United States District Court, S.D. New York
THE NEW YORK CITY DISTRICT COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS, LOCAL 4112, Plaintiff,
MODIVATIVE FLOORING SYSTEMS, INC., Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
Edgardo Ramos, U.S.D.J.
case arises out of two collective bargaining agreements
(“CBAs”) between the parties. New York City
District Council of Carpenters, Local 4112
(“Plaintiff”) commenced this action to confirm an
arbitration award issued against Modivative Flooring Systems,
Inc. (“Defendant”). The action was filed under
Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947
(“LMRA”), 29 U.S.C. § 185. Plaintiff also
seeks attorney's fees and costs. Before the Court is
Plaintiff's unopposed motion for summary judgement to
confirm the arbitration award. Doc. 12. For the reasons
stated below, Plaintiff's motion is GRANTED.
2002, Defendant entered into two CBAs-the Independent
Resilient Floor Coverers Agreement (the “Floor Coverers
CBA”) and the Independent Building Construction
Agreement (the “Building Construction CBA”)-with
Plaintiff, covering the time period from July 1, 2001 to June
30, 2006. Pl.'s 56.1 Statement (“Pl.'s 56.1)
¶ 2 . Defendant later signed an agreement extending the
terms of the CBAs until the parties negotiate new agreements.
Id. at ¶ 3. The CBAs require Defendant to pay
certain wages and fringe benefits for all hours of carpentry
work performed by its employees within Plaintiff's
jurisdiction. Id. at ¶ 4. The CBAs provide that
disputes and grievances shall be submitted to arbitration.
Id. at ¶ 5. They also provide that the parties
will equally bear the costs of arbitration, including the
arbitrator's fee, and that the prevailing party is
entitled to receive all court costs and reasonable
attorney's fees. Id. at ¶ 6.
failed to pay four of its employees-Warren Hutchinson, Perry
Fairchild, Glenn Clark, and Gleydon Arruda-all required wages
and benefits pursuant to the CBAs. Id. at ¶ 7.
In December 2011 and January 2012, Plaintiff filed grievances
on behalf of the employees, and subsequently filed a demand
for arbitration on November 15, 2013. Id. at ¶
8. A hearing was held before arbitrator Roger Maher on
December 18, 2013, with Defendant's president appearing
on its behalf. Ex. E. The arbitrator issued an award on
February 3, 2014, finding that Defendant had violated the
terms of the CBAs and directing it to pay (1) wages to
Hutchinson in the amount of $3, 345.52, Fairchild in the
amount of $6, 647.02, Clark in the amount of $3, 961.80, and
Arruda in the amount of $12, 765.30; (2) fringe benefits to
the New York City District Council of Carpenters Benefits
Funds (the “Funds”) in the amount of $23, 600.16;
and (3) $1, 000, representing one half of the
arbitrator's fee. Pl.'s 56.1 at ¶¶ 9-10.
The arbitrator further ordered that in the event Defendant
failed to comply with the terms of the award and Plaintiff
was required to enforce the arbitration award in court,
Defendants would be liable for Plaintiff's attorney's
fees in the amount of $2, 500. Id. at ¶ 10; Ex.
E at 4. Defendant failed to pay any portion of the
arbitration award, and Plaintiff commenced this action on
March 12, 2014. Doc. 1. Defendant did not answer the
complaint or move to vacate the award. Plaintiff moved for
summary judgment on June 23, 2017. Doc. 12. To date,
Defendant has not responded to Plaintiff's motion or
otherwise appeared in this action.
Federal Arbitration Act
of an arbitral award normally takes the form of a summary
proceeding that converts a final arbitration award into a
judgment of the court. D.H. Blair & Co., Inc. v.
Gottdiener, 462 F.3d at 110 (quoting Florasynth,
Inc. v. Pickholz, 750 F.2d 171, 176 (2d Cir. 1984)). The
court is required to grant the award unless it is vacated,
modified, or corrected. Id. (quoting 9 U.S.C. §
9). Hence, an application for a judicial decree confirming an
award receives “streamlined treatment as a motion,
obviating the separate contract action that would usually be
necessary to enforce or tinker with an arbitral award in
court.” Hall St. Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel,
Inc., 552 U.S. 576, 582 (2008).
order to promote the goals of arbitration, which consist of
“settling disputes efficiently and avoiding long and
expensive litigation [, ] “[arbitration awards are
subject to very limited review.” Willemijn
Houdstermaatschappij, BV v. Standard Microsystems Corp.,
103 F.3d 9, 12 (2d Cir. 1997) (quoting Folkways Music
Publishers, Inc. v. Weiss, 989 F.2d 108, 111 (2d Cir.
1993)) (internal quotation marks omitted) (alteration in
original). It is not necessary that the arbitrator explain
the rationale for the award; the award “should be
confirmed if a ground for the arbitrator's decision can
be inferred from the facts of the case[.]” D.H.
Blair & Co., 462 F.3d at 110 (quoting Barbier v.
Shear son Lehman Hutton Inc., 948 F.2d 117, 121 (2d Cir.
1991)) (internal quotation marks omitted). In short, as long
as there is “a barely colorable justification for the
outcome reached[, ]” a court should enforce an
arbitration award‒‒even if it disagrees with it
on the merits. Landy Michaels Realty Corp. v. Local
32B-32J, Serv. Employees Int 'l Union, AFL-CIO, 954
F.2d 794, 797 (2d Cir. 1992) (internal citation and quotation
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate where “the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “An issue of fact is
‘genuine' if the evidence is such that a reasonable
jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party.”
Senno v. Elmsford Union Free Sch. Dist., 812
F.Supp.2d 454, 467 (S.D.N.Y. 2011) (citing SCR Joint
Venture L.P. v. Warshawsky, 559 F.3d 133, 137 (2d Cir.
2009)). A fact is “material” if it might affect
the outcome of the litigation under the governing law.
Id. The party moving for summary judgment is first
responsible for demonstrating the absence of any genuine
issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). If the burden of proof at trial
would fall on the movant, that party's “own
submissions in support of the motion must entitle it to
judgment as a matter of law.” Albee Tomato, Inc. v.
A.B. Shalom Produce Corp., 155 F.3d 612, 618 (2d Cir.
1998). Conversely, “[w]hen the burden of proof at trial
would fall on the nonmoving party, it ordinarily is
sufficient for the movant to point to a lack of evidence to
go to the trier of fact on an essential element of the
nonmovant's claim.” Cordiano v. Metacon Gun
Club, Inc., 575 F.3d 199, 204 (2d Cir. 2009) (citing
Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322-23). If the moving
party meets its burden, “the nonmoving party must come
forward with admissible evidence sufficient to raise a
genuine issue of fact for trial in order to avoid summary
judgment.” Jaramillo v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 536
F.3d 140, 145 (2d Cir. 2008) (citing Celotex Corp.,
477 U.S. at 322-23).
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court must
“construe the facts in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party and must resolve all ambiguities and draw
all reasonable inferences against the movant.” Brod
v. Omya, Inc., 653 F.3d 156, 164 (2d Cir. 2011) (quoting
Williams v. R.H. Donnelley, Corp., 368 F.3d 123, 126
(2d Cir. 2004)) (internal quotation marks omitted). Even if a
motion for summary judgment is unopposed, courts are required
to “review the motion . . . and determine from what it
has before it whether the moving party is entitled to summary
judgment as a matter of law.” Vermont Teddy Bear
Co. v. 1-800 Beargram Co., 373 F.3d 241, 246 (2d Cir.
2004) (quoting Custer v. Pan Am. Life Ins. Co., 12
F.3d 410, 416 (4th Cir. 1993)) (internal quotation marks
omitted). “[W]hen a nonmoving party chooses the
perilous path of failing to submit a response to a summary
judgment motion, the district court may not grant the motion
without first examining the moving party's submission to
determine if it has met its burden of demonstrating that no
material issue of fact remains for trial.” Amaker
v. Foley, 274 F.3d 677, 681 (2d Cir. 2001).
Confirmation of the ...