Man sues Asbestos Workers fund for breach of contract

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 23, 2010

HUNTINGTON -- A Huntington man is suing the National Asbestos Workers Pension Fund for breach of contract after it continued to pay disability benefits to his wife for nearly two years.

Randall Robertson is a member of the Asbestos Workers Local 80, where he has a disability pension plan, according to a complaint filed Aug. 6 in Cabell Circuit Court.

In September 2001, Robertson filed a claim for and received disability retirement benefits under his plan.

Robertson claims he subsequently returned to work and resumed paying contributions to the disability pension plan.

Because Robertson had returned to his employment and resumed paying contributions to the defendant, he "assumed that the defendant was aware of his employment status and had unilaterally stopped paying him disability retirement benefits," according to the suit.

Robertson claims without his knowledge, his wife continued to receive his disability retirement benefits until July 2003. He claims he did not learn about this until his separation from her in August 2003, which by that time, he was indebted to the fund in the amount of $11,615.

In 2004, Robertson became disabled again and filed another application with the defendant for disability retirement benefits, but, despite his having a legitimate disability under the terms of the plan, the fund repeatedly denied his application, according to the suit.

Robertson claims he is entitled to payment of disability at the onset of a disability defined by the terms of the plan and that because the fund repeatedly denied his application, it breached its contract with him.

Robertson is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by Kenneth P. Hicks and Roger L. Lambert.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 10-C-583

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