Firefighter sues Huntington for breach of contract

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 14, 2011

HUNTINGTON -- A Huntington Fire Department employee is suing the City of Huntington after he claims it breached its contract.

On Aug. 16, 2008, Shane Masters and the city entered into an agreement known as the "Opt-Off of Health Coverage," according to a complaint filed Feb. 23 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Masters claims he opted off of the defendant's health care coverage plan in exchange for the promise to receive an annually cash payout of $2,500, which was to be paid in two installments of $1,250 in June and December for each year he elected to opt off of the program.

As a result of his reliance on the contract with the city, Masters obtained health care coverage through his spouse's employer for an increased monthly premium, according to the suit.

On March 31, 2009, Masters claims the defendant sent notification to all employees of the budgeted changes for the fiscal year 2009-2010. Masters claims he was notified that the city intended to breach its contract with him.

In December 2009, the city breached its contract with Masters by failing to pay him the second installment of the $2,500 as consideration for him electing to opt off of the health care coverage in 2009, according to the suit.

Masters claims the city continues to breach its contract by failing to pay the cash installments in 2010.

Masters is seeking a declaration that the defendant breached its contract with him and compensatory damages. He is being represented by R. Matthew Vital and Matthew R. Oliver.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 11-C-92

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