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Hawaii Carpenters Trust Funds v. Corral

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

September 27, 2017

HAWAII CARPENTERS TRUST FUNDS, Health & Welfare Fund by its trustees Henry Iida, Russell Young, Audrey Hidano, Glen Kaneshige, Eric Hashizume, George Ehara, Ronald Taketa, Kyle Chock, Shayne Chung, Conrad C. Verdugo, Jr., Ralph Hoohuli, and Travis Murakami, Plaintiffs,
v.
ROBERT J. CORRAL, Defendant.

          Of Counsel: LAW OFFICE OF JEFFREY P. MILLER JEFFREY P. MILLER 7559-0 Attorney for Plaintiffs TRUSTEES OF THE HAWAII CARPENTER TRUST FUNDS

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT ROBERT J. CORRAL

          KEVIN S.C. CHANG UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         On February 7, 2017, Trustees of the Health and Welfare Fund of the Hawaii Carpenters Trust Funds (“HCTF”) filed a Complaint against Robert J. Corral.

         Jurisdiction of this Court is based on the Labor-Management Relations Act, 1947, as amended, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980, as hereinafter more fully appears thereunder, and more specifically under 29 U.S.C. Sections 185(a), 1145, and 1132(a) and (t).

         Service of the Complaint and Summons was effected upon Defendant Robert J. Corral (hereinafter “Defendant” or “Corral”) on April 2, 2017. Upon service of the Complaint and Summons, Defendant Corral failed to answer, or otherwise plead, and such time to answer or otherwise plead has expired. Thereafter, HCTF requested that default be entered against Defendant Corral, and on May 4, 2017, the Clerk of the Court made an Entry of Default of Defendant Corral.

         On August 9, 2017, the Trust Funds filed a motion for entry of default judgment against Defendant, seeking to recover a money judgment in the amount of $37, 032.30, which represented the amount of ineligible medical benefits incurred on behalf of Defendant's ex-spouse after their Decree of Divorce.

         Plaintiffs also requested their attorneys' fees and costs incurred in pursuing this action and its attorneys' fees and costs incurred in drafting this motion, attendance at the hearing thereon and finalization of the and judgment in the amount of $2, 664.02 in reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. Further, Plaintiffs expect to incur an additional amount of attorneys' fees totaling $750.00, plus general excise tax of $35.34 for a total of $785.34 for the attendance at the hearing of this motion, and finalization of the order and judgment thereafter. Accordingly, Plaintiffs requested attorneys' fees and costs in the amount of $3, 449.36.

         The Trust Funds' Motion for Default Judgment by Court came on for hearing on September 21, 2017 before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge, due notice of said hearing having been provided to Defendant. Jeffrey P. Miller appeared on behalf of the Trust Funds. Defendant failed to appear and/or respond to the Trust Funds' Motion for Default Judgment.

         FINDINGS

         Having reviewed the Trust Funds' Motion for Default Judgment, the attached declaration of Jeffrey P. Miller, the attached declaration of Kylie Wada, and the exhibits thereto, and the record established in this action, this Court finds as follows:

         1. At all times material herein, each of the above-named Trust Funds was, and now is, an employee benefit plan organized and existing under the laws of the United States and whose principal offices are in the City and County of Honolulu, State of Hawaii. At all times herein mentioned, each of the above-named Trust Funds was, and now is, an express trust created by a written trust agreement subject to and pursuant to Section 302 of the Labor-Management Relations Act (29 U.S.C. §§ 186) and a multiemployer employee benefit plan within the meaning of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (29 U.S.C. § 1002).

         2. During all relevant times herein, Plaintiffs are responsible for the collection, accounting, management and distribution of employer contributions and employee benefits pursuant to a Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) executed by Defendant Corral' employer.

         3. Defendant Corral was married to Tassa Torres and said spouse received medical benefits from Plaintiffs as a dependent of Defendant Corral.

         4. Pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Hawaii Carpenters Health & Welfare Fund, a participant's dependent is eligible for health coverage under the plan. However, the rules and regulations provide that coverage for participant's spouse terminates upon ...


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