United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
TRUSTEES OF THE NECA-IBEW PENSION BENEFIT TRUST FUND, et al., Plaintiffs,
MARION FIRE SPRINKLER AND ALARM, INC., Defendant.
ORDER AND JUDGMENT OF DEFAULT
STACIM. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for
Entry of Default Judgment (Doc. 10). Plaintiffs filed the
instant action against Defendant Marion Fire Sprinkler and
Alarm, Inc. on February 5, 2019, alleging violations of the
Employment Retirement Security Act of 1974
(“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1131, et
seq. and the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947
(“LMRA”), 29 U.S.C. § 185, et seq.
(Doc. 1). Defendant was served with a copy of the summons and
Complaint on February 14, 2019 (Doc. 6). Thus,
Defendant's responsive pleading was due to be filed on or
before March 7, 2019. However, Defendant failed to answer
Plaintiffs' Complaint or otherwise plead, and a
Clerk's Entry of Default was made on March 15, 2019 (Doc.
make the following allegations in the Complaint: on November
1, 2012, Defendant became a signatory to the South-Central
Illinois Telecommunications Labor Agreements
(“SCITLA”) with Plaintiffs. SCITLA requires
Defendant to file reports and pay monthly contributions on
behalf of eligible employees to the Plaintiff ERISA trust
funds and trust plans and to withhold working dues from
paychecks of covered employees. Defendant failed to pay
contributions and working dues from October 2016 to February
2017 and from April 2018 to August 2018. Defendant also
failed to file reports or pay contributions from September
2018 to the present.
seek unpaid contributions, liquidated damages, interest, and
attorneys' fees and costs for each of the 5 funds:
NECA-IBEW Pension Benefit Trust Fund (Count I); Southern
Illinois Electrical Retiree Welfare Trust Fund (Count II);
Local Union No. 702 Annual Benefit Fund (Count III); Joint
Apprenticeship and Training Committee Local Union 702 IBEW
& Southern Illinois Chapter NECA (Count IV); and National
Electrical Benefit Fund (Count V). Plaintiffs also seek
unpaid dues, attorneys' fees and costs owed to Local 702
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO
(Count VI) and damages for breach of contract for all of the
above Plaintiffs (Count X) and third-party beneficiaries of
SCITLA: Labor Management Cooperation Committee (Count VII);
National Labor Management Cooperation Committee (Count VIII);
and Administrative Maintenance Fund (Count IX).
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a defendant must file
its answer “within 21 days after being served with
summons and complaint.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1)(A)(i). A
defendant who fails to do so may be found in default under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a). Default judgment
establishes, as a matter of law, that a defendant is liable
to the plaintiff on each cause of action alleged in the
Complaint. United States v. Di Mucci, 879 F.2d 1488,
1497 (7th Cir. 1989). Whether to enter default judgment is
within the district court's discretion. O'Brien
v. R.J. O'Brien & Assocs., Inc., 998 F.2d 1394,
1398 (7th Cir.1993).
defendant is found in default, all factual allegations in the
Complaint are deemed admitted and not subject to challenge.
Black v. Lane, 22 F.3d 1395, 1399 (7th Cir. 1994).
However, allegations relating to the amount of damages are
not deemed admitted. Dundee Cement Co. v. Howard Pipe
& Concrete Prods., 722 F.2d 1319, 1323 (7th Cir.
1983); see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(b)(6). On default,
the Court may conduct a hearing when it is necessary to
perform an accounting, ascertain damages, “establish
the truth of any allegation by evidence, ” or
investigate any other matter. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2)(A)-(D).
consistent with the allegations in the Complaint, Plaintiffs
seeks the following damages on default for the actual amount
due and owing pursuant to SCITLA for April 2018 to March 2019
and the Payment Agreement:
a. $17, 152.78 in unpaid contributions and
working dues, $702.41 in interest and
$1, 453.44 in liquidated damages to
Plaintiffs for the period April 2018 through March 2019;
b. $11, 992.76 remaining under the Payment
Agreement plus $1, 540.65 in interest and
$808.17 in liquidated damages to Plaintiffs
which has accrued under the Payment Agreement; and,
c. Attorneys' fees of $9, 244.20 and
costs totaling $440.00.
Court finds that the damages on default are ascertainable
without the necessity of a hearing. Accordingly, Plaintiffs'
Motion is GRANTED and Default Judgment is
entered in favor of Plaintiffs and against Defendant in the
amount of $43, 334.41. The Clerk of Court is
DIRECTED to enter Judgment accordingly at
the close of the case.