The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Jerome B. Simandle
SIMANDLE, District Judge:
This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs Teamsters Pension Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity and Teamsters Health & Welfare Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity amended motion for default judgment against Defendant American Helper, Inc.. [Docket Item 13.] For the reasons expressed below, the Court will grant Plaintiffs' amended motion for default judgment and award a default judgment of $8,871.26.
Plaintiffs Teamsters Pension Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity ("Pension Fund") and Teamsters Health & Welfare Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity ("Health Fund") (collectively "the Plaintiffs") are multi-employer benefit funds within the meaning of Section 302(c)(5) of the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA") and Section 3(3) and 3(37) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"). The Funds receive and administer contributions from various contractors who are obligated to make contributions thereto by virtue of having agreed to be bound by collective bargaining agreements with various local unions. The Funds' offices are located in New Jersey. (Comp. ¶ 4.)
The Defendant American Helper, Inc., ("American Helper" or "Defendant") is a Delaware Corporation which has been engaged in an industry affecting commerce within the meaning of Sections 101 and 301 of the LMRA and is an employer within the meaning of Section 3(5) of ERISA. (Comp. ¶¶ 5 and 6.)
The Defendant's employees are represented by the Union and are participants in and beneficiaries of the Funds. (Comp. ¶ 7.) The Defendant is a party to a collective bargaining agreement ("Agreement") with the Union and the Agreement requires the Defendant to make timely contributions to the Funds for each full hour worked by each employee. (Comp. ¶¶ 8 and 9.)
The Defendant is required to pay its contributions to the Funds on a monthly basis. (Comp. ¶ 14.) The Agreement requires the Defendant to submit its contributions to the Funds by the 24th day of the month following the month in which the money was accrued. (Comp. ¶ 15.) Liquidated damages at the rate of 10% per month are imposed on late payments. (Comp. ¶ 10.)
The Defendant submitted late payments to the Funds for the months of April, May, June, July and August 2010. Liquidated damages in the amount of $6,004.22 have been imposed in accordance with the Agreement. (Comp. ¶¶ 16 and 17.)
On February 3, 2011, the Plaintiffs filed a Complaint against the Defendant alleging claims of breach of the collective bargaining agreement and violations of Section 515 of ERISA (29 U.S.C. § 1145). The Defendant was served on March 1, 2011 [Docket Item 4], but has failed to respond. On March 30, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a request for default, which the Clerk of Court entered pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(a). [Docket Item 5.] Plaintiffs then moved for default judgment. [Docket Item 6.] The Court denied Plaintiffs' motion for default judgment without prejudice because the Plaintiffs failed to indicate the basis for believing that Dominic Marano was authorized to accept service of process on behalf of Defendant American Helper, Inc.. [Docket Item 9].
The Plaintiffs filed the instant amended motion for default [Docket Item 13.] The Plaintiffs seek unpaid liquidated damages as well as an award of attorney fees and costs from the Defendant. Id.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2) authorizes the entry of a default judgment against a party that has defaulted. However, default judgment is not a right. The decision about whether default judgment is proper is primarily within the discretion of the district court. Hritz v. Woma Corp., 732 F.2d 1178, 1180 (3d Cir. 1984).
Once a party has defaulted, the consequence is that "the factual allegations of the complaint, except those relating to the amount of damages, will be taken as true." DIRECTV, Inc. v. Pepe, 431 F.3d 162, 165 n.6 (3d Cir. 2005) (quoting Comdyne I, Inc. v. Corbin, 908 F.2d 1142, 1149 (3d Cir. 1990)). Entry of default judgment where damages are not a sum certain requires an application to the Court to prove, inter alia, damages. Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2); Comdyne, 908 F.2d at 1149. In addition, liability is not established by default alone. D.B. v. Bloom, 896 F. Supp. 166, 170 n.2 (D.N.J. 1995) (citing 10 C. Wright, A. Miller & M. Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure, § 2681 (2d ed. 1983)). The Court must determine whether a sufficient cause ...