Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Worker accuses plumbers union of withholding benefits

Lawsuits

By Carrie Bradon | Apr 26, 2019


BENTON — A Madison County man is suing a plumbers union, alleging he was deprived benefits that he was owed.

John R. Sanks filed a complaint April 5 in U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Illinois against the Board of Trustees of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 553, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and disability discrimination.

The suit states Sanks was a member of the union and was a participant in the defendant's pension plan. Sanks alleges he was injured and became unable to work on Sept. 13, 2013, and received 13 weeks short-term disability. 

Sanks claims he applied for Social Security benefits and was approved Dec. 16, 2014. Then in 2016, the plaintiff claims he discovered that changes to his benefits had been made. He wrote to the defendant Jan. 7, 2017, requesting that his benefit reduction be minimized to 18 percent rather than 30percent, but his request was denied. 

The plaintiff believes that other plumbers in a similar situation did receive greater benefits than he did, thesuit states.

Sanks seeks retroactive benefits, interest, attorney fees and all other just and equitable relief.  He is represented by attorney Deborah A. Arbogast of Clayton, Mo.

U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Illinois Case number 3:19-CV-00381

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U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

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