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Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Fund v. J R Jones Fixture Co.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

September 1, 2017

CHICAGO REGIONAL COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS PENSION FUND, Plaintiffs,
v.
J R JONES FIXTURE CO., a Minnesota corporation, Defendant.

          Kevin P. McJessy One of their attorney

          ORDER

          Guzman Judge

         PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR ENTRY OF JUDGMENT

         Plaintiffs Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Fund et al. 's ("Trust Funds") hereby move this Court to enter a judgment by default against defendant J R JONES FIXTURE CO., a Minnesota corporation ("Defendant") pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55. In support of their Motion, Trust Funds state as follows.

         I. SUMMARY OF DAMAGES.

         For the reasons explained more fully below, this Court should award the Trust Funds $17, 399.30 in damages as follows:

(A) Unpaid Fringe Benefit Contributions

5798.49

(B) Interest

635.37

(C) Liquidated Damages

1159.70

(D) Auditors fees

5, 407.50

(E) Attorneys' Fees and Costs

4, 398.4

Total

17, 399.30

         II. ARGUMENT.

         A. Defendant's Default.

         On May 30, 2017, the Trust Funds filed a complaint against the Defendant under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") for unpaid fringe benefit contributions owed by Defendant pursuant to an audit conducted by the Trust Funds' designated auditor, Legacy Professionals, LLP ("Legacy") for the period January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014.

         The Trust Funds' complaint also seeks a judgment for all unpaid contributions, interest and liquidated damages, attorneys' fees and costs and auditors' fees pursuant to ERISA, the Area Agreements and the trust agreements to which Defendant is signatory.

         On July 13, 2017, this Court granted the Trust Funds' motion to serve Defendant by alternative means. See Order, July 13, 2017, Docket No. 7. The complaint was served on Defendant on or about July 27, 2017. See Affidavit of Service, Docket No. 8. The affidavit of service was filed with the Clerk of Court on or about August 14, 2017. See Affidavit of Service, Docket No. 8.

         Defendant failed to answer or appear.

         B. Damages for Unpaid Fringe Benefit Contributions.

         Defendant is bound by the Area Agreement with the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters ("Union"). See Declaration of K. Guastafem ¶3, Exhibit A. The Trust Funds conducted an audit of Defendant's books and records which revealed unpaid fringe benefit contributions in the amount of $5, 798.49. See Declaration of K. Guastaferri ¶¶6-7, Exhibit A.

         Under ERISA, Defendant is liable to the Trust Funds for any unpaid fringe benefit contributions. ERISA states as follows:

In any action under this subchapter by a fiduciary for or on behalf of a plan to enforce section 1145 of this title in which a judgment in favor of the plan is awarded, the court shall ...

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