United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
CARPENTERS HEALTH AND SECURITY TRUST OF WESTERN WASHINGTON; CARPENTERS RETIREMENT TRUST OF WESTERN WASHINGTON; CARPENTERS-EMPLOYERS VACATION TRUST OF WESTERN WASHINGTON; and CARPENTERS-EMPLOYERS APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING TRUST OF WESTERN WASHINGTON, Plaintiffs,
NORTHWEST INTERIOR SPECIALTIES, LLC, and YESENIA ROJAS SANCHEZ, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING CARPENTERS TRUSTS' MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT NORTHWEST INTERIOR
J. BRYAN United States District Judge.
MATTER comes before the Court on the plaintiffs' Motion
for Summary Judgment. Dkt. 35. The plaintiffs, collectively
known as the Carpenters Trusts of Western Washington, seek
entry of summary judgment against Defendant Northwest
Interior Specialties, LLC (NIS), which has not opposed the
motion. The Court has considered the motion and the remainder
of the file herein.
following facts are supported by the record and not disputed
by any party.
Carpenters Trusts seek damages against Defendant NIS for
fringe benefit contributions reported, but not remitted, to
the Carpenters Trusts. Defendant NIS entered into a contract,
the Project Agreement (Dkt. 36 at 6-8), for construction
renovations of a public school. Under the terms of the
Project Agreement, Defendant NIS agreed to promptly pay wages
and fringe benefits and to subject itself to “the
applicable Trust Agreements . . . identified in the
designated Labor Agreement.” The Project Agreement
designates the N.W. Wall and Ceiling Master Labor Agreement
(Dkt. 36 at 10-39) as applicable. The Master Labor Agreement
requires employers to make contributions to the Carpenters
Trusts according to a particular schedule, or else face
specified penalties of liquidated damages, interest, and
fees. Dkt. 36 at 32-34. Interest on delinquent contributions
is owed at a rate of not less than 12%. Dkt. 36 at 49.
for the Carpenters Trusts represents that, according to
Carpenters Trusts' administrative records, there is no
record of Defendant NIS reporting and paying fringe benefit
contributions owed for the period of July 2015 to December
2015. Dkt. 36 at 1, 2. Carpenters Trusts calculates the
amount owed by Defendant NIS to total $94, 482.06, broken
down as follows: contributions ($73, 963.61), liquidated
damages ($10, 632.02), and interest ($9, 886.43). Dkt. 36 at
judgment is proper only if the pleadings, discovery,
affidavits, and any other materials on file show that there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c). The moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law when the nonmoving party fails to make a sufficient
showing on an essential element of a claim in the case on
which the nonmoving party has the burden of proof.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1985).
There is no genuine issue of fact for trial where the record,
taken as a whole, could not lead a rational trier of fact to
find for the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co.
v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586
(1986)(nonmoving party must present specific, significant
probative evidence, not simply “some metaphysical
doubt.”). See also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e).
determination of the existence of a material fact is often a
close question. The court must consider the substantive
evidentiary burden that the nonmoving party must meet at
trial - e.g., a preponderance of the evidence in most civil
cases. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 .S. 242,
253 (1986); T.W. Elec. Service Inc. v. Pacific Electrical
Contractors Association, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir.
1987). The court must resolve any factual issues of
controversy in favor of the nonmoving party only when the
facts specifically attested by that party contradict facts
specifically attested by the moving party. The nonmoving
party may not merely state that it will discredit the moving
party's evidence at trial, in the hopes that evidence can
be developed at trial to support the claim. T.W. Elect.
Service Inc., 809 F.2d at 630 (relying on Anderson,
supra). Conclusory, non-specific statements in
affidavits are not sufficient, and “missing
facts” will not be “presumed.” Lujan v.
National Wildlife Federation, 497 U.S. 871, 888-89
other provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security
Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. §1145 requires “[e]very
employer who is obligated to make contributions to a
multiemployer plan under the terms of the plan or . . . a
collectively bargained agreement . . . [to] make such
contributions in accordance with the terms and conditions of
such plan or agreement.” ERISA allows fiduciaries of
these plans or agreements to enforce §1145 to obtain
awards for unpaid contributions, interest, liquidated
damages, attorney's fees, and “such other legal or
equitable relief as the court deems appropriate.” 29
U.S.C. §1132(a), (g).
the facts to ERISA §1145, summary judgment in favor of
the Carpenters Trusts is warranted. The record supports
findings that (1) the Project Agreement, which incorporated
the Master Labor Agreement, required Defendant NIS to remit
fringe benefit contributions to the Carpenters Trusts; (2)
Defendant NIS failed to do so from July 2015 through December
2015; and (3) the Carpenters Trusts owe to Defendant NIS
fringe benefit contributions of $73, 963.61, plus liquidated
damages of $10, 632.02 and interest of $9, 886.43. Defendant
NIS does not challenge the record, including the fact that
Defendant NIS owes the Carpenters Trusts for the unremitted
contributions. There are no issues of material fact.
Therefore, the Carpenters Trusts' motion for summary
judgment of dismissal should be granted.
Carpenters Trusts do not seek an award of attorney's fees
and costs, so the Court does not reach that issue.
it is HEREBY ORDERED that the plaintiffs Carpenters
Trusts' Motion for ...