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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor sues Georgia Plumbers Trade Association officers to restore more than $500,000 to terminated plan

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Atlanta – The U.S. Department of Labor has sued two officers of the Georgia Plumbers Trade Association (GPTA) in Griffin, Georgia, for failing to oversee, monitor and control the assets of the Georgia Plumbers Trade Association Health Plan in violation of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Newnan Division, seeks a court order to require Ron Anderson and Windell Peters to restore all losses caused by their fiduciary misconduct, which resulted in plan losses of more than $500,000.

“Workers and their families have been saddled with unpaid health claims because of the improper actions of the defendants in the Georgia Plumbers case,” said Bradford P. Campbell, assistant secretary for the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). “This legal action seeks to restore lost assets needed to pay the health claims of these workers.”

During the time that the health plan was active, Anderson served as GPTA’s secretary and executive director, and Peters was GPTA’s president. Both served as fiduciaries of the health plan. The plan was set up as a self-funded ERISA plan, but the complaint alleges that the defendants failed to determine whether contributions rates were sufficient to cover the claims and other expenses of the plan. Participants were left with unpaid claims when the plan was terminated in 2004.

The suit also asks the court to appoint an independent fiduciary to manage the plan’s assets and to bar the defendants from acting in any fiduciary capacity for any employee benefit plan subject to ERISA. In January, the Labor Department settled a separate lawsuit against Marc Meixner, who acted as an insurance broker for GPTA and was president of GPTA Benefits Group Inc.

The health plan was sponsored by the Georgia Plumbers Trade Association for Continuing Education Inc., a nonprofit organization now operating in Manchester, Ga. The association provides education and resources to assist Georgia plumbers in complying with building code changes.

The case was investigated by EBSA’s Atlanta Regional Office, which can be reached at 404.302.3900 or toll-free at 866.444.3272 for help with problems relating to private sector retirement and health plans. In fiscal year 2007, EBSA achieved monetary results of $1.5 billion related to pension, 401(k), health and other benefits for millions of American workers and their families.

Chao v. Anderson & Peters
Civil Action File Number 3:08-CV-013-JTC

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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
March 27, 2008
Release Number
08-184-ATL (082)