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Northwest Sheet Metal Workers Organizational Trust v. Associated Heating & Sheet Metal, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington

June 6, 2017

NORTHWEST SHEET METAL WORKERS ORGANIZATIONAL TRUST, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
ASSOCIATED HEATING & SHEET METAL, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This ERISA matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt. #28. Plaintiffs ask the Court for an Order granting the judgment in certain amounts for employee benefit contributions, liquidated damages, pre-judgment interest, and attorney's fees and costs. Id. Defendant opposes the motion on the basis that genuine disputes of material fact preclude such judgment. Dkt. #30. For the reasons discussed herein, the Court disagrees with Defendant and GRANTS Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs have brought this matter pursuant to Section 301 of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended (“the Act”), 29 U.S.C. § 185, and Section 502 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. § 1132, seeking monthly contributions to Plaintiffs' Welfare, Pension, and Supplemental Pension Trusts and other payments on behalf of employees represented by Local 66, which Defendant has allegedly failed to pay. Dkt. #13.

         Plaintiffs served their Amended Complaint on Defendant on April 15, 2015. Dkt. #7. Defendant did not respond. Accordingly, on August 4, 2015, Plaintiffs moved for an entry of default against Defendant, which the Clerk of the Court entered on August 5th. Dkts. #9 and #10.

         On March 2, 2016, Plaintiffs moved to file a Second Amended Complaint, which this Court granted. Dkts. #11 and #12. Plaintiffs filed the Second Amended Complaint on March 21, 2016, and served Defendant on April 15, 2016. Dkts. #13 and #15. Again, Defendant did not respond. Accordingly, on May 26, 2016, Plaintiffs moved for an entry of default against Defendant, which the Clerk of the Court entered on May 27th. Dkt. #17. Plaintiffs followed with a Motion for Entry of Default Judgment, which this Court granted on June 3, 2016. Dkts. #18 and #19. Judgment was entered the same day and this matter was closed. Dkt. #20.

         On September 28, 2016, Defendant moved for relief from default judgment. Dkt. #22. Defendant argued that the Default Judgment should be vacated because the parties had been involved in settlement discussions since the time of default, and had since reached a settlement in principle. Id. Defendant further explained that it did not seek an Order vacating the initial entry of default. Rather, Defendant sought an Order vacating the entry of default judgment in order to allow the original settlement to be finalized. Id. at 7. Plaintiffs did not respond to the motion. Accordingly, on October 18, 2016, this Court granted Defendant's motion, vacated the Order of Default Judgment, and re-opened the case. Dkt. #25.

         The parties subsequently submitted a Joint Status Report setting forth a proposed discovery plan, pre-trial deadlines, and trial date. Dkt. #26. The Court issued a Scheduling Order, setting a bench trial for July 10, 2017. Dkt. #27. The instant motion followed.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review for Motions of Summary Judgment

         Summary judgment is appropriate where “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986). In ruling on summary judgment, a court does not weigh evidence to determine the truth of the matter, but “only determine[s] whether there is a genuine issue for trial.” Crane v. Conoco, Inc., 41 F.3d 547, 549 (9th Cir. 1994) (citing Federal Deposit Ins. Corp. v. O'Melveny & Meyers, 969 F.2d 744, 747 (9th Cir. 1992)). Material facts are those which might affect the outcome of the suit under governing law. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

         The Court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. See O'Melveny & Meyers, 969 F.2d at 747, rev'd on other grounds, 512 U.S. 79 (1994). However, the nonmoving party must make a “sufficient showing on an essential element of her case with respect to which she has the burden of proof” to survive summary judgment. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Further, “[t]he mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the plaintiff.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251.

         B. ...


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