Trucking company cancels insurance, deducts paychecks anyway

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 5/10/2019

More than a dozen former employees of a trucking company filed a lawsuit alleging their insurance was unknowingly canceled. Despite the cancellation, money continued to be deducted from their paychecks.

On April 29, 16 former employees of St. Clairsville, Ohio-based Mustang Oilfield Services filed a lawsuit against the company and its president, Gregory Cook. The suit was filed in a Pennsylvania court since Mustang was doing business at an address at Canonsburg, Pa. The majority of plaintiffs reside in Pennsylvania or West Virginia, with a few living in Ohio.

Like many companies, Mustang offered its employees medical, dental and vision insurance which employees paid a portion of through deductions from their paychecks. Beginning in August 2018, Mustang continued to deduct wages for health insurance despite the fact that no insurance coverage was being provided, according to the complaint. Mustang was not contributing its share of the premium at the time, and the employees’ deductions were not going toward their share of the premium payments either.

Land Line Now’s Terry Scruton spoke with the plaintiffs’ attorney John Egers of the Julian Law Firm. Egers hopes to find during discovery financial records that will reveal where the money has gone. Listen to the interview below:

Since none of the employees were aware they lacked insurance, many continued to obtain medication and treatment, under the assumption their health insurance would pay a portion of it. Instead, they were left with a bill putting them on the hook for 100% of the costs.

Additionally, eight of the former employees were not paid wages owed to them. These unpaid wages have remained outstanding despite the fact that the former employees had left the company at least 60 days ago, the time limit for employers to pay owed wages once an employee leaves the company.

The complaint accuses Mustang and Cook of nine various counts, including breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and piercing of the corporate veil. The latter count allows the court to ignore limited liability and hold Cook personally liable for the actions.

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