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United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
March 31, 2022, Decided; March 31, 2022, Filed
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
SEYBERT, District Judge:
Dr. Gerald Finkel, as chairman of the joint industry board of the electrical industry ("Plaintiff" or the "Joint Board"), commenced this action pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA")1 and New York State law against defendants Zizza & Associates Corp. ("Zizza & Associates"), Bergen Cove Realty, Inc. ("Bergen Cove"), and Salvatore J. Zizza ("Mr. Zizza" and collectively "Defendants"). On April 30, 2021, a jury found Zizza & Associates and Bergen Cove liable on Plaintiff's claim for withdrawal liability under ERISA, and Mr. Zizza liable on Plaintiff's claim under the New York Business Corporation Law ("NY BCL"). Before the Court is Defendants' motion under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 50 and 59 for judgment as a matter of law or, in the alternative, a new trial,2 which Plaintiff opposes.3 For the following reasons, Defendants' motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.
Plaintiff initiated this ERISA action against Mr. Zizza [*2] and Zizza & Associates on August 16, 2012 to collect $358,852.05 in withdrawal liability and statutory damages arising from a default judgment entered on October 23, 2009 (the "Judgment") in Finkel v. Hall-Mark Electrical Supplies Corp., No. 07-CV-2376, in the Eastern District of New York (the "Prior Action"). Plaintiff added claims against Bergen Cove in the operative Second Amended Complaint. (See generally SAC, ECF No. 50.) After several years of discovery and motion practice, this case was tried before a jury on April 29 and 30, 2021. As summarized infra, the jury rejected Defendants' statute of limitations defense and found Defendants liable on all claims. (Verdict Form, ECF No. 232.) As a result, Defendants filed the instant motion for judgment as a matter of law or, in the alternative, for a new trial. The Court first summarizes the allegations in Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint and this case's procedural history before turning to the evidence at trial.
I. The Operative Complaint
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60317 *; 2022 WL 970670
DR. GERALD FINKEL, as Chairman of the Joint Industry Board of the Electrical Industry, Plaintiff, -against- ZIZZA & ASSOCIATES CORP., BERGEN COVE REALTY INC., SALVATORE J. ZIZZA, Defendants.
Prior History: Finkel v. Zizza & Assocs. Corp., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3030 (E.D.N.Y., Jan. 6, 2020)
control group, withdrawal, stock, evade-or-avoid, matter of law, controlled group, actuarial, Trusts, parties, alter ego, advisory, transactions, instruct a jury, purposes, ceasing, consulting business, attorney's fees, entities, common control, new trial, contributions, shares, terms, statute of limitations, absence of evidence, actual knowledge, jury's finding, jury's verdict, voting power, jury award