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Eighth Circuit Finds Employee Benefit Funds Failed to Establish Company Owes Supplemental Dues under CBA

In Greater St. Louis Constr. Laborers Welfare Fund v. B.F.W. Contracting, LLC, No. 22-2138, __F.4th__, 2023 WL 4940260 (8th Cir. Aug. 3, 2023), Defendants-Appellants B.F.W. Contracting, LLC and B.F.W. Contractors, LLC (collectively, “Contractors”) appealed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Plaintiffs—four employee benefit funds and their Boards of Trustees as well as two labor unions (collectively, “Boards”)—in Plaintiffs’ ERISA suit to compel an audit and recover money damages from the Contractors pursuant to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The Eighth Circuit reversed the judgment and the damages award of $48,568.76 because genuine issues of material fact remain.

The Contractors posited several arguments on appeal, but the Court found that summary judgment was inappropriate because there remains a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the Contractors had a duty to pay supplemental dues under the CBA. Under the CBA, the Contractors had to be provided with employee authorization cards. The Contractors contended that they never received the cards, and the Boards did not establish that they provided the cards. A fact issue remains as to whether the Boards supplied the Contractors with the required signed authorization cards. The court reversed summary judgment and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.


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*Please note that this blog is a summary of a reported legal decision and does not constitute legal advice. This blog has not been updated to note any subsequent change in status, including whether a decision is reconsidered or vacated. The case above was handled by other law firms, but if you have questions about how the developing law impacts your ERISA benefit claim, the attorneys at Roberts Disability Law, P.C. may be able to advise you so please contact us.

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