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Trustees of Hawaii Laborers' Trust Funds v. A-Legacy Construction, LLC

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

June 27, 2019

TRUSTEES OF THE HAWAII LABORERS' TRUST FUNDS et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
A-LEGACY CONSTRUCTION LLC, a Hawaii Limited Liability Company, Defendant.

          WEINBERG, ROGER & ROSENFELD, ASHLEY K. IKEDA 2955-0 JERRY P.S. CHANG 6671-0 Attorneys for Plaintiffs TRUSTEES OF THE HAWAII LABORERS' TRUST FUNDS

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT IN PART AND DENY IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT A-LEGACY CONSTRUCTION, LLC, A HAWAII LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

          ROM A. TRADER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiffs HAWAII LABORERS' TRUST FUNDS' (“Plaintiffs” or “Trust Funds”) Motion for Entry of Default Judgment against Defendant A-LEGACY CONSTRUCTION, LLC, a Hawaii Limited Liability Company (“Defendant”), having come on for hearing before the Honorable Rom A. Trader, Magistrate Judge on June 27, 2019 at 9:30 a.m., with Jerry P.S. Chang, Esq. appearing for Plaintiffs, and no other party appearing. The Defendant has made no opposition, appearance or other communications, and the Court having read the memoranda, declarations, and exhibits in support thereto, the Court also citing the factors set forth in 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 GRANTS IN PART AND DENY IN PART Plaintiffs' Motion for Entry of Default Judgment Against Defendant.

         The Court bases its recommendation upon the following findings:

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         1. Defendant A-LEGACY CONSTRUCTION, LLC, is a Hawaii Limited Liability Company.

         2. On or about April 28, 2016, Defendant entered into a certain written agreement entitled “Exhibit G Certification of Receipt And Acceptance Master Agreement Covering Construction Laborers in the State of Hawaii, ” (“Agreement”), with the Laborer's International Union of North America, Local 368, AFL-CIO (“Union”), and the Trust Agreements appurtenant thereto, which said Agreements obligated Defendant to make contributions to the Trust Funds for each hour of work performed by a covered employee in Defendant's employment. The Agreement binding Defendant is attached as Exhibit “A” of the Complaint. (Doc. No. 1-1, and 1, respectively.)

         3. Pursuant to Section 14.9 of the Master Agreement covering Construction Laborers in the State of Hawaii, effective September 1, 2014 to and including August 31, 2019 (“Master Agreement”), Defendant 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 hours worked for each employee covered by the CBA. Pursuant to the Master Agreement, Defendants also agreed to allow the Trust Funds' representatives to audit its records and agreed to provide the Trust Funds with “information and records necessary” to administer the various Trust Funds. (See, Tonini Decl., ¶¶6-9 and Ex. “B”; Doc. Nos. 23-2, 23-5).

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

         5. Pursuant to the Master Agreement, Defendant 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] Id.

         6. Pursuant to the Master Agreement, Defendant agreed that if the delinquent contributions, liquidated damages, interest, attorneys' fees and costs due to any respective Fund are not paid within thirty calendar days after the due date, to post with the Trustees of each respective Trust Fund a surety bond or cash-in-escrow in an amount equal to the last three months contributions or $5, 000.00, whichever is greater. Id.

         7. As of the date of the Complaint filed on November 14, 2018, by virtue of the subject agreements, Defendant owed unpaid contribution of $448.20 (8/17 to 11/17 report), liquidated damages of $1, 188.43 (8/17, 9/17, 10/17 and 11/17 report), and interest (through 3/31/19, $.15 per diem) of $78.69 for a total of $1, 715.32, excluding attorney's fees and costs. (Tonini Decl. at ¶10; Doc. No. 23-2)

         8. The Summons and Complaint was served on Defendant on November 17, 2018. Due to Defendant's failure to file an answer or respond to the Complaint, a Request of Entry of Default was filed F.2d 796, 798-99 (9th Cir. 1990) (citing 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(2)(D)) (where Trust Funds prevailed on the issue of interest, Trust Funds were entitled to mandatory attorneys' fees award judgment; Operating Engineers Pension Trust v. Reed, 726 F.2d 513 (9th Cir. 1984) (29 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(2) mandates awards of interest and fees and costs to the Trust Funds); Kemmis v. McGoldrick, 706 F.2d 993, 997-98 (9th Cir. 1983). herein on December 14, 2018 (Doc. No. 11), and Default was entered by the Court Clerk on December 18, 2019. (Doc. No. 12).

         9. According to the Motion for Entry of Default Judgment, the current amounts due from Defendant are set forth below, and with interest ...


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