United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
BUILDING TRADES UNITED PENSION TRUST FUND, SCOTT J. REDMAN, in his capacity as trustee, MILWAUKEE CARPENTERS DISTRICT COUNCIL HEALTH FUND, MILWAUKEE CARPENTERS JOINT APPRENTICESHIP COMMITTEE FUND, PAINTERS LOCAL 781 HEALTH FUND, PAINTERS LOCAL 781 APPRENTICESHIP FUND, MILWAUKEE PAINTER & DRYWALL CONTRACTORS PROMOTION FUND, and JEFF MEHRHOFF, in his capacity as trustee, Plaintiffs,
LIBERTY BUILDERS OF WI, LLC, Defendant.
Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge.
March 13, 2017, the plaintiffs moved for entry of default and
default judgment against the defendant. (Docket #5 and #10).
The Clerk of Court entered default the next day. Because the
Clerk of Court has entered default against the defendant, the
Court must accept all well-pleaded facts relating to
liability as true. Graham v. Satkoski, 51 F.3d 710,
713 (7th Cir. 1995). However, that does not relieve the
plaintiffs of the responsibility to prove up their damages
under Rule 55(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Indeed, “even when a default judgment is warranted
based on a party's failure to defend, the allegations in
the complaint with respect to the amount of the damages are
not deemed true, ” and the Court must conduct an
inquiry to ascertain the amount of damages with reasonable
certainty. e360 Insight v. The Spamhaus Project, 500
F.3d 594, 602 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting In re Catt,
368 F.3d 789, 793 (7th Cir. 2004)). Judgment by default may
not be entered without a hearing on damages unless “the
amount claimed is liquidated or capable of ascertainment from
definite figures contained in the documentary evidence or in
detailed affidavits.” Id. (quoting Dundee
Cement Co. v. Howard Pipe & Concrete Prods., Inc.,
722 F.2d 1319, 1323 (7th Cir. 1983)).
plaintiffs claim the following items of damages:
1) Unpaid contributions, interest, and liquidated damages
owed to the plaintiff Building Trades United Pension Trust
Fund in the amount of $23, 607.64;
2) Unpaid contributions, interest, and liquidated damages
owed to the plaintiff Milwaukee Carpenters District Council
Health Fund in the amount of $12, 737.12;
3) Unpaid contributions, interest, and liquidated damages
owed to the plaintiff Milwaukee Carpenters Joint
Apprenticeship Committee Fund in the amount of $809.18;
4) Unpaid contributions, interest, and liquidated damages
owed to the plaintiff Milwaukee Painters and Drywall
Contractors Promotion Fund in the amount of $34.21;
5) Unpaid contributions, interest, and liquidated damages
owed to the plaintiff Painters Local 781 Health Fund in the
amount of $20, 296.13;
6) Unpaid contributions, interest, and liquidated damages
owed to the plaintiff Painters Local 781 Apprenticeship Fund
in the amount of $1, 556.75; and
7) Attorneys' fees in the amount of $10, 078.50.
figures total $69, 119.53.
the claimed amounts are easily capable of ascertainment from
the computations in the documentary evidence and detailed
affidavit submitted by the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs have
submitted records detailing the defendant's failure to
abide by the terms of the various collective bargaining
agreements and the confession to judgment of January 24,
2014, and the payment delinquencies that have resulted
therefrom. See (Docket #11, #11-1, #11-2, #11-3,
#11-4, #11-5, #11-6, and #11-7). Thus, the Court having
determined “that defendant [is] liable to
plaintiff[s] as to each cause of action alleged in the
complaint, ” by its entry of default, and that the
plaintiffs' claimed amounts for unpaid contributions,
interest, and liquidated damages are reasonably certain and
well-supported, the Court will now grant the plaintiffs'
requested default judgment and award the plaintiffs their
requested amounts for those items. Breuer Elec. Mfg. Co.
v. Toronado Sys. of Am., Inc., 687 F.2d 182, 186 (7th
Cir. 1982). They have also submitted detailed documentation
of their attorneys' fees and costs. (Docket #11-8 and
#11-9). 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(2) of ERISA and the
collective bargaining agreements to which the defendant is
bound provide that the defendant shall pay reasonable
attorneys' fees and costs. Therefore, having received the
above- referenced evidence of those items, the Court will
also grant the plaintiffs' requested amounts for
attorneys' fees, with costs as may be taxed by the Clerk
of the Court.
IT IS ORDERED that the plaintiffs'
motion for default judgment (Docket #10) be and the same is
hereby GRANTED; the defendant shall pay to
the plaintiffs the total sum of $69, 119.53 together with
post-judgment interest as provided by law and costs as may be
taxed by the Clerk of the Court;
IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action be and the same