(7th Cir. 1991) (orders compelling interim withdrawal payments are money judgments).
The Pension Fund seeks an order awarding the entire amount of withdrawal liability payments, as opposed to withdrawal payments. The Seventh Circuit has recently addressed whether a pension fund is entitled to receive the entire amount of withdrawal liability payments during the pendency of arbitration. See Chicago Truck Drivers, Helpers and Warehouse Union (Independent) Pension Fund v. Century Motor Freight, Inc., 125 F.3d 526 (7th Cir. 1997). While the Pension Fund filed its summary judgment motion prior to the issuance of Century Motor Freight, neither side subsequently brought this decision to the court's attention. The court reminds counsel that it has a continuing obligation to supplement its memoranda with subsequently issued Seventh Circuit or Supreme Court opinions directly addressing matters at issue.
With that said, the court turns to Century Motor Freight and its application to this case. In Century Motor Freight, the Seventh Circuit held that accelerated payments must be delayed pending the conclusion of arbitration initiated by the employer regarding its withdrawal obligation to an ERISA multiemployer pension fund. Century Motor Freight, 125 F.3d at 533-34. The Seventh Circuit reasoned that, while the plain language of the statute suggests that the fund may accelerate payments if the employer has defaulted, the better reading is that ERISA "conditions acceleration of withdrawal liability on an employer not seeking arbitration." Id. at 533. Under Century Motor Freight, therefore, the Pension Fund is not entitled to acceleration of the entire amount due.
It is, however, entitled to statutory liquidated damages as these damages are "separate from the underlying withdrawal liability itself: they relate to the employer's violation of the 'pay now, arbitrate later' scheme in ERISA." Id. at 534-35. In addition, the Pension Fund is entitled to statutory interest, accruing from the due date of each installment payment, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. Id. at 535.
For the above reasons, the motion for summary judgment filed by plaintiffs Stephen Bridge, William Close, Otis Cross, Michael Faucher, John McCormick, John Naughton, Robert Persak, and Gerald Zero, as the Trustees of the Local 705 International Brotherhood of Teamsters Pension Trust Fund, [7-1] is granted. Wright is liable, however, for delinquent withdrawal payments plus future installment payments, rather than the accelerated entire amount of Meyer's withdrawal liability. It is also liable for interest, statutory liquidated damages, and attorneys' fees and costs.
Accordingly, Wright is ordered to pay the Pension Fund all delinquent withdrawal liability payments that are owed from January 10, 1995 (the due date of Meyers' first installment payment) plus the greater of either double interest or interest plus liquidated damages and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Pension Fund in connection with this action. Wright is further ordered to pay the Pension Fund the remaining withdrawal liability payments as due under the payment schedule. The Pension Fund shall submit, on or before twenty-one days from the date of the entry of this order, a bill of costs detailing the amount of delinquent withdrawal liability, the amount of interest owed on those contributions, the amount of liquidated damages owed on those contributions, and the reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred in connection with this action. Wright may respond to the bill of costs twenty-one days thereafter. The parties are urged to confer and seek agreement regarding the calculations and attorneys' fees.
Blanche M. Manning
United States District Court