The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nordberg, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Donald V. Maxfield ("Maxfield") brought this action
against his former employer, Defendant Central States Pension
Funds ("Fund") and various Trustees and Directors of the Fund for
violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"),
29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. The Employment Retirement Income Security
Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq. and the common
law of Illinois in relation to his discharge.*fn1 This action is
presently before the Court on five separate motions filed by
defendants. The rulings of these motions are set forth below.
MOTION TO STRIKE PUNITIVE DAMAGES
Defendants' Motion to strike punitive damages prayer from Count
II, alleging violations of ERISA, 29 U.S.C. § 1001, of
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is granted. While the District
Courts are not unanimous on the issue of the availability of
punitive damages for a claim under ERISA, the instant action
falls within the majority view denying such relief. The Eighth
We do not think punitive damages are provided for in
ERISA. Ordinarily, punitive damages are not presumed;
they are not the norm; and nowhere in ERISA are they
mentioned . . . We believe that, as a matter of
federal common law, an award of punitive damages is
inappropriate to a claim of interference with
employee benefit plans. Dependahl v. Falstaff Brewing
Corp. 653 F.2d 1208, 1216 (8th Cir. 1981) cert. den.
[454 U.S. 968] 102 S.Ct. 512 [70 L.Ed.2d 384] (1981)
Plaintiff Maxfield relies on Bittner v. Sadoff & Rudoy
Industries, 490 F. Supp. 534 (E.D.Wis. 1980) in which a motion to
strike punitive damages under an ERISA claim was denied. The
Bittner Court, however, held that only the employer could be held
liable for payment on any punitive damage award. The Court also
noted that the punitive prayer was not unreasonable in light of
what possibly could be awarded.
The case at bar is distinguishable from Bittner, supra. If
liability is ultimately found on Count II, the ERISA charge, and
punitive damages are awarded, the Fund itself would have to pay.
That result would be contrary to the remedial nature of ERISA,
29 U.S.C. § 1001(b). Hurn v. Retirement Fund Trust Of The Plumbing,
Heating And Piping Industry Of Southern California, 424 F. Supp. 80
(C.D.Cal. 1976); Calhoun v. Falstaff Brewing Corp.,
478 F. Supp. 357 (E.D.Mo. 1979); Dependahl, supra.
Accordingly, defendants' motion to strike the punitive damages
prayer from Count II of plaintiff's amended complaint is granted.
MOTION TO DISMISS COUNT III
Defendants' motion to dismiss Count III is granted. Count III
of the Amended Complaint alleges that plaintiff should have
received additional pension benefits. Plaintiff argues that these
benefits are due and owing pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1140 with
civil enforcement available under 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a). The
language of Count III, however, appears to track 29 U.S.C. § 1141,
a criminal provision, in which enforcement is the exclusive
prerogative of the attorney general. West v. Butler,
621 F.2d 240, 240 (6th Cir. 1980). Count II of the instant complaint is
premised upon 29 U.S.C. § 1140. Therefore, if plaintiff premised
Count III upon § 1141, it is dismissed pursuant to Butler supra,
and if plaintiff premised Count III upon § 1140, it is dismissed
due to its redundancy with Count II.
Accordingly, defendants' motion to dismiss Count III of
plaintiff's amended complaint, pursuant to Rule ...