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Trustees of the Hawaii Laborers' Trust Funds v. Tau Masonry, LLC

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

October 9, 2018

TRUSTEES OF THE HAWAII LABORERS' TRUST FUNDS et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
TAU MASONRY, LLC, a Hawaii Limited Liability Company, and TAUSINGA HAFOKA, individually, and dba TAU MASONRY, Defendants.

          WEINBERG, ROGER & ROSENFELD, ASHLEY K. IKEDA, JERRY P.S. CHANG Attorneys for Plaintiffs TRUSTEES OF THE HAWAII LABORERS' TRUST FUNDS

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANTS TAU MASONRY, LLC, A HAWAII LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, AND TAUSINGA HAFOKA, INDIVIDUALLY, AND DBA TAU MASONRY

          Kenneth J. Mansfield United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiffs HAWAII LABORERS' TRUST FUNDS (“Plaintiffs” or “Trust Funds”) Motion for Entry of Default Judgment Against Defendants TAU MASONRY, LLC, a Hawaii Limited Liability Company, and TAUSINGA HAFOKA, individually, and dba TAU MASONRY (“Defendants”), having come on for hearing before the Honorable Kenneth J. Mansfield, Magistrate Judge on August 30, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. with Jerry P.S. Chang, Esq. appearing for Plaintiffs, and no other party appearing. The Defendants have made no opposition, appearance or other communications, and the Court having read the memoranda, declarations, and exhibits in support thereto, the Court also citing to Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470 (9th Cir. 1986), having considered the evidence presented, and having heard oral argument, and being fully advised in the premises and good cause appearing therefor, the Court FINDS and RECOMMENDS that the district court GRANT Plaintiffs' Motion for Entry of Default Judgment Against Defendants.

         The Court bases its recommendation upon the following findings:

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         1. Defendant TAU MASONRY, LLC is a limited liability company doing business in the State of Hawaii. Defendant TAUSINGA HAFOKA is an individual doing business in the State of Hawaii as TAU MASONRY.

         2. Defendants entered into a Laborers' Project Agreement Masonry Contractors (“Project Agreement”) binding them to the Labor Agreement Covering Construction Masonry Laborers in the State of Hawaii, with the Laborers' International Union of North America, Local 368 (“Union”) and the Trust Agreements appurtenant thereto, which said Agreements obligated Defendants to make contributions to the Trust Funds for each hour of work performed by a covered employee in Defendants' employment. The Project Agreement binding Defendants to the Labor Agreement Covering Construction Masonry Laborers in the State of Hawaii is dated June 30, 2016, and is Exhibit “A” to the Complaint. [Doc. Nos. 1-1, and 1, respectively.]

         3. Pursuant to the Labor Agreement Covering Construction Masonry Laborers in the State of Hawaii (“Labor Agreement” or “CBA”), Defendants not only agreed to make contributions to the various Trust Funds, but agreed to pay them on a monthly basis and to submit monthly reports showing the monthly total of hours worked for each employee covered by the CBA. Pursuant to the Labor Agreement, Defendants also agreed to allow the Trust Funds' representatives to audit their records and agreed to provide the Trust Funds with “information and records necessary” to administer the various Trust Funds. [Doc. No. 18-5].

         4. Pursuant to the Labor Agreement, Defendants agreed that if the Trust Funds were required to bring legal action to recover delinquent contributions, Defendants would be liable for the delinquent contributions, plus liquidated damages of $20 or 20%, per fund, of the delinquency (whichever was higher) and interest at the rate of 12%.[1]

         5. Pursuant to the Labor Agreement, Defendants agreed to pay reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred if the Trust Funds were required to retain legal counsel for the collection of any delinquency.[2]

         6. As of the date of the Complaint filed on May 17, 2018 [Doc. No. 1], by virtue of the subject agreements, based upon the January 2017 report and August 2016 to June 2017 audit, Defendants owed $5, 912.39 in unpaid contributions and $3, 459.05 in liquidated damages[3], and interest (12%) under the CBA on unpaid contributions to April 30, 2018 of $853.48 ($1.94 per diem), for a total then due of $10, 224.92. [Doc. 18-3] (“Tonini Decl.” ¶9).

         7. Due to Defendant's failure to file an answer or respond to the Complaint, a Request for Entry of Default was filed herein on June 22, 2018 [Doc. No. 14] and Default was entered by the Court on June 25, 2018 [Doc. No. 15].

         8. Plaintiffs then filed their Motion for Entry of Default Judgment against Defendants on July 23, 2018 [Doc. No. 18].

         9. According to the Motion for Entry of Default Judgment, the current ...


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