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I.A.M. NATL. PENSION FUND v. ALLIED CORP.

October 31, 1984

I.A.M. NATIONAL PENSION FUND, BENEFIT PLAN A, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
ALLIED CORPORATION, Defendant; ALLIED CORPORATION, Plaintiff, v. I.A.M. NATIONAL PENSION FUND, BENEFIT PLAN A, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PENN

 JOHN GARRETT PENN, District Judge.

 The I.A.M. National Pension Fund Benefit Plan A (the Fund) filed Civil Action 82-1624 in June 1982 in order to collect a withdrawal liability imposed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq., as amended by the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 (MPPAA), 29 U.S.C. § 1381 et seq., from the Allied Chemical Corporation (Allied). Ultimately, the Court ordered the parties to submit "all factual and statutory disputes to arbitration." See Civil Action No. 82-1624, Order filed June 22, 1983. The Court then dismissed that case "subject to motion by either party to reopen within 30 days following the issuance of the arbitrator's award." Id. The arbitrator entered an Award of Arbitration on April 23, 1984 which was generally in favor of the Fund, and on May 23, 1984, the Fund filed a motion to modify in part and enforce the arbitration award.* On the same date, Allied filed a Notice of Civil Filing noting that it had filed Civil Action No. 84-1609. In that case, Allied sought a declaratory judgment that the MPPAA unconstitutionally deprived employers who withdrew from multiemployer pension plans prior to September 26, 1980, the date of its enactment, of their right to due process of law under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States insofar as the MPPAA authorized the "withdrawal liability" to be imposed retroactively. In the alternative, Allied asked the Court to vacate the April 23, 1984 arbitration award. The two cases were eventually consolidated.

 The cases are now before the Court on cross motions for summary judgment filed in Civil Action No. 82-1624.

 I

 When Congress enacted the MPPAA, which was signed by the President on September 26, 1980, it provided that the effective date of the withdrawal liability provision for the multiemployer pension plan was April 29, 1980. Thus, even though Allied withdrew from the Fund's plan on May 8, 1980, it was still liable under the MPPAA provided that the retroactive provision of that act was constitutional. Allied argued in this case that the provisions of the MPPAA were unconstitutional. However, this Court was not required to address that issue because on June 18, 1984, the Supreme Court put that issue to rest in upholding the constitutionality of the retroactive provisions of the act. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. v. R. A. Gray, 467 U.S. 717, 104 S. Ct. 2709, 81 L. Ed. 2d 601 (1984). Based upon that decision, the Fund would be entitled to prevail on the major issues in these cases. The Supreme Court was not to have the last word, however, because Congress enacted, and the President signed on July 18, 1984, the Tax Reform Act of 1984 (1984 Act) which included a provision "eliminating" the retroactive application of the MPPAA. Pub.L. No. 98-369, § 558, 98 Stat. 494, 899 (1984). Section 558 of the 1984 Act provides in part:

 
(a) In General. --
 
(1) Liability. -- Any withdrawal liability incurred by an employer pursuant to part 1 of subtitle E of title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.) as a result of the complete or partial withdrawal of such employer from a multiemployer plan before September 26, 1980, shall be void.
 
(2) Refunds. -- Any amounts paid by an employer to a plan sponsor as a result of such withdrawal liability shall be refunded by the plan sponsor to the employer with interest (in accordance with section 401(a)(2)), less a reasonable amount for administrative expenses incurred by the plan sponsor (other than legal expenses incurred with respect to the plan) in calculating, assessing, and refunding such amounts.

 The effect of the 1984 Act is to moot the decision in Gray.

 Allied argues that the 1984 Act forecloses any further consideration of the claims made by the Fund in these cases. Allied requests the Court to order the Fund to return the $85,708 paid by Allied to the Fund pursuant to the now eliminated provisions of the MPPAA. The Fund argues that Section 558 of the 1984 Act is unconstitutional.

 II

 "It is by now well established that legislative Acts adjusting the burdens and benefits of economic life come to the Court with a presumption of constitutionality, and that the burden is on one complaining of a due process violation to establish that the legislature has acted in arbitrary and irrational way." Usery v. Turner Elkhorn Mining Co., 428 U.S. 1, 15, 96 S. Ct. 2882, 2892, 49 L. Ed. 2d 752 (1976) (citations omitted). See also Gray, 104 S. Ct. at 2717-18. In Turner Elkhorn, the Supreme Court noted that the legislation under consideration in that case had some retrospective application but observed that "our cases are clear that legislation readjusting rights and burdens is not unlawful solely because it upsets otherwise settled expectations." 428 U.S. at 16, 96 S. Ct. at 2893.


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