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Hawaii Masons' Pension Fund v. Taufatofua

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

October 20, 2016

HAWAII MASONS' PENSION FUND; by its Trustees, Anacleto Alcantra, Carl Ito, Rodney Kaichi, Mits Kaneshige, Donald Pang, John Gervacio, Peter Iriarte, Nolan Moriwaki, Melvin Silva, Jr., John Vaielua; HAWAII MASONS' AND PLASTERERS' ANNUITY FUND, by its Trustees, Anacleto Alcantra, Carl Ito, Rodney Kaichi, Mits Kaneshige, Donald Pang, John Gervacio, Peter Iriarte, Nolan Moriwaki, Melvin Silva, Jr., John Vaielua; HAWAII MASONS VACATION AND HOLIDAY FUND, by its Trustees, Carl Ito, Glen Kaneshige, Darlean Kiyokane, Vincent Nihipali, Sr., Ron Prescott, John Gervacio, Peter Iriarte, Nolan Moriwaki, Melvin Silva, Jr., John Vaielua; HAWAII MASONS TRAINING FUND, by its Trustees, Bert Beaman, Carl Ito, Glen Kaneshige, Darlean Kiyokane, Francis Pascual, John Gervacio, Peter Iriarte, Nolan Moriwaki, Melvin Silva, Jr., John Vaielua; HAWAII MASONS HEALTH AND WELFARE FUND, by its Trustees, Herbert Inouye, Carl Ito, Darlean Kiyokane, Vincent Nihipali, Sr., Ryan Wada, John Gervacio, Peter Iriarte, Nolan Moriwaki, Melvin Silva, Jr., John Vaielua, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF BRICKLAYERS & ALLIED CRAFTSMEN, LOCAL NO. 1 OF HAWAII, AFL-CIO; OPERATIVE PLASTERERS & CEMENT MASONS INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, LOCAL NO. 630, AFL-CIO; and MASONS AND PLASTERERS FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION UNION Plaintiffs,
v.
SIONE TAUFATOFUA; JOHN DOES 1-10; JANE DOES 1-10; DOE CORPORATIONS 1-10; DOE PARTNERSHIPS 1-10; DOE GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES 1- 10, DOE TRUSTS 1-10, Defendants.

          YEE & KAWASHIMA, LLLP JARED N. KAWASHIMA 6289, CHRISTIN D. WEHRSIG 10038, Attorney for Plaintiffs HAWAII MASONS AND PLASTERERS TRUST FUNDS

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO GRANT PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT AS TO COUNTS I AND IV

          Kevin S.C. Chang United States Magistrate Judge

         Before the Court is Plaintiffs HAWAII MASONS' HEALTH AND WELFARE FUND, HAWAII MASONS' TRAINING FUND, HAWAII MASONS' PENSION FUND, HAWAII MASONS' VACATION AND HOLIDAY FUND, AND HAWAII MASONS' AND PLASTERERS' ANNUITY FUND (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Plaintiffs”) Motion for Partial Summary Judgment As to Counts I and IV (“Motion”) (Doc. 15). Plaintiffs request that partial judgment be entered, pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, in their favor and against Sione Taufatofua (“Defendant”) for $90, 554.92 in contributions, $17, 135.96 in liquidated damages, and $15, 778.74 in employee union dues and work assessments for the months of December 2014, January 2015 and February 2015.

         On July 19, 2016, Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright construed the Motion as a Motion for Partial Default Judgment and referred the matter before this Court. (Doc. 16.)

         This matter came on for hearing on September 16, 2016. (Doc. 20.) Appearing on behalf of Plaintiffs was Christin D. Wehrsig. Defendant Sione Taufatofua did not make an appearance or otherwise defend against the Motion. (See Id.)

         After careful consideration of the Motion, the declarations, exhibits, and the record herein, the Court finds and recommends that Plaintiff's Motion be GRANTED. As discussed more thoroughly below, this Court recommends that partial default judgment be entered in favor of Plaintiffs in the amount of $123, 469.62.

         Background

         On February 26, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint against Defendant Sione Taufatofua alleging that Defendant materially breached the “Master Agreement Covering the Cement Finishing and Masonry Trades in the State of Hawaii” effective as of September 1, 2008 (hereinafter, the “Master Agreement”) and the Trust Agreements incorporated therein by reference. Plaintiffs claimed Defendant failed to submit monthly contribution reports and full payments due on the reports, notwithstanding demand by Plaintiff. Plaintiffs also claimed amounts owed pursuant to the Master Agreement for outstanding employee union dues and work assessments.

         On March 7, 2016, service of process of the Complaint was completed, as evidenced by the Proof of Service filed herein on March 10, 2016.

         On March 29, 2016, default was entered against Defendant for failure to plead or otherwise defend itself as required by law. See attached Exhibit “1”.

         On July 19, 2016, Plaintiffs filed the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment As to Counts I and IV seeking an award of the sum $123, 469.62, which includes $90, 554.92 in contributions, $17, 135.96 in liquidated damages, and $15, 778.74 in employee union dues and work assessments for the months of December 2014, January 2015 and February 2015. (Doc. 15.) Plaintiff's Motion was accompanied by the Declarations of Stacey Tomasa, Nolan Moriwaki, and Peter Iriarte in support of damages sought by Plaintiffs.

         On July 19, 2016, Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright construed the Motion as a Motion for Partial Default Judgment and referred the matter before this Court. (Doc. 16.)

         Defendant was served with a copy of the Motion but did not file an opposition or otherwise respond to the Motion.

         This matter came on for hearing on September 16, 2016. (Doc. 20.) Appearing on behalf of Plaintiffs was Christin D. Wehrsig. Defendant Sione Taufatofua did not make an ...


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