United States District Court, D. Columbia
Service Employees International Union National Industry Pension Fund, et al., Plaintiffs,
Castle Hill Health Care Providers, LLC, et al., Defendants
Service Employees International Union National Industry
Pension Fund, Stephen Abrecht, Roderick S. Bashir, Kevin J.
Doyle, Myriam Escamilla, David A. Stilwell, Steven W. Ford,
Larry T. Smith, Edward J. Manko, John J. Sheridan, Frank A.
Maxson, as trustees of, and behalf of, the Service Employees
International Union National Industry Pension Fund,
Plaintiffs: Diana M. Bardes, LEAD ATTORNEY, MOONEY, GREEN,
SAINDON, MURPHY & WELCH, P.C., Washington, DC USA.
Castle Hill Healthcare Providers, doing business as CASTLE
HILL HEALTH CARE CENTER, Alaris Health LLC, doing business as
CASTLE HILL HEALTH CARE CENTER, Defendants: Carissa D.
Siebeneck, LEAD ATTORNEY, BIRCH HORTON BITTNER & CHEROT, PC,
Washington, DC USA; Ronald Gilbert Birch, LEAD ATTORNEY,
BIRCH, HORTON, BITTNER & CHEROT, Washington, DC USA; David F.
Jasinski, PRO HAC VICE, JASINSKI, P.C., Newark, N.J. USA.
OPINION AND ORDER
Mehta, United States District Judge.
cannot avoid summary judgment under Federal Rule of Civil
simply by claiming that it needs more time to discover facts
to support its opposition. Rule 56(d) requires a party
seeking relief under the rule to have shown diligence in
pursuing discovery. The party also must articulate what facts
it hopes to discover and why those facts are needed.
Defendants here have failed to demonstrate entitlement to
relief under Rule 56(d). They have not been diligent in their
pursuit of discovery. Nor have they identified what facts
they hope to learn through discovery or stated why such facts
are necessary to oppose Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary
Judgment. Because Defendants have failed to demonstrate that
they are entitled to additional time to conduct discovery
under Rule 56(d), the court will enter summary judgment in
Service Employees International Union National Industry
Pension Fund (the " Pension Fund" ) is a
multiemployer pension plan within the meaning of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act (" ERISA" ).
Pls.' Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 19 [hereinafter "
Pls.' Mot." ], Ex., Pls.' Statement of Material
Facts Not in Dispute, ECF No. 19-2 [hereinafter "
Pls.' Statement" ], ¶ ¶ 1-2. The Pension
Fund provides pension benefits to eligible employees of
contributing employers. Id.
Castle Hill Healthcare Providers d/b/a Castle Hill Health
Care Center and Alaris Health, LLC, d/b/a Castle Hill Health
Care Center (collectively, " Castle Hill" ),
operate a long-term healthcare facility located in Union
City, New Jersey. Defs.' Opp'n, ECF No. 23, at 1-2.
In 1992, Castle Hill entered into a collective bargaining
agreement (the " 1992 CBA" ) with Service Employees
International Union, Local 1199NJ (the " Union" ),
the collective bargaining agent for some of Castle Hill's
employees. Compl., ECF No. 1, at 4. Ten years later, Castle
Hill and the Union modified the 1992 CBA in a new agreement
(the " 2002 Agreement" ). Compl. at 4; see
also Compl., Ex. 2, ECF No. 1-2. To comply with Section
6 of the new 2002 Agreement--which required Castle Hill to
provide pension benefits to employees through the " SEIU
Pension Plan" --Castle Hill entered into a participation
agreement with Plaintiff (the " Participation
Agreement" ) in November 2002. Compl. at 4-5; see
also Compl., Ex. 3, ECF No. 1-3. The Participation
Agreement stated that the " Employer,"
i.e., Castle Hill, " agrees to be bound by the
provisions of the Agreement and Declaration of Trust
establishing the Fund . . . and by all resolutions and rules
adopted by the Trustees . . . including collection policies,
receipt of which is hereby acknowledged." Compl. at 4
(quoting Compl., Ex. 3 at 2).
the 2002 Agreement and the Participation Agreement required
Castle Hill to contribute 1.5 percent of each covered
employee's gross monthly wages to the Pension Fund
starting in 2002. Compl. at 5. That amount increased in 2004
and 2005 to 1.7 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively.
Id. In addition, the Collection Policy, referenced
in the Participation Agreement, provided that an employer
that fell short of its contributions to the Pension Fund
would be liable for interest at a rate of 10 percent per
annum, liquidated damages at a rate of 20 percent after the
commencement of legal action, and attorney's fees and
costs. Compl., Ex. 5, ECF No. 1-5, at 9-10.
2010, Castle Hill and the Union entered into a Memorandum of
Agreement (the " 2010 MOU" ) extending the
collective bargaining agreement and providing that the
pension contribution rate would increase to 2.2 percent.
Compl. at 5; Compl., Ex. 6, ECF No. 1-6, at 3. The 2010 MOU
also provided that the pension contribution rate would
increase to 2.37 percent after one year, and to 2.55 percent
after two years. Id.
The Rehabilitation Plan
result of investment losses in 2008, the Pension Fund was
deemed to be in " critical status" each year
between 2009 through 2014. Pls.' Mot., Ex., Decl. of
Kenneth J. Anderson, ECF No. 19-4 [hereinafter
" Anderson Decl." ], ¶ 14; Compl., Ex. 9, ECF
No. 1-9. In accordance with the Pension Protection Act of
2006, Pub. L. 109-280 (2006) (" PPA" ), the Pension
Fund established a Rehabilitation Plan, which required
participating employers to pay surcharges (" PPA
surcharges" ) and supplemental contributions to it under
either one of two schedules--either a " Default" or
" Preferred" Schedule. Anderson Decl. ¶ ¶
15-16. The Pension Fund sent letters to participating
employers notifying them of its critical status and the
Rehabilitation Plan with its two scheduling options.
Id. ¶ ¶ 14-16 (citing Compl., Ex. 8, ECF
No. 1-8, and Compl., Ex. 9, ECF No. 1-9).
Hill opted to make its supplemental contributions according
to the Preferred Schedule. Compl. at 8. Under this schedule,
Defendants owed, on April 1, 2010, a supplemental
contribution of 10.0 percent of all contributions due; on
April 1, 2011, a supplemental contribution of 18.5 percent of
all contributions due; on April 1, 2012, a supplemental
contribution of 27.7 percent of all contributions due; and on
April 1, 2013, a supplemental contribution of 37.6 percent of
all contributions due. Id.
to Plaintiffs, for various months in the years 2010 through
2014, Defendants failed to pay the required contributions,
interest charges, and liquidated damages as to three of its
healthcare facilities. Pl.'s Statement ¶ 29. Based
on Plaintiffs' calculations, for Site 2815, otherwise
known as " C.N.A.'s," Castle Hill owes
$10,109.69 in contributions for certain months between April
2011 through September 2014; for Site 2354, otherwise known
as " Dietary/Hskpg," Castle Hill owes $4,370.75 in
contributions for certain months between November 2011
through September 2014; and for Site 2825, otherwise known as
" Sunshine Recreation," Castle Hill owes $43.28 in
contributions for certain months between May 2012 through
July 2014. Id. ¶ ¶ 30-32. Defendants also
owe interest and liquidated damages of 20 percent on these
unpaid contributions. Id. ¶ ¶ 33-36.
addition, Defendants owe interest and liquidated damages as a
result of late paying their contributions for Site 2815
(C.N.A.'s) and Site 2354 (Dietary/Hskpg) for various
months between April 2010 and September 2014. Id.
¶ 37. For Site 2815 (C.N.A.'s), Plaintiffs calculate
that Castle Hill owes $931.41 in interest and $8,342.09 in
liquidated damages. Id. ¶ 38. For Site ...