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GCIU-Employer Retirement Fund v. Quad Graphics, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 9, 2018

GCIU-EMPLOYER RETIREMENT FUND AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE GCIU-EMPLOYER RETIREMENT FUND, Plaintiff,
v.
QUAD/GRAPHICS, INC., Defendant.

          FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW; ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE NOS. 3 & 4 [115, 116]

          OTIS D. WRIGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On September 27 and 28, 2017, the Court held a bench trial on a bifurcated issue in this ERISA action. (ECF Nos. 139, 140.) Plaintiffs (collectively “ERF”) filed this lawsuit alleging that Defendant (“Quad”) failed to make required pension contributions to ERF under various collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”).

         ERF and Quad defined the issue at trial as:

Whether [ERF] ha[s] satisfied their burden of proof in showing that [Quad] is obligated under its CBAs and [ERF]'s Trust Agreement to make any contributions, and if so, under which terms, in what amount, and for what period of time.

(Pretrial Order, ECF No. 120-1.) At the final pretrial conference on September 22, 2017, the Court bifurcated the trial. (See Min. Order, ECF No. 133.) The first phase addressed whether ERF could support its claim of contribution damages as shown in ERF's Exhibit 81 (“Exhibit 81”). (Id.) ERF purports that Exhibit 81 is a summary of contributions Quad owes ERF for vacation entitlements in 2011 under the relevant CBAs at facilities in Dickson, Tennessee (“Dickson”), Fernley, Nevada (“Fernley”), Waukee, Iowa (“Waukee”), and Versailles, Kentucky (“Versailles”).

         Also pending before the Court are Defendant's Motions in Limine Nos. 3 & 4, which seek to exclude Exhibit 81.

         At phase one of the bifurcated bench trial, the parties elicited testimony from:

• Teresa Roberts, a former Quad employee;
• Jane Downs, a Quad employee;
• Judith Knore, assistant administrator of the GCIU-Employer Retirement Fund;
• Carl Coates, an auditor retained by ERF.

         Following trial, the parties submitted briefing.[1] (ECF Nos. 147, 148.) Having carefully reviewed and considered the evidence and the arguments of counsel as presented at trial and in their written submissions, the Court issues the following findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(a). To the extent that any finding of fact constitutes a conclusion of law, it is adopted as such, and vice versa.

         II. FINDINGS OF FACT

         A. The Parties

         1. Plaintiff GCIU-Employer Retirement Fund (the “Fund”) is a multiemployer pension plan within the meaning of 29 ...


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