Default Judgment Sought Against ASI

The trustees of the Indiana State Council of Roofers and Health and Welfare Fund have asked a federal judge to make a default judgment in their favor in their breach of contract lawsuit against ASI Ltd.

In court papers recently filed with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Indiana, Evansville, Ind.-based attorney Charles L. Berger alleges that ASI owes more than $111,000 to the Indiana State Council of Roofers Health and Welfare Fund, a multi-employer employee benefit plan that provides health, welfare and other benefits for employees of employers who contribute into its plan. Nearly $4,000 more in dues is owed to the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Glaziers Local 387, as well as attorney fees and court costs, according to court documents.

The suit was originally filed in January 2012, but has dragged on without resolution. Citing ASI’s failure “to file any responsive pleading in this matter,” Berger seeks to have the court rule in his client’s favor.

“[ASI] has failed to file an answer or any other motion responsive to the amended complaint since the filing of the amended complaint [in February 2012],” Berger wrote.

It remains unclear who is representing ASI in the matter. Indianapolis-based attorney William J. Tucker was originally representing the Whitestown, Ind.-based contract glazing company, but he was fired in April 2012, court records show.

Efforts to reach Kenneth W. Smith, president of ASI Ltd., were unsuccessful Tuesday morning.

Berger, who did not return calls seeking comment, sought to bolster his case with an affidavit from Ellen Densborn, the administrator responsible for overseeing contributions to the Health and Welfare Fund. Her testimony included an independent accountant’s report that also alleges ASI’s delinquency of more than $111,000 to the employee fund.

The fund alleges that ASI Ltd. signed an agreement with the plaintiff on or about September 2, 2009, to make contributions and payments for health and welfare fund on behalf of the employees, according to initially-filed court documents. The group further alleges that, beginning in November 2011, ASI Ltd. breached that agreement and failed to make the necessary deductions and payments to the plaintiff. Therefore, the Trustees have requested that the court award “whatever damages, including attorney fees, which will compensate them for the defendant’s breaches of contract, that the defendant be ordered to comply with said contracts and pay the amounts provided for in said contracts to plaintiff, said health and welfare fund and all other proper remedies, legal and equitable, plus interest and costs,” according to court documents.

The lawsuit is one of several to follow ASI since it suspended operations on December 30, 2011 before resuming in mid-January under new ownership.

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