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CONNORS v. BRADY-CLINE COAL CO.

March 31, 1987

Joseph P. Connors, Sr., Donald E. Pierce, Jr., William Miller, William B. Jordan, and Paul R. Dean, as Trustees of the United Mine Workers of America 1950 Pension Plan, Plaintiffs
v.
Brady-Cline Coal Company, Margaret-Peerless Coal Company, Gauley Coal Sales Company, Defendants


Thomas F. Hogan, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: HOGAN

Thomas F. Hogan, United States District Judge

 Plaintiffs, trustees of the United Mine Workers of America ("UMWA") 1950 Pension Plan (the "Plan"), brought this action to collect withdrawal liability pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), as amended by the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 ("MPPAA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq. (1982). This matter is presently before the Court on plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. Upon consideration of plaintiffs' motion, the opposition thereto, and the entire record in this action, the Court shall enter summary judgment for plaintiffs.

 BACKGROUND

 Under MPPAA, multiemployer plans are maintained pursuant to one or more collective bargaining agreements, covering the employees of two or more employers. The collective bargaining agreements generally specify the rates participating employers are to contribute to a pooled fund administered by a board of trustees. See The Washington Star Company v. International Typographical Union Negotiated Pension Plan, 235 U.S. App. D.C. 1, 729 F.2d 1502, 1504 (D.C. Cir. 1984).

 When an employer withdraws from the Plan, the plan sponsors shall "(1) determine the amount of the employer's withdrawal liability, (2) notify the employer of the amount of the withdrawal liability, and (3) collect the amount of the withdrawal liability from the employer." 29 U.S.C. § 1382; see 29 U.S.C. § 1399 (requirements concerning notice, demand, and liability calculations). Under MPPAA, an employer is deemed to have withdrawn from a plan, thereby incurring withdrawal liability, when the employer

 
(1) permanently ceases to have an obligation to contribute under the plan, or
 
(2) permanently ceases all covered operations under the plan.

 29 U.S.C. § 1383(a). The withdrawal liability provisions of MPPAA "were enacted by Congress to protect the security of workers covered by multiemployer plans from the deprivation of anticipated retirement benefits." T.I.M.E.-DC, Inc. v. I.A.M. National Pension Fund, 597 F. Supp. 256 (D.D.C. 1984). Any disputes over withdrawal liability determinations are to be resolved through arbitration. 29 U.S.C. § 1401.

 STATEMENT OF FACTS

 Plaintiffs are members of the board of trustees and sponsors of a multiemployer pension plan maintained pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement between the UMWA and the Bituminous Coal Operators' Association, Inc. See 29 U.S.C. § 1301(a). Defendants are West Virginia corporations. In 1982, Samuel Brady, III and Jack Cline each owned 50 percent of the outstanding shares of all classes of stock of Brady-Cline Coal Company ("Brady-Cline") and of Margaret-Peerless Coal Company ("Margaret-Peerless"). Margaret-Peerless, in turn, owned 100 percent of the outstanding stock of Gauley Coal Sales Company ("Gauley Coal").

 Brady-Cline is insolvent; Margaret-Peerless is insolvent and inactive. Gauley Coal is insolvent ...


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