LaScala v. Scrufari

Attorney Fees

New York Law Journal


Judge John Curtin

The court aligned the Empire State Carpenters Pension and Welfare funds (Empire funds) as successors to the Niagara-Genesee & Vicinity Carpenters Local 280 Welfare and Pension Funds (Niagara funds), and substituted them as the insured under Labor Management Trust Fiduciary Liability Policy No. 8127-92-16. An Aug. 3, 2012, judgment awarded the Empire funds $411,871 in attorney fees and disbursements. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) and relying on "newly discovered" evidence consisting of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies' Aug. 22 letter disclaiming coverage under the policy based on no finding that the Empire funds were legally responsible for Scrufari's breach of fiduciary duty, the Empire funds sought the judgment's amendment to relieve them of direct liability for attorney fees and costs in plaintiffs' favor. In addition to awarding plaintiffs $411,871 in fees and disbursements against Scrufari, the court entered a $966,389 judgment—representing damages in the Empire funds' favor—against Scrufari. The $495,020 awarded to the Empire State Carpenters Pension Fund was to be offset to the extent possible against Scrufari's benefits under the Pension Fund in accordance with 29 USC §1056(d)(4).

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