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Trustees of Northeast Carpenters Health v. Patt Construction, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

November 1, 2017

Trustees of the Northeast Carpenters Health, Pension, Annuity, Apprenticeship, and Labor Management Cooperation Funds, Petitioners,
v.
Patt Construction, Inc., Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JOSEPH F. BIANCO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Trustees of the Northeast Carpenters Health, Pension, Annuity, Apprenticeship, and Labor Management Cooperation Funds f/k/a the Empire State Carpenters Annuity, Apprenticeship, Labor-Management Cooperation, Pension and Welfare Funds (hereinafter “petitioners” or the “Funds”) commenced this action to confirm an arbitration award obtained against Patt Construction, Inc. (hereinafter “respondent” or “Patt Construction”). Petitioners also moved to recover attorney's fees and costs in connection with this action. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants petitioners' motion to confirm the arbitration award and grants petitioners' motion for fees and costs.

         I. Background

         A. Facts

         The following facts are taken from the Funds' petition to confirm an arbitration award (“Pet.”) and accompanying exhibits. (ECF No. 1.)

         Patt Construction is bound to certain collective bargaining agreements (the “CBAs”) with the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters (the “Union”). (Pet. ¶¶ 7-12.) The CBAs require Patt Construction to make contributions to the Funds for all work performed within the trade and geographical jurisdiction of the Union. (Id. at ¶ 13.)

         The Funds also established a Joint Policy for Collection of Delinquent Contributions (the “Collection Policy”). (Id. at ¶ 15; Ex. E, ECF No. 1-5.) The Collection Policy requires that the employer submit to a payroll audit upon request of the Funds. (Pet. ¶ 16; Ex. E, art. 4.1.) The Collection Policy further provides that if the employer fails to remit contributions to the Funds, the matter shall be subject to arbitration. (Pet. ¶ 22; Ex. E, art. 2.2.) If the employer is found deficient in its contributions, the Collection Policy awards, in addition to the deficiency, interest (Pet. ¶ 17; Ex. E, art. 2.1(C)), liquidated damages (Pet. ¶ 18; Ex. E., art. 6.1), and attorney's fees, arbitration fees, and audit costs (Pet. ¶ 23; Ex. E, arts. 6.2 and 6.3).

         Petitioners conducted an audit of respondent for the period April 15, 2010 through June 30, 2015 in order to determine whether respondent had complied with its obligations under the CBAs. (Pet. ¶ 19.) The auditor determined respondent failed to remit contributions in the amount of $156, 045.29. (Id. at ¶ 20.)

         Pursuant to the Collection Policy, petitioners initiated arbitration. (Id. at ¶ 24.) Petitioners provided Patt Construction with a Notice of Intent to Arbitrate Delinquency dated June 23, 2016. (Id.; Ex. F, ECF No. 1-6.) The arbitrator conducted a hearing and rendered his award in writing dated August 24, 2016. (Pet. ¶ 25; Ex. G, ECF No. 1-7.) A copy of the award was delivered to Patt Construction. (Pet. ¶ 25.)

         The arbitrator concluded that Patt Construction was in violation of the terms of the CBAs and ordered respondent to pay the Funds, pursuant to the CBAs, $247, 226.82, representing $156, 045.29 in deficiencies; $52, 541.12 in interest; $986.35 in additional interest from past delinquencies; $31, 209.06 in liquidated damages; $4, 795.00 in audit costs; $900.00 in attorney's fees; and $750.00 for the arbitrator's fee. (Pet. ¶ 26; Ex. G.) Respondent has failed to abide by the award. (Pet. ¶ 27.)

         B. Procedural History

         On March 20, 2017, petitioners filed their petition in this Court, seeking confirmation of the arbitrator's award, as well as costs and attorney's fees incurred in the instant action. (Pet., ECF No. 1.) The petitioners served respondent on March 23, 2017. (ECF No. 8.) To date, respondent has not filed a response or appeared in this action.

         II. Confirmation of Arbitration Award

         A. Standard of Review

         A motion to confirm an arbitral award should be “treated as akin to a motion for summary judgment.” D.H. Blair & Co. v. Gottdiener, 462 F.3d 95, 109 (2d Cir. 2006). The standard of review at the summary judgment stage is well-settled. A court may grant a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) only if “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Gonzalez v. City of Schenectady, 728 F.3d 149, 154 (2d Cir. 2013). The moving party bears the burden of showing that he is entitled to summary judgment. See Huminski v. Corsones, 396 F.3d 53, 69 (2d Cir. 2005).

         A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by: (A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or (B) showing that the materials cited do not establish the ...


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