K Savings Fund ("Savings Fund") brought this action to recover delinquent employee benefit contributions and withdrawal liability owed by defendant Anami Foods d/b/a Aurora Jubilee. Plaintiffs move for default judgment pursuant to Rule 55 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure seeking to collect the total outstanding amount of defendant's withdrawal liability and of defendant's employee benefit contributions, interest, liquidated damages, attorneys' fees and costs.

II. BACKGROUND

The Court has taken the facts set forth below from plaintiffs' complaint.*fn1 The Pension Fund, Health Fund and Savings Fund are joint labor-management benefit funds and multiemployer benefits plans that provide benefits to eligible employees of employers who contribute to the Plans pursuant to a Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA") between participating employers and union locals affiliated with United Food & Commercial Workers District Union Local One ("Local One").*fn2 Defendant was a participating employer and signatory to the collective bargaining agreement. Pursuant to the provisions in the Plans, defendant agreed to make certain benefit contributions to the Funds on behalf of all its covered employees. Plaintiffs alleges that if defendant failed to fully comply with the terms of the Plans, defendant was obligated to pay all contribution delinquencies together with interest, liquidated damages, reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

Defendant did not pay pension contributions, health contributions or 401K contributions for January 2009 and February 2009. On May 11, 2011, counsel for the Pension Fund and Health Fund sent a demand letter notifying defendant that it failed to pay contributions and interest on the contributions for the aforementioned months.*fn3 Defendant has not remitted payment for contributions or interest due to the Health Fund or Savings Fund.

On or about February 28, 2009, defendant withdrew from the Pension Fund. On or about June 13, 2011, the Pension Fund notified defendant, in accordance with 29 U.S.C. § 1399, that its withdrawal liability was $209,749.00 with the first quarterly payment due on or before July 1, 2011.*fn4 On September 29, 2011, plaintiffs notified defendant that it was delinquent in remitting its first quarterly payment and indicated that it would be in default if it did not pay within 60 days.*fn5 Despite these written notifications and demand for payment, defendant has failed, refused and/or neglected to pay any of the withdrawal liability.

On April 13, 2012, plaintiffs commenced this action by filing a summons and complaint seeking to collect delinquent contributions and withdrawal liability payments, together with interest, liquidated damages, attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g). Defendant has not answered the complaint or otherwise appeared. Plaintiffs obtained a Clerk's Entry of Default Judgment on May 21, 2012. Plaintiffs now move (Dkt. No. 12) for default judgment against defendant for the following amounts: $1,778.21 in delinquent contributions to the Pension Fund with interest, liquidated damages and attorneys' fees; $209,749.00 in withdrawal liability for the Pension Fund with interest, liquidated damages and attorneys fees; $24,744.00 in delinquent contributions to the Health Fund, with interest, liquidated damages, delinquent payroll-deducted employee contributions and attorneys' fees; and $656.00 in delinquent contributions to the Savings Fund, with interest, liquidated damages and attorneys' fees.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Jurisdiction

This Court has subject matter jurisdiction as the action arises under ERISA.

B. Default Judgment

"Under Rule 55(b) default judgment shall be entered if a defendant has failed to plead or otherwise defend an action." Parise v. Riccelli Haulers, Inc., 672 F. Supp. 72, 74 (N.D.N.Y. 1987). Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2) and Local Rule 55.2 set forth the procedural prerequisites plaintiffs must meet before a motion for default motion may be granted. Plaintiffs must: ...


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