United States District Court, D. Hawaii
INTERNATIONAL MASONRY TRAINING AND EDUCATION FOUNDATION, et al., Plaintiffs,
HAWAII MASONS' TRAINING FUND, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS, ECF NO. 38
Michael Seabright, Chief United States District Judge
International Masonry Training and Education Foundation
(“IMTEF”) and its Board of Trustees (“IMTEF
Trustees”) (collectively, “Plaintiffs”)
have alleged violations of state and federal laws against
Defendants Hawaii Masons' Training Fund a/k/a
Hawaii Masons' and Plasterers' Apprenticeship and
Training Fund (“Hawaii Fund”), and its trustees,
Peter Iriarte, Tryson Mook, Albert Mandac,  Francis Pascual,
Darlean Kiyokane, Glen Kaneshige, Claude Matsumoto, and
Michael Mazzone (“Defendant Trustees”)
(collectively, “Defendants”). Specifically,
Plaintiffs argue that Defendants violated a collective
bargaining agreement (“CBA”), entered between
International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers,
Local #1 of Hawaii, AFL-CIO (“the Union”) and the
Contractors Association of Hawaii, an association of
contractors, or contractor employers directly (“the
Contractors”), by not forwarding contributions made to
Plaintiffs' fund, as agreed upon in the CBA.
the court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 38.
Based on the following, the court hereby GRANTS in part and
DENIES in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.
is an employee welfare benefit plan within the meaning of the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
(“ERISA”) § 3(1), 29 U.S.C. § 1002(1),
an employee benefit plan within the meaning of ERISA §
3(3), 29 U.S.C. § 1002(3), and an multiemployer plan
within the meaning of ERISA § 3(37)(A), 29 U.S.C. §
1002(37)(A), which was “established and maintained for
the purpose of providing apprenticeship training and
educational benefits to eligible participants.” Compl.
¶ 8, ECF No. 19-1. IMTEF is also a jointly-administered
trust fund established pursuant to Section 302(c)(5) of the
Labor Management Relations Act (“LMRA”), 29
U.S.C. § 186(c)(5). Id. The IMTEF Trustees are
fiduciaries within the meaning of ERISA § 3(21)(A), 29
U.S.C. § 1002(21)(A). Id. ¶ 9.
Hawaii Fund is an employee welfare benefit plan within the
meaning of ERISA § 3(1), 29 U.S.C. § 1002(1), an
employee benefit plan within ERISA § 3(3), 29 U.S.C.
§ 1002(3), and a multiemployer plan within the meaning
of ERISA § 3(37)(A), 29 U.S.C. § 1002(37)(A).
Id. ¶ 10. Defendant Trustees are members of the
Board of Trustees of the Hawaii Fund. Id. ¶ 11.
to the CBA between the Union and the Contractors, each
Contractor must make “payments to the various Trust and
other Funds, as specified in [the CBA].” Defs.' Ex.
1, ECF No. 38-2 (“The CBA”) at § 14(A)(1).
The CBA outlines five Funds to which the Contractors are
required to contribute. Of relevance here is the
“Apprenticeship and Training Fund, ” which
requires the following contributions:
F. Apprenticeship and Training Fund
1. Each Contractor shall participate in the Hawaii
Masons' and Plasterers' Apprenticeship and Training
Trust Fund (hereinafter referred to as the [“the Hawaii
Fund”]) under the terms and conditions as set forth in
the Hawaii Masons' Training Fund Declaration of Trust
Agreement as executed December 28, 1977, and as it may be
amended in the future. . . .
Effective August 31, 2015, for Apprentices indentured on or
after September 1, 2003, from the above amounts, IMI
contributions shall be made pursuant to and as set forth as
in Section 14.F.4.
4. International Masonry Institute (“IMI”).
Effective August 31, 2015, each Contractor shall contribute
to IMI on behalf of each employee covered by this Agreement,
one percent (1 %) of the total hourly wage and benefits
package. These contributions shall be paid to [the Hawaii
Fund] in the same manner as other Trust Fund contributions as
set forth in Section 14, Section I of this Collective
at § 14(F). The CBA was subsequently amended to
replace “IMI” with “IMTEF.”
Defs.' Ex. 3, ECF No. 38-4. Based on this provision,
“it was understood by all parties that this provision
was intended to require employers to pay their IMTEF
contributions to the Hawaii Fund, and that the Hawaii Fund
would then forward said contributions to the IMTEF.”
Compl. ¶ 15. Neither the Hawaii Fund nor IMTEF are
signatories to the CBA. See Id. ¶ 12 (listing
parties to the CBA).
Hawaii Fund “has accepted at least $430, 770 in
contributions intended for the IMTEF from employers who made
such contributions under the belief and with the expectation
that the Hawaii Fund would forward those contributions to the
IMTEF on behalf of the employers.” Id. ¶
16. But the Hawaii Fund has not forwarded any of these
contributions to IMTEF. Id. ¶¶ 18, 20.
filed their Complaint in the United States District Court for
the District of Maryland on October 26, 2018. See
ECF No. 19-1. Plaintiffs assert two federal claims: that the
Hawaii Fund violated ERISA for delinquent contributions under
§§ 502(g)(2) and 515 of ERISA, 29 U.S.C.
§§ 1132(g)(2) and 1145 (Count I) and that all
Defendants violated ERISA for breaches of their fiduciary
duties under §§ 409, 502(a)(2) of ERISA, 29 U.S.C.
§§ 1109, 1132(a)(2) (Count II). See Compl.
¶¶ 22-43. Plaintiffs also assert state law claims
of conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, and tortious
interference with contractual relations against all
Defendants (Counts III-V), and unjust enrichment against the
Hawaii Fund (Count VI). See Id. ¶¶ 44-76.
January 4, 2019, Defendants filed motions to transfer venue
to the District of Hawaii and to dismiss Plaintiffs'
Complaint. ECF No. 19-7. On April 3, 2019, the United States
District Court for the District of Maryland granted
Defendants' motion to transfer to the District of Hawaii.
See ECF No. 19-13 (“Transfer Order”). In
so doing, it did not reach the merits of Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss. Transfer Order at 1, n.1. Presently before
the court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, re-filed in
this district on July 3, 2019. ECF No. 38. Plaintiffs filed
their Opposition on July 31, 2019. ECF No. 40. Defendants
filed their Reply on August 20, 2019. ECF No. 41. A hearing
was held on October 1, 2019.