Ohio firm says Huntington metal company stiffed them

By Justin Anderson | Mar 5, 2009

HUNTINGTON -- A Columbus, Ohio, company is suing Huntington Alloys Corporation, the United Steel Workers of America union and two individuals for more than $100,000 because it says the metal company didn't pay for renting uniforms for workers.

Van Dyne Crotty Corp., doing business as Spirit Services Co., claims it had two service agreements to provide uniforms to workers at the metal company's plants in Huntington and Burnaugh, Ky.

The plaintiff says it entered into one service agreement on July 20, 2005, with Chris Elliot, who, according to the complaint, said he was a USWA representative. Some of the workers for Huntington Alloys Corporation are members of USWA.

The agreement was for 260 weeks. Throughout the duration of the agreement, the plaintiff said it sent invoices to the Burnaugh plant and that the invoices were paid.

The plaintiff entered into another service agreement with Rolley Pyles Jr., who represented himself as a vice president for the metal company. This contract was also for 260 weeks to provide uniforms to workers at the Huntington plant. The plaintiff claims that it sent invoices here, too, which were paid.

Those payments ceased in 2007, the complaint says. Representatives from Huntington Alloys claimed it was not the customer named in the service agreement and that neither Elliot nor Pyles had the authority to bind it into any service agreements.

The company also said it didn't require its workers to wear uniforms, but did implement a voluntary payroll deduction to assist employees who elected to wear a uniform through the agreements that the company claimed the USWA "apparently arranged for."

Van Dyne Crotty Corp. stopped the service agreement on July 2007 due to non-payment of invoices, the complaint says.

As of that time, the plaintiff says it's still owed $93,329 plus interest under the Elliot agreement and $82,235 under the the Pyles agreement.

Those dollar amounts include unpaid uniform rental, damaged uniforms, uniforms not returned and for liquidated damages because of the early termination of the agreements.

When the plaintiff tried to get its money from the USWA, Elliot and Pyles, they claim their demands were either refused or ignored, the complaint says.

"All the defendants received a benefit from the plaintiff and if it is determined that there is no valid service agreement, the defendants have all been unjustly enriched by the services rendered," the complaint says.

Robert A. Flaugher is representing the plaintiffs. Cabell Circuit Judge David Pancake will hear the case.

Cabell Circuit case number: 09-C-99

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