CHARLESTON – A class action suit has been brought against Kentucky Fuel Corporation after former employees claim it failed to timely notify them of their eligibility for COBRA coverage.

Southern Coal Company and Anthem Blue Cross were also named as defendants in the suit.

Lowell Dean, Juan Echegaray, Jimmy Goble, James Hall, Kenneth Laws, Adam McClung, Marshall Martin, Jimmy Maynard Jr., Joshua Meade, Wallace Meade Jr., Johnny Paige, Jimmy Payne, Jerry Sheppard Jr. and Jeffrey Wolford were all employed by Kentucky Fuel Corporation, according to a complaint filed Feb. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

The plaintiffs claim prior to Jan. 14, 2012, Kentucky Fuel employed between 50 and 60 people and the defendants provided a group health benefit plan for its employees.

On Jan. 14, 2012, Kentucky Fuel involuntarily terminated more than 50 employees, many of whom participated in the group health benefit plan, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants failed to notify the qualified beneficiaries of their eligibility for COBRA coverage within the statutorily required time periods.

The defendants were required to notify all qualified beneficiates of the availability of COBRA insurance coverage within 45 days after the date of termination, but failed to give timely notice, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages, a statutory penalty of $100 per day for each member of the class for the maximum period of time allowed by law and pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Rodney A. Smith and Jonathan R. Marshall of Bailey & Glasser; Gregory B. Chiartas of Freeman & Chiartas; and Todd S. Bailess and Joy B. Mega of Bailess Law.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 2:13-cv-02485

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