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Central Laborers' Pension Fund v. Coit

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL ISTRICT OF ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD DIVISION


June 6, 2006

CENTRAL LABORERS' PENSION FUND, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
COIT, INC., D/B/A COIT EXCAVATING A/K/A CENTRAL ILLINOIS HARDWOOD, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jeanne E. Scott, U.S. District Judge

OPINION

This cause is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for Default Judgment (d/e 12). As set forth below, Plaintiffs' Motion for Default Judgment is allowed, in part, and denied, in part.

Plaintiffs filed their Complaint (d/e 1) in the instant case on November 16, 2005, seeking unpaid amounts determined by an audit for the period January 1, 2002, to March 31, 2005, (Count 1) and delinquent contributions for the period from June 2003 to August 2003 (Count 2). Plaintiffs also seek an award of attorney's fees and costs. The Court, being fully advised in the premises, finds that the Defendant has failed to answer the Complaint filed herein in a timely fashion as required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Magistrate Judge entered an Order of Default (d/e 11) on May 9, 2006. Plaintiffs then filed the instant Motion for Default Judgment and served it on Defendant by U.S. Mail. Defendant has nevertheless failed to appear. Therefore, the Court finds entry of default judgment against Defendant to be appropriate on both counts and turns to the question of damages.

In Count 1, Plaintiffs seek $329,496.39 in audit liability due, $32,949.64 in liquidated damages, and $1,110.61 in audit costs. In Count 2, Plaintiffs seek $714.45 in delinquent contributions. In support of these requests, Plaintiffs have submitted a report prepared by certified public accountants Romolo & Associates. Complaint, Ex. F. The Court finds that the evidence supports Plaintiffs' requests. Therefore, the Court awards Plaintiffs $329,496.39 in audit liability due, $32,949.64 in liquidated damages, and $1,110.61 in audit costs for Count 1 and $714.45 in delinquent contributions for Count 2, which results in a total damage award of $364,271.09.

Plaintiffs also seek an order requiring Defendant to perform and to continue to perform its obligations to Plaintiffs, including the furnishing of contribution reports and payments. Plaintiffs' request is granted. Defendant is directed to perform and to continue to perform its obligations to Plaintiffs, including the furnishing of contribution reports and payments.

The Court further finds that Plaintiffs are entitled to an award of reasonable attorney's fees and costs. See 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(2)(D). Plaintiffs seek attorney's fees and costs in the amount of $6,723.00. In support of their request, Plaintiffs have submitted an Amended Affidavit in Support of Attorney's Fees. Motion for Default Judgment, Ex. A. It is clear from the Amended Affidavit that many of the fees and costs requested by Plaintiffs do not relate to the instant lawsuit, which was filed on November 16, 2005.*fn1 It is not appropriate for the Court to award fees and costs from another lawsuit in connection with the instant default judgment. Thus, the Court disallows all attorney's fees requested for work prior to October 19, 2005, and all costs accrued prior to November 7, 2005. With respect to attorney's fees, the Court awards Plaintiffs fees for 13 hours. The Court notes that the Amended Affidavit sets forth two hourly rates, $175.00 per hour and $185.00 per hour, without an explanation or an identification as to which hours were billed at which rate. Given this, the Court deems the $175.00 rate to be the appropriate one, and awards Plaintiffs $2,275.00 in attorney's fees. The Court awards Plaintiffs $299.00 in costs.

THEREFORE, as set forth above, Plaintiffs' Motion for Default Judgment (d/e 12) is ALLOWED, in part, and DENIED, in part. Judgment is entered in favor of Plaintiffs and against Defendant COIT, Inc., d/b/a COIT Excavating a/k/a Central Illinois Hardwood. The Court awards Plaintiffs damages in the amount of $364,271.09, attorney's fees in the amount of $2,275.00 and costs in the amount of $299.00. All pending motions are denied as moot. This case is closed.

IT IS THEREFORE SO ORDERED.

JEANNE E. SCOTT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE


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