Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rochester Laborers' Welfare-S.U.B. Fund v. Flower City Monitors, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. New York

July 18, 2017

ROCHESTER LABORERS' WELFARE-S.U.B. FUND, by Robert Brown, as Chairman, and Daniel Hogan, as Secretary; ROCHESTER LABORERS' PENSION FUND, by Robert Brown, as Chairman, and Daniel Hogan as Secretary; ROCHESTER LABORERS ANNUITY FUND, by Robert Brown, as Chairman and Daniel Hogan, as Secretary; ROCHESTER LABORERS' APPRENTICE AND TRAINING FUND, by Robert Brown, as Chairman, and Daniel Hogan, as Secretary; LABORERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, LOCAL UNION NO. 435, by Daniel Kuntz, as Business Manager, Plaintiffs,
v.
FLOWER CITY MONITORS, INC. and LENORA L. PAIGE, Individually and as an Officer of FLOWER CITY MONITORS, INC., Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          HON. MICHAEL A. TELESCA, United States District Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         This an action arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.5.C. §§ 1001 et seq. (“ERISA”), and the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a) (“LMRA”). The Rochester Laborers' Welfare-S.U.B. Fund, the Rochester Laborers' Pension Fund, the Rochester Laborers' Apprentice and Training Fund, the Rochester Laborers' Annuity Fund (“the Rochester Laborers' Funds”), through their fiduciaries, Robert Brown and Daniel Hogan; and the Laborers' International of North America Local Union 435 (“the Union”), through its fiduciary Daniel Kuntz (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), seek monetary and injunctive relief against Flower City Monitors, Inc. (“Flower City”), a New York corporation with a principal place of business in Rochester, and Lenora Paige (“Paige”), the president of Flower City (collectively, “Defendants”).

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The Rochester Laborers' Funds are multi-employer plans, as defined in ERISA §3(37), 29 U.S.C. § 1002(37), and are employee benefit plans, as defined in ERISA § 3(3), 29 U.S.C. §1002(3). The Rochester Laborers' Funds are recipient and collection agents for contributions due to the Rochester Laborers' Employers Cooperative Education Trust (“L.E.C.E.T.”). The Union is a labor organization within the meaning of the LMRA § 301(a), 29 U.S.C. §185(a).

         Flower City and the Union are parties to collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) covering work at two projects as follows: (1) the 2009 through 2014 Commercial Building Agreement between Local Union No. 435 Laborers International Union of North America and the Construction Industry Association of Rochester, N.Y., Inc. and Certain Independent Contractors, dated May 7, 2012, as adopted by Flower City in connection with the SUNY Brockport Tuttle Hall North Project (Dkt #11-1, pp. 58-80 of 82); and (2) the 2009 through 2014 Commercial Building Agreement between Local Union No. 435 Laborers International Union of North America and the Construction Industry Association of Rochester, N.Y., Inc. and Certain Independent Contractors, dated February 19, 2014, as adopted by Flower City in connection with the Genesee Valley Park Pool and Ice Rink Project (Dkt #11-1, pp. 81-82 of 82). During the month of July 2012, and the period from March 2014 through May 2014, Flower City performed work covered by the CBAs at the SUNY Brockport and Genesee Valley Park projects that required Flower City to remit fringe benefit contributions and deductions to Plaintiffs. However, according to Plaintiffs, Flower City failed to remit the required contributions and deductions for the hours worked by its employees at the two covered projects.

         Plaintiffs subsequently conducted audits of Flower City's remittance reports and discovered a shortfall of over sixteen thousand dollars in contributions and deductions. In February of 2014, Plaintiffs referred the matter to their counsel to pursue collection of the debt uncovered by the audit. After these efforts were unsuccessful, Plaintiffs instituted this action by filing their Complaint on July 29, 2015.

         On October 13, 2015, a Clerk's Notice of Default was entered against Defendants for failure to plead or otherwise defend this action.

         Meanwhile, beginning July of 2015, Plaintiffs engaged in efforts to obtain the books and records needed to conduct a new audit and quantify Defendants' debt. However, the chronology of correspondence submitted by Plaintiffs indicates that Defendants were uncooperative in responding to Plaintiffs' requests. In addition to Defendants, Plaintiffs also sought records from various third parties (property owners and general contractors) who may have had business relationships with Plaintiffs.

         On May 4, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a combined Motion to Amend the Complaint, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procdure (“F.R.C.P.”) Rule 15 and Motion for Default Judgment, pursuant to F.R.C.P. 54 and 55(b)(2). On June 5, 2017, through counsel, Defendants filed a Motion to Vacate the Notice of Default, and opposed Plaintiffs' request to amend and for default judgment. For the reasons discussed herein, Defendants' Motion to Vacate the Notice of Default is denied.[1]

         DISCUSSION

         I. General Legal Principles

         Under F.R.C.P. 55(a), “[w]hen a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend . . ., the clerk must enter the party's default.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). While the entry of default “is therefore not discretionary[, ]” Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 2, Albany, N.Y. Pension Fund v. Moulton Masonry & Const., LLC, 779 F.3d 182, 186 (2d Cir. 2015) (per curiam) (“Moulton Masonry”), the court subsequently “‘may set aside an entry of default for good cause.'” Id. (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(c) (emphasis in original)). The Second Circuit reviews decisions under F.R.C.P. 55(c) for abuse of discretion. Moulton Masonry, 779 F.3d at 186 (citation omitted).

         As F.R.C.P. 55(c) does not define “good cause, ” the Second Circuit has established the following criteria that must be assessed: “(1) the willfulness of default, (2) the existence of any meritorious defenses, and (3) prejudice to the non-defaulting party.” Guggenheim Capital, LLC v. Birnbaum, 722 F.3d 444, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.