United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Employment — multiemployer pensions — personal liability
A business owner who owns the property on which the business conducts its operations and leases the property back to his company, is personally liable for withdrawal penalties under a multiemployer pension plan.
“Recent decisions of this court confirm that Nagy’s leasing activity is categorically a trade or business for purposes of personal liability under § 1301(b)(1). See Cent. States, Se. & Sw. Areas Pension Fund v. Messina Prods., LLC, 706 F.3d 874, 881 (7th Cir. 2013); Cent. States, Se. & Sw. Areas Pension Fund v. SCOFBP, LLC, 668 F.3d 873, 879 (7th Cir. 2011). Although the district court did not have the benefit of these decisions, it is now clear that it was a mistake to conclude that Nagy’s leasing of property to Ready Mix did not qualify as a trade or business. But this just means there are two grounds for personal liability, not one. The district court correctly held that Nagy provided management services to the country club as an independent contractor, which also qualifies as a trade or business under § 1301(b)(1).”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Aspen, J., Sykes, J.