United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
Members of the Board of Administration of the Toledo Area Industries UAW Retirement Income Plan, Plaintiff
OBZ, Inc., et al., Defendants
G. Carr, Sr. U.S. District Judge.
case comes before the court on review of the docket.
The Plan's Claim against RAKA
December, 2018, I granted partial summary judgment to
plaintiff Members of the Board of Administration of the
Toledo Area Industries UAW Retirement Income Plan (the Plan)
on its withdrawal-liability claim against defendant RAKA
Corporation (d/b/a Lockrey Manufacturing). Members of Bd.
of Admin. of Toledo Area Indus. UAW Ret. Income Plan v. OBZ,
Inc., 348 F.Supp.3d 635 (N.D. Ohio 2018). I held that
the Plan proved as a matter of law that Lockrey had
constructive notice of Toledo Wire's withdrawal
liability, but factual disputes existed as to whether Lockrey
substantially continued Toledo Wire's business.
mediation before United States Magistrate Judge James R.
Knepp, II, the Plan and Lockrey settled.
is the Plan's request that I approve the proposed
settlement. (Doc. 105). The Plan notes that it has a
fiduciary duty to plan participants to act solely in the best
interests of the Plan. The Plan contends that Magistrate
Judge Knepp's proposed settlement figure, which both
sides ultimately accepted, represents a fiduciarily prudent
settlement of the Plan's claim. Having reviewed the
request and the proposed settlement, I find that the
settlement is fiduciarily prudent and in the best interests
of the Plan and its beneficiaries.
The Plan's Claim against the Obertaczes
December, 2018 order also granted summary judgment to the
Plan on its evasion-of-liability claim under 29 U.S.C. §
1392(c) against Ann and Ken Obertacz and held that the Plan
was entitled to $97, 500 plus “the fair market value as
of the date of title transfer of the Nissan Murano formerly
belonging to Toledo Wire[.]” Members of Bd. of
Admin., supra, 348 F.Supp.3d at 650.
wake of that ruling, the Plan moved for attorney's fees.
(Doc. 93). The parties and I tried to resolve the issues
raised in that motion, but were unsuccessful. Thereafter, the
Plan moved to amend its motion to reflect the fees it
incurred since filing the original motion. (Doc. 100).
parties have since notified the court that they have settled
the Plan's claims against the Obertaczes and its claim
for attorney's fees. (Doc. 106, PageID 1602).
is the Plan's proposed order of satisfaction of fiduciary
duty regarding the proposed settlement with the Obertacz
defendants. (Doc. 106). There the Plan observes, quite
correctly, that “[f]iduciary responsibility carries a
large burden for trustees, ” that it must “act
prudently and in the sole interest of protecting the Plan and
plan participants, ” and that, in this case, the Plan
“had to exercise that duty while balancing the unknown
territories of further litigation and collection”
efforts. (Id., PageID 1602).
Plan further explains that the Obertaczes offered to settle
the case at a figure that represents about 90% of the
Obertacz defendants' outstanding liability to the Plan,
and that the Plan has accepted this offer.
reviewed the proposed order and the parties' settlement,
I find that the settlement of the Plan's claim and
request for attorney's fees is fiduciarily prudent and is