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Hawaii Masons' Pension Trust Fund v. Stonemasters, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

March 16, 2018

HAWAII MASONS' PENSION TRUST FUND; HAWAII MASONS' AND PLASTERERS' ANNUITY TRUST FUND; HAWAII MASONS' VACATION AND HOLIDAY TRUST FUND; HAWAII MASONS' AND PLASTERERS' APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING TRUST FUND; HAWAII MASONS' HEALTH AND WELFARE TRUST FUND, Plaintiffs,
v.
STONEMASTERS, INC., a Hawaii corporation; MICAH WATTS, individually; AMORA WATTS, individually; TIANA SPENCER, individually; JOHN DOES 1-10; JANE DOES 1-10; DOE

          JARED N. KAWASHIMA, CHRISTIN D. W. KAWADA Attorney for Plaintiffs HAWAII MASONS AND PLASTERERS TRUST FUNDS

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT STONEMASTERS, INC.

          Kevin S.C. Chang United States Magistrate Judge

         Before the Court is Plaintiff's TRUSTEES of the Hawaii Masons and Plasterers Trust Funds, which include the Health and Welfare Fund, Training Fund, Pension Fund, Vacation and Holiday Fund, and the Annuity Fund (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Plaintiffs” or “Trust Funds”) Motion for Entry of Default Judgment Against Defendant Stonemasters, Inc. filed on December 1, 2017 (“Motion”). ECF. No. 13. Plaintiffs request that default judgment be entered pursuant to Rule 55(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for delinquent contributions owed to Plaintiffs, liquidated damages, and attorneys' fees and costs.

         Defendant was served with a copy of the Motion, but did not file an opposition or otherwise respond to the Motion. See ECF 13-9.

         This matter came on for hearing on January 8, 2018. Appearing on behalf of Plaintiffs was Christin D. W. Kawada. Defendant Stonemasters, Inc. did not make an appearance or otherwise defend against the Motion. After careful consideration of the Motion, declarations, exhibits, and the record herein, and after considering the factors set forth in Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1472 (9th Cir. 1986), the Court finds and recommends that the Motion be GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         On August 10, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint seeking judgment for outstanding trust fund contributions and damages against Defendants Stonemasters Inc., Micah Watts, Amora Watts, and Tiana Spencer. ECF No. 1. The Complaint alleges that Defendant Stonemasters, Inc. (“Defendant “) entered into a collective bargaining agreement agreeing to contribute and pay to Plaintiffs certain amounts for employee benefits for work performed by Defendant's covered employees. Id. ¶¶ 12- 15. Plaintiffs claimed that Defendant failed to make required contributions. Id. ¶17. Plaintiffs claim they are entitled to unpaid contributions, liquidated damages, interest, and attorneys' fees and costs. Id. ¶¶ 17-24. The Clerk entered default against Defendant pursuant to Rule 55(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on September 27, 2017. ECF No. 10. The present motion followed.

         ANALYSIS

         Having reviewed the Motion, the declarations, exhibits, and the record established in this action, and after considering the factors set forth in Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1472 (9th Cir. 1986), the Court finds and concludes as follows:

         1. Each of the Trust Funds was and is an express trust created by a written trust agreement subject and pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 186 and a multiemployer plan within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. § § 1002 and 1003.

         2. Defendant is and was at all relevant times herein a Hawaii corporation doing business in the State of Hawaii.

         3. Defendant agreed to abide by all terms and conditions of the Master Agreement Covering the Ceramic Tile, Marble and Terrazzo Trades in the State of Hawaii, executed by and between International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers, Local No. 1 of Hawaii, AFL-CIO and the Tile Contractors Association of Hawaii (the “Bargaining Agreement”).

         4. The Trust Funds are a third party beneficiary of the ...


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