Steamfitters Local Union 420 sues company for nonpayment of fund contributions

Jon Campisi Sep. 12, 2011, 7:30am

The Steamfitters Local Union 420 has filed a federal lawsuit against a Bucks County, Pa. company for alleged nonpayment of employee benefit fund contributions.

Philadelphia lawyers William T. Josem and Jeremy E. Meyer, of the law firm of Cleary & Josem LLP, filed the civil action Sept. 6 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of the Philadelphia-based union local.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit are Richboro, Pa.-based United Mechanical Contractors, Inc., and its principal, Michael P. Marino, also of Richboro.

The lawsuit states that it has been filed to collect delinquent employee benefit fund contributions from the defendants due under a collective bargaining agreement pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

The plaintiff in the case is broken up into various funds, including the Steamfitters Union Local 420 Welfare Fund, Pension Fund, Supplemental Retirement Plan, Vacation Fund, Apprenticeship Training Fund, and Political Education Fund.

According to the civil action, the defendant company was party to a collective bargaining agreement whereby it would make “full and timely payments” to the various funds mentioned, and deduct contributions from employees who authorize such deductions and remit the various amounts to other funds mentioned; file monthly remittance reports with the funds listing all employees for whom contributions were due under the collective bargaining agreement and the total number of hours each such employee worked during the month; produce all books and records deemed necessary to conduct an audit of the company’s record concerning its obligations to the funds; and pay liquidated damages and all costs of litigation, including attorneys’ fees, expended by the funds to collect any amounts due as a consequence of the company’s failure to comply with its contractual obligations.

The lawsuit claims that the defendant failed to submit remittance reports and failed to submit payments for the months of April, May, June, July and August of this year. The payments should have totaled $20,715.06.

Because $5,000 had been held in escrow as per the bargaining agreement, the true total owed comes down to $15,715.06, the suit states.

“Despite demands for payment of the above amount, Defendant company has failed and refused to pay the delinquency,” the lawsuit states.

The plaintiffs demand judgment in their favor for the amount in question, plus attorney’s fees and other court costs deemed appropriate.

The plaintiffs hold defendant Marino similarly responsible since, as owner of United Mechanical Contractors, Inc., he was responsible for preparing, reviewing, authorizing and submitting monthly reports and contributions to the trust funds, the suit claims.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-05584-CMR.

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