Name change brings about $300K lawsuit

By Audrey Holsclaw | Sep 26, 2008

HUNTINGTON -- A Huntington business sued in 2005 has been named in a new federal suit involving an unpaid judgment.

HUNTINGTON -- A Huntington business sued in 2005 has been named in a new federal suit involving an unpaid judgment.

Star Iron Works Inc. of Punxsutawney, Pa., has filed a suit against J&L Equipment Company Inc. and J&L Supply Co. after a 2005 lawsuit in Pennsylvania resulted in no payment.

In January 2005, Star Iron Works filed a case in the Court of Common Pleas of Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, seeking $300,591.93 in damages for J&L Equipment's failure to pay for drill rods and some other equipment it had purchased from Star Iron Works.

J&L Equipment never responded to the complaint and never showed up for court, so on March 28, 2005, the court entered a default judgment against J&L Equipment for $308,956.34, which included pre- and post-judgment interest.

However, without Star Iron Works knowledge, J&L Equipment had responded. On March 10, 2005, it filed a complaint in Cabell Circuit Court seeking a judgment that the Court of Common Pleas of Jefferson County of Pennsylvania had no jurisdiction over it and therefore, the judgment entered against it was void.

Star Iron Works removed the action to federal court, requesting a summary judgment that the original judgment be enforced. On April 27, 2006, the original judgment was upheld and the case was dismissed.

On June 5, 2006, the federal court ordered J&L Equipment to pay $329,267.34 plus interest, but Star Iron Works never heard from it.

According to its new suit filed on Sept. 5, Star Iron Works alleges that J&L Equipment's owner, Robert Joy, reorganized the business under the name of J&L Supply, but continued doing the same business from the same address, phone number, and post office box in order to avoid payment.

From sworn discovery responses, bank statements, and tax returns, Joy and J&L Supply is good for the money, having made $1.2 million in 2005, and having made deposits in excess of $2 million.

Filed in the U.S. District Court by Mark Hayes of the Charleston firm of Robinson & McElwee, the suit states that Star Iron Works believes that Joy fraudulently transferred most, if not all, of its employees and assets to J&L Supply to avoid paying its creditors, namely Star Iron Works.

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