United States District Court, District of Columbia
SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION NATIONAL INDUSTRY PENSION FUND, et al., Plaintiffs,
PARKWAY HEALTHCARE, LLC, Defendant.
L. FRIEDRICH United States District Judge.
Service Employees International Union National Industry
Pension Fund (the Fund) and its Trustees bring this action
under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
(ERISA), §§ 1132(a)(3), (d)(1), (g)(2), 1145, and
the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (LMRA), 29 U.S.C.
§ 185(a), to collect unpaid contributions, interest,
liquidated damages, audit testing fees, attorneys' fees,
and costs from defendant Parkway Healthcare, LLC. Before the
Court is the plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment,
Dkt. 11, under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil
parties dispute nearly every fact in this case.
Compare Pls.' Statement of Facts, Dkt. 11-2,
with Def.'s Resp. to Pls.' Statement of
Facts, Dkt. 15-1. Thus, the Court must examine each
party's submissions to decide whether any of these
disputes are “genuine” and warrant a trial.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87
to the plaintiffs, the Fund qualifies as an “employee
pension benefit plan” and a “multiemployer
plan” under ERISA. See 29 U.S.C. §§
1002(2)-(3), 1002(37)(A). Three legal documents govern the
Fund's relationship with the defendant: a Collective
Bargaining Agreement requiring certain contributions, a Trust
Agreement establishing the Fund, and a Collection Policy
adopted by the Trustees. See Smith Decl.
¶¶ 6-7, 9-10, Dkt. 11-3; see also
Pls.' Mot. for Summ. J. Ex. 1, Dkt. 11-5 (Collective
Bargaining Agreement); Pls.' Mot. for Summ. J. Ex. 2,
Dkt. 11-6 (Trust Agreement); Pls.' Mot. for Summ. J. Ex.
3, Dkt. 11-7 (Collection Policy).
April 1, 2010, the Collective Bargaining Agreement has
required the defendant to make contributions to the Fund on
behalf of certain categories of employees, including
certified nursing assistants, dietary and housekeeping
workers, and recreational aides. Smith Decl. ¶¶ 6-
7; see also Pls.' Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 1. In the
Collective Bargaining Agreement, the defendant also
“agree[d] to be bound by the provisions of the [Trust
Agreement] establishing the Fund . . . and by all resolutions
and rules adopted by the Trustees pursuant to the powers
delegated to them by the Agreement, including collection
policies.” Smith Decl. ¶ 9 (quoting Pls.' Mot.
for Summ. J. Ex. 1, Art. 25.4). The Trustees adopted a
Collection Policy that requires employers to submit
contributions each month along with a remittance report
detailing the hours paid (excluding overtime) for all
contribution-eligible employees. Id. ¶ 11. If
an employer fails to submit contributions by the due date,
the Collection Policy allows the Fund to collect interest on
the delinquent contributions at 10% per annum, or to collect
liquidated damages equal to 20% of the delinquent
contributions, whichever is greater. Id. ¶
12-13 (citing Pls.' Mot. for Summ. J. Ex. 3 §§
5.1, 5.2). If the Fund does not receive a remittance report
for a given period and thus cannot determine the
contributions owed, it can estimate them using the
contributions from the most recent period and consider the
employer delinquent for that amount. Id. ¶ 14;
see also Pls.' Mot. for Summ. J. Ex. 3 § 2.
Further, the Collection Policy provides for the assessment of
attorneys' fees and costs against a delinquent employer.
Smith Decl. ¶ 15 (citing Pls.' Mot. for Summ. J. Ex.
3 § 5.3-5.4).
The Rehabilitation Plan
2009 to 2017, the Fund was determined to be in
“critical status” under the Pension Protection
Act of 2006 (PPA), Pub. L. 109-280, 120 Stat. 780 (codified
as amended in scattered sections of 26 and 29 U.S.C.),
the Fund notified participating employers of that
determination each year. Smith Decl. ¶ 17; Pls.'
Mot. for Summ. J. Ex. 4, Dkt. 11-8 (critical status letters).
Pursuant to the PPA, the Fund established a
“Rehabilitation Plan” and notified participating
employers of that plan in 2009. Smith Decl. ¶ 18;
Pls.' Mot. for Summ. J. Ex. 5, Dkt. 11-9 (letter to
employers outlining Rehabilitation Plan). The Rehabilitation
Plan required participating employers to pay certain
“surcharges” and “supplemental
contributions” on top of the “base contribution
rate” normally applied to each dollar of
contribution-eligible wages. Smith Decl. ¶¶ 19,
initial 5% surcharge applied as of June 1, 2009, and that
surcharge rose to 10% as of January 1, 2010. Id.
¶ 19. Under the Rehabilitation Plan, this 10% surcharge
remained effective until replaced by a supplemental
contribution schedule agreed to in a Collective Bargaining
Agreement. Id. When the defendant negotiated its
Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2010, it elected the
“Preferred Schedule” of supplemental
contributions, which when added to the 2009 and 2010
surcharges led to the following schedule:
• 5% as of June 1, 2009
• 10% as of January 1, 2010
• 18.5% as of April 1, 2011
• 27.7% as of April 1, 2012
• 37.6% as of April 1, 2013
• 48.3% as of April 1, 2014
• 59.8% as of April 1, 2015
• 72.1% as of April 1, 2016
• 85.5% as of April 1, 2017
Id. ¶¶ 19-21 (citing Pls.' Mot. for
Summ. J. Ex. 5). The Rehabilitation Plan applied the relevant
surcharge or supplemental contribution rate to the
defendant's 2% base contribution rate, such that the
total contribution rate for 2010 would equal 2.2% (2% plus
10% surcharge, or .02 x 1.1), the total contribution rate
beginning April 2011 would equal 2.37% (2% plus 18.5%
supplemental contribution, or .02 x 1.185), and so forth.
Id. ¶¶ 22-23 (citing Pls.' Mot. for
Summ. J. Ex. 1, Art. 25.3).
on these rates and the defendant's own remittance
reports, the Fund's Contribution Compliance Manager,
Kisha Smith, found the defendant delinquent with respect to
three categories of employees, classified by “[s]ite
number.” Id. ¶ 1, 26-27. To illustrate
the precise contributions due, she prepared detailed
spreadsheets that list for each month: (1) the hours reported
by the defendant (that is, the self-reported total gross
monthly earnings of all covered employees); (2) the base
contribution rate; (3) the base contributions due; (4) the
supplemental rate; (5) the supplemental contributions due;
(6) the total contributions due; (7) the amount paid by the
defendant; (8) the overpayment/underpayment, if any; (9) any
applicable interest or liquidated damages due; and (10) the
total amount due. See Id. ¶¶ 27-33;
see also Id. Exs. A, B, C (spreadsheets). These
spreadsheets indicate that the defendant owes contributions,
interest, and/or liquidated damages totaling:
• $13, 151.85 for Site 2362 (dietary and housekeeping