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Westgate LVH, LLC v. Trustees of Nevada Resort Association

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 27, 2019

WESTGATE LVH, LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
TRUSTEES OF THE NEVADA RESORT ASSOCIATION-IATSE LOCAL 720 PENSION TRUST, Defendant.

          ORDER

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court are Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 67) and Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 68). For the reasons stated below, the Court grants Defendant’s Motion and denies Plaintiffs’ Motion.

         II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs filed the Complaint (ECF No. 1) in this action on June 22, 2017. Plaintiffs filed the First Amended Complaint (ECF No. 58) on September 14, 2018 to which Defendant filed an Answer with a Counterclaim (ECF No. 59) on September 28, 2018. On January 25, 2019 the parties filed the instant motions before the Court.

         III. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         a. Undisputed Facts

          The Court finds the following facts to be undisputed.

         Defendant is a group of trustees of the Nevada Resort Association, International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.) Local 720 Pension Trust (also called the “Trust” by Plaintiffs and the “Plan” by Defendant). Non-party Colony Resorts LVH Acquisitions, LLC (“Colony”) operated the Las Vegas Hilton, and then the LVH-Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, from 2004 through (on or about) November 1, 2012. Colony was the entity responsible for making contributions to the pension fund of the Plan for covered employees from 2004 through (on or about) November 1, 2012. As of January 2010, the Plan had developed underfunded liability, and a rehabilitation plan was implemented to bring its funding level out of critical status. Colony was aware of the Plan’s underfunded status. Colony requested a withdrawal liability estimate from the Plan showing that Colony would incur $1, 260, 047 in withdrawal liability should Colony withdraw on September 1, 2011.

         As Colony was in default on its loans, creditor Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company initiated judicial foreclosure proceedings against Colony on September 13, 2011. Goldman Sachs Mortgage Co v. Colony Resorts LVH Acquisitions, LLC, No. A-11-648281-B XI (Clark Co., Nev. Bus. Ct.).

         The Las Vegas Hilton was renamed the LVH-Las Vegas Hotel and Casino on or about January 1, 2012.

         After initiation of the foreclosure action, Colony requested an updated withdrawal liability estimate, which was received on January 5, 2012. On January 6, 2012, Ronald Johnson was appointed by the court as a Receiver during the foreclosure proceedings. On February 2, 2012, Johnson took over management and exclusive control of the property from Colony, while Colony maintained ownership.

         Colony withdrew from the Plan effective (on or about) November 1, 2012.

         On November 1, 2012, ownership of LVH-Las Vegas Hotel & Casino was transferred to 3000 Paradise road, LLC through foreclosure. A letter dated August 31, 2012, sent to the president of the IATSE union, gave notice of the foreclosure sale.

         3000 Paradise Road, LLC entered into an agreement whereby Plaintiff NAV-LVH, LLC operated the hotel from November 1, 2012 through December 31, 2014. Plaintiff NAV-LVH made no ...


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