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Boards of Trustees of the Ohio Laborers' Fringe benefit Programs v. Carson Paving Company

March 16, 2007

BOARDS OF TRUSTEES OF THE OHIO LABORERS' FRINGE BENEFIT PROGRAMS, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CARSON PAVING COMPANY, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Norah McCann King United States Magistrate Judge

Magistrate Judge King

OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiffs bring this action pursuant to § 301 of the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C. § 185, and § 502 of the Employees Retirement Income Security Act of 1972 (hereinafter "ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1132 et seq., seeking recovery for amounts allegedly due certain employee benefit plans. With the consent of the parties, 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), this matter is before the Court on plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment.*fn1 Doc. No. 34.

I. Background

Plaintiffs consist of the Boards of Trustees for The Ohio Laborers' Fringe Benefit Programs (hereinafter "Benefit Programs"), an association of three employee benefit trust funds and one labor management cooperative trust.*fn2 Complaint, at ¶ 2. The Benefit Programs maintain their principal place of business in Worthington, Ohio. Id. Defendant Carson Paving Company, Inc. (hereinafter "Carson") is an employer with its principal place of business in Cleveland, Ohio. Id., at ¶ 3.*fn3

On June 1, 2003, Carson entered into an agreement with Local No. 860, affiliated with the Ohio Laborers' District Council of Ohio. See Agreement, Exhibit A to Affidavit of Matthew A. Archer. As part of that agreement, Carson accepted the terms of the Ohio Highway-Heavy-Municipal and Utility Construction State Agreement (the "CBA"). This CBA obligates Carson to make contributions to the Benefit Programs on behalf of Carson's employees working within the work jurisdiction of the union. Complaint, at ¶ 4. The CBA also provides that each participating employer is obligated to file monthly contribution reports and permit audits of its financial records. See CBA, Article IX, attached as Exhibit B to Affidavit of Matthew A. Archer. See also Complaint, at ¶ 4. Plaintiffs allege that Carson acted in breach of the CBA by failing to make monthly contributions to the Benefit Programs. Complaint, at ¶ 6. As a result, plaintiffs allege that Carson owes $20,813.95 in delinquent principal, liquidated damages and interest. Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, at pp. 3-4. Plaintiffs also request $6,298.50 in attorney fees. Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, at p. 4.

II. Discussion

A. Standard

Although summary judgment should be cautiously invoked, it is an integral part of the federal rules, which are designed "to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986)(quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 1). The standard for granting summary judgment is found in Fed. R. Civ. P. 56.Rule 56(c) provides in pertinent part:

The judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.

Pursuant to Rule 56(c), summary judgment is appropriate if "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact . . . ." In making this determination, the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144 (1970). Summary judgment will not lie if the dispute about a material fact is genuine, "that is, if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986). However, summary judgment is appropriate if the opposing party fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Celotex Corp, 477 U.S. at 322. The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the opposing party's position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the fact finder could reasonably find for the opposing party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251. Moreover, [w]hen a motion for summary judgment is made and supported as provided in this rule, an adverse party's response, by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule, must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. If the adverse party does not so respond, summary judgment, if appropriate, shall be entered against the adverse party.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e).

B. Application

1. ...


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