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Hawaii Carpenters Trust Funds v. Tricon, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

April 8, 2019

HAWAII CARPENTERS TRUST FUNDS, Health & Welfare Fund by its trustees Russell Young, Glen Kaneshige, Eric Hashizume, George Ehara, Ronald Taketa, Kyle Chock, Shayne Chung, Conrad C. Verdugo, Jr., Ralph Hoohuli, Travis Murakami and Alika Fujimoto; Apprenticeship & Training Fund by its trustees Claude Matsumoto, Thomas Toma, Conrad Murashige, Dale Sakamoto-Yoneda, Roy Morioka, Vince Nihipali, Sheri Mau, Kyle Chock, Ronald Taketa, Mitchell Tynanes, Sean Newcamp, Ralph Hoohuli, Travis Murakami and Barbara Kono; Vacation & Holiday Fund by its trustees James Watanabe, Paul Silen, Paul Sasaki, Jay Kadowaki, Roy Morioka, Kyle Chock, Sean Newcamp, Mitchell Tynanes, Ralph Hoohuli, Travis Murakami, Tom Broderick and Blake T. Inouye; Market Recovery Program by its trustees Thalia Choy, Alan Shintani, Justin Izumi, Ken Kawamoto, Bill Wilson, Lance Wilhelm, Sean Newcamp, Kyle Chock, Mitchell Tynanes, Ralph Hoohuli, Travis Murakami and Dale Sakamoto-Yoneda; Financial Security Fund by its trustees Kenneth Spence, Conrad Murashige, Kenneth Sakurai, Alan Shintani, Kyle Chock, Ronald Taketa, Shayne Chung, Sean Newcamp, Ralph Hoohuli, Clyde Sugawa, Joyce Furukawa, Travis Murakami and Michael Inouye; Drywall Training Fund by its trustees Vince Nihipali, Sr., Lito Alcantra, Bert Beaman, Mike Goodnight, Kevin Respecki, Sean Newcamp, Garrett Takara, Edmund Aczon, David Samson and Ivan Lay; 401-K Fund by its trustees Kenneth Spence, Conrad Murashige, Kenneth Sakurai, Alan Shintani, Kyle Chock, Ronald Taketa, Shayne Chung, Sean Newcamp, Ralph Hoohuli, Clyde Sugawa, Joyce Furukawa, Travis Murakami and Michael Inouye; Plaintiffs,
v.
TRICON, INC.; JOHN DOES 1-100; JANE DOES 1-100; DOE CORPORATIONS 1-100; DOE PARTNERSHIPS 1-100; DOE ENTITIES 1-100; DOE GOVERNMENTAL UNITS 1-100, Defendants.

          Of Counsel: MILLER SHEA, A Limited Liability Law Company, JEFFREY P. MILLER, Attorneys for Plaintiffs TRUSTEES OF THE HAWAII CARPENTER TRUST FUNDS

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO ENTER DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST TRICON, INC.

          Kenneth J. Mansfield, United States Magistrate Judge.

         On November 29, 2018, Trustees of the Hawaii Carpenters Trust Funds (“HCTF”) filed a Complaint against Tricon, Inc.

         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 Tricon, Inc. (hereinafter “Defendant”) on December 4, 2018. Upon service of the Complaint and Summons, Defendant 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, and on January 4, 2019, the Clerk of the Court made an Entry of Default against Defendant.

         On February 25, 2019, the Trust Funds filed a motion for entry of default judgment against Defendant, seeking to recover a money judgment in the following amounts owed as of February 11, 2019:

Tricon, Inc. IU Account No. 20842:

Contributions

$62, 895.72

Liquidated Damages

$27, 325.48

12% Fund Interest

$18, 007.17

401k Lost Earnings Interest

$608.70

Total

$108, 837.07

         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 order and judgment in the amount of $3, 298.79 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 $4, 084.13.

         The Trust Funds' Motion for Default Judgment by Court came on for hearing on April 2, 2019 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 Sarah Kobayashi, 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. Defendant is a signatory to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) with the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters. Pursuant to the CBA, each month Defendant is required to submit to the Hawaii Carpenters Trust Funds office a report detailing the number of hours each of its employees worked on a union jobsite for the previous calendar month. The report details the hourly benefit rate for each of the trust funds for each employee, based on the employee's classification, and calculates the amount of contributions owed under the CBA based on the classification of the employee and the number of hours worked. The employer is required to submit the reported hours and calculated contributions to the trust funds no later than the twenty fifth day of the month following the work performed in the prior calendar month.

         3. Defendant failed to submit the contributions owed pursuant to the hours worked by its ...


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