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Trustees of Pipe Industry Health and Welfare Fund of Colorado v. Expert Mechanical Services, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

September 30, 2014

TRUSTEES OF THE PIPE INDUSTRY HEALTH AND WELFARE FUND OF COLORADO, an express trust, TRUSTEES OF THE COLORADO PIPE INDUSTRY ANNUITY AND SALARY DEFERRAL TRUST FUND, an express trust, TRUSTEES OF THE DENVER PLUMBERS JOINT APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING FUND, an express trust, TRUSTEES OF THE PLUMBERS AND PIPEFITTERS NATIONAL PENSION FUND, an express trust, JOURNEYMEN PLUMBERS AND GAS FITTERS LOCAL UNION NO. 3, UNITED ASSOCIATION OF JOURNEYMEN AND APPRENTICES OF THE PLUMBING & PIPE FITTING INDUSTRY OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, an unincorporated association, and MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION OF NORTHERN COLORADO, THE, a Colorado corporation Plaintiffs,
v.
EXPERT MECHANICAL SERVICES, INC., a Colorado Corporation, and EMPLOYERS MUTUAL CASUALTY COMPANY, an Iowa Corporation, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ATTORNEY FEES

ROBERT E. BLACKBURN, District Judge.

This matter is before me is plaintiffs' Motion For Attorney Fees [#29][1] filed July 23, 2014. I grant the motion.

Plaintiffs brought this action pursuant to section 1145 of the Employee Retirement Income and Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1145.[2] After defendant Employers Mutual Casualty Company ("EMC"), paid the face value of its surety bond in favor of defendant Expert Mechanical Services, Inc. ("Expert"), plaintiffs' claims against EMC were dismissed with prejudice. ( See Minute Order [#21], filed December 12, 2013.) Default judgment subsequently was entered against Expert. ( See Default Judgment [#28], filed July 9, 2014.)

ERISA mandates an award of attorney fees and costs to a successful litigant in these circumstances. See 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(2)(D). See also Trustees of Colorado Statewide Ironworkers Joint Apprenticeship & Training Trust Fund v. A & P Steel, Inc., 824 F.2d 817, 818 (10th Cir. 1987). Plaintiffs seeks to recover $8, 865 in attorney fees expended on this litigation. The affidavit and billing statement attached to plaintiffs' motion demonstrate that counsel for plaintiffs expended a reasonable number of hours on this litigation and charged a reasonable hourly rate for those services. It appears further that plaintiffs' counsel has exercised billing judgment in the presentation of the fees sought to be recovered. Accordingly, I find and conclude that the motion should be granted.

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED as follows:

1. That plaintiffs' Motion For Attorney Fees [#29] filed July 23, 2014, is GRANTED; and

2. That pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(2)(D), plaintiffs are AWARDED attorney fees of $8, 865.


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