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The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

Another Union Sues Westchester in Pension Dispute

March 7th, 2013 - A plumbers union in New York has sued Westchester Fire Insurance Co. to collect a surety bond that partially covers money it says is due it from a firm that hired union workers. This comes on the heels of another suit against Westchester that seeks to collect unpaid benefits allegedly left unpaid to unionized bridge painters.

Plaintiffs in the new action against the ACE Group unit and Tyree Service Corp., are Trustees of the Plumbers Local Union 1 for five funds: welfare, additional security benefit, vacation, trade education and 401(k) savings plan. These funds were set up under collective bargaining agreements, and the union is the designated collection agent.

Tyree Service Corp. was party to the collective bargaining agreements that allegedly required it to contribute to the funds based upon its employment of union workers. Tyree handles plumbing work in the greater New York area.

In a suit lodged in U.S. District Court in New York, the union said that an audit of Tyree’s books revealed that during 2010 the company had shorted its contributions by $150,463. Reviews for 2011 showed an alleged shortage of $81,243, and for 2012, an estimated $20,117.

The union has asked the court to award it damages from Tyree. It has also requested $85,000 from Westchester, which in 2008 issued a benefits bond to Tyree in that amount.

Attorneys for Westchester currently are contending with a lawsuit brought against it by trustees of the Structural Steel and Bridge Painters of Greater New York Employee Trust Funds, and trustees of the District Council 9 Painting Industry Insurance and Annuity Funds. They contend that a Westchester-bonded firm that hired union workers failed to remit $45,318 in benefits.

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