EAST ST. LOUIS – The administrators of an Illinois labor union's retirement fund are suing over the alleged lack of payment into the group's retirement plans.
Painters District Council 58 401(k) Trust Fund, Painters District Council 58 Fringe Benefit Funds and the Illinois State Painters Welfare Fund filed the suit Jan. 22 in the U.S. District Court for the East St. Louis Division of the Southern District of Illinois against Richard Schaefer and Sally Schaefer, doing business as Belleville Superior Drywall and Painting Inc.
According to the complaint, the defendant corporation was established in 1988 and the Schaefers were the sole and exclusive officers and owners of the company. The defendant company was administratively dissolved by the Illinois secretary of state in June 2005, the suit states. However, the Schaefers have allegedly continued to operate under the corporate name, even though it has no legal existence.
As such, the suit claims, they are liable for all debts and liabilities arising out of their actions. Throughout the company's history, it has been a party to one or more binding collective bargaining agreements with Painters District Council 58 and its constituent local unions, and they are also signatories to a 401(k) agreement with the union, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim the law binds the defendants to report hours worked by the laborers and paid contributions to the fund. The lawsuit states that even though the defendants reported more than $10,000 in contributions to the retirement fund, they didn't actually make the payments. The suit says the union has contacted the defendants, demanding that they become current with the payments, but the defendants have failed to do so.
The plaintiffs seek from the court a judgment against the defendants, an order awarding the funds they allege they are owed, liquidated damages and interest, attorney fees and court costs. They are represented by James R. Kimmey of Cavanagh & O'Hara LLP of Fairview Heights.
East St. Louis Division of the Southern District of Illinois case number 16-cv-74