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,
Conforming Matrix Corp., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Jeffrey J. Helmick United States District Judge.
Members of the Board of Administration of the Toledo Area
Industries UAW Retirement Income Plan (the
“Board”) filed suit on November 14, 2018,
alleging Defendant Conforming Matrix Corp., failed to pay
money it owed for contributions to the Toledo Area Industries
UAW Retirement Income Plan (the “Plan”). (Doc.
the Board completed service of the complaint upon the
Defendant, neither filed an answer and the Board filed an
application to the Clerk of Court for the entry of default
pursuant to Rule 55. (Doc. No. 5). The Clerk of Court entered
default on January 7, 2019. (Doc. No. 6). The Defendant also
was served with a copy of the entry of default, by mail to
the Defendant's registered agent, but the Defendant has
not appeared in this litigation to object to the entry of
default or to oppose the Board's motion for default
judgment and assessment of damages and attorney fees. (Doc.
may enter a default judgment pursuant to Rule 55(b)(2), which
provides, in these circumstances, that “the
complaint's factual allegations regarding liability are
taken as true, while allegations regarding the amount of
damages must be proven.” Wilson v. D & N
Masonry, Inc., No. 1:12-CV-922, 2014 WL 5089419, at *1
(S.D. Ohio Oct. 9, 2014) (citation omitted).
allegations of the complaint, when taken as true, demonstrate
Defendant breached its duty to pay its calculated withdrawal
liability following its withdrawal from the Plan in February
2018. (Doc. No. 1 at 3). Defendant was informed its
withdrawal liability for Plan contributions was $2, 900, 944,
and that its liability would be capped at $542, 880 if it
made payments as pursuant to a payment schedule. (Doc. No. 1
at 3). Defendant did not make any payments and did not seek a
review of the calculation of its withdrawal liability. (Doc.
No. 1 at 3-4). I conclude the Board is entitled to
compensatory damages in the amount of $2, 900, 944.
I conclude the Board is entitled to an award of attorney fees
pursuant to the Plan. (Doc. No. 1 at 5; Doc. No. 8-1 at 3).
Pursuant to my request, the Board has supplemented its fee
request to include a break-down of its fee request. (Doc. No.
8-2). The Board documents a total of 15.2 attorney hours,
14.4 of which are billed at a rate of $195 per hour and 0.8
of which are billed at a rate of $200 per hour.
(Id.). It also documents 4.2 legal assistant hours,
billed at $85 per hour, a filing fee of $400.00, and expenses
of $8.83. (Id.). After reviewing the affidavits and
records submitted, I conclude the fees requested are
reasonable. See, e.g., Hensley v. Eckerhart, 4691
U.S. 424, 437 (1983) (“[T]he fee applicant bears the
burden of establishing entitlement to an award and
documenting the appropriate hours expended and hourly
rates.”). I conclude the Board is entitled to its
requested attorney's fees and costs in the amount of $3,
733.83. (Doc. No. 8-2).
conclude the Board is entitled to post-judgment interest
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1961(a), and to pre-judgment
interest on the amount of compensatory damages the Board
incurred as a result of Defendant's failure to pay its
withdrawal liability. See, e.g., Brown v. Consol. Rail
Corp., 614 F.Supp. 289, 291 (N.D. Ohio 1985)
(“[P]rejudgment interest is a means by which a party
who is entitled to an award can collect the proceeds from
funds he presumably would have had the use of had it not been
for defendant's conduct.”).
Board, however, is not entitled to liquidated damages. While
the Board now asserts the Plan documents permit the
imposition of liquidated damages, (Doc. No. 7 at 5), the
Board did not request that relief in its Complaint, and
therefore it is barred from recovering damages on that basis
upon the entry of a default judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(c)
(“A default judgment must not differ in kind from, or
exceed in amount, what is demanded in the pleadings.”).
these reasons, the Board's motion for default judgment,
(Doc. No. 7), is granted in part and denied in part. I
conclude the Board is entitled to $2, 900, 944 in
compensatory damages, $3, 733.83 in attorney fees and costs,
pre-judgment interest on its compensatory damages, and
post-judgment interest ...