Former ASI Employee Seeks to Expand Case Against Company
December 14, 2012

by Penny Stacey,

A former ASI Ltd. employee who filed suit against the company early this year alleging that he and about 200 of his co-workers were terminated from the Whitestown, Ind.-based company upon its closing without proper notification is seeking to expand the case. The former employee, Andrew Shepherd, is seeking to add two additional defendants, S & S Racing LLC and Winton Development, and alleges that they should be held jointly and severally liable for alleged violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

According to the motion, Shepherd’s counsel deposed ASI president Ken Smith in late October, along with Deborah Molson, former payroll and benefits administrator for ASI. “During those depositions, [the] plaintiff discovered information, previously unknown to plaintiff, concerning the close ties between ASI, S & S and Winton,” writes Shepherd’s counsel.

The amended complaint that Shepherd seeks to file alleges that both S & S and Winton shared headquarter facilities with ASI prior to its closure last December, and that all three companies were owned by Ken Smith and his wife, Cheryl. The complaint alleges that Ken Smith acted as president of all three companies. He further claims there was a dependency between all three companies’ operations.

Among examples of the alleged dependency between the companies, the complaint suggests that Winton owned property in Indianapolis, Chicago and Mooresville, N.C., and that ASI leased the properties in Indianapolis and Chicago, while S & S leased the Mooresville property.

Further, Shepherd alleges that ASI paid the premiums for the insurance policies covering S & S’s NASCAR craftsman racing trucks. He also claims other ASI employees were compensated for work completed for S & S and Winton, such as bookkeeping and overseeing the vehicles owned by S & S. Among these allegations, Shepherd alleges that two ASI employees “worked as mechanics to maintain and repair S & S’s NASCAR craftsman trucks, but were paid by ASI for such work.”

Additionally, the complaint alleges that all three companies borrowed money from PNC Bank and that all the loans were cross-collateralized among the defendants. (ASI has alleged that it was PNC’s decision to close its plant last year on December 22, acting as the company’s main creditor.)

Along with these claims, Shepherd also claims that ASI “provided approximately $400,000 of funding to S & S, in spite of ASI’s own cash flow problems” sometime last year.

At press time, the court had not yet ruled on Shepherd’s request to file the new complaint.

This story is an original story by USGlass magazine/USGNN™. Subscribe to USGlass magazine.
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