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Former workers at a closed East Huntingdon metalworking company are facing $40,000 in medical bills even though a judge ordered the company's owner to cover the costs

Former employees of a closed East Huntingdon metalworking company are anticipating the owner to settle approximately $40,000 in overdue medical bills incurred after they discovered they were without insurance.

Former employees of a closed East Huntingdon metalworking company are waiting for the owner to pay around $40,000 in medical bills that they incurred after realizing they were uninsured.

U.S. Judge Robert Colville directed Robert H. Kendi, the president of Ken-Co Fabricating Co. Inc., to promptly pay $40,436 to cover their medical expenses, since the company let their health insurance plan lapse after collecting premiums from employees before closing in 2019.

Marcy Glowacki of Bullskin, who has been battling the case for five years, still owes around $34,000 from a surgery in 2019.

Glowacki believed her problem was solved when Colville issued his order on Feb. 8.

Glowacki, who worked in the company’s parts department, thought the issue was resolved, but Kendi did not make the payment.

The Labor Department obtained a default judgment against the company when Kendi did not defend against claims in a lawsuit, stating that the company allowed its UPMC Health Plan coverage to lapse from May to October 2019 without notifying employees, breaching his fiduciary duties.

Glowacki, who left the company in 2011, continued insurance coverage through her husband, Anthony, who also worked for Ken-Co. She found out after her surgery in May 2019 that the insurance had been terminated.

Another former Ken-Co plant worker, Alan Ostrowski, has been waiting for nearly five years for Kendi to reimburse him for about $4,100 in medical bills he paid in 2019 after the health insurance policy lapsed.

Ostrowski, a metal fabricator, stated that he had to pay the bill even though he believed he had insurance.

Kendi, a Hempfield resident, could not be reached for comment despite numerous attempts to contact him.

The Labor Department has struggled to locate Kendi to serve him with a court summons and has requested multiple extensions to contact him.

The Labor Department reported that Kendi and the company continued to deduct health insurance premiums from workers' pay without reinstating the UPMC Health Plan or other health coverage.

Ostrowski, a metal fabricator, never received the money deducted from his pay for health insurance he never received, as well as two weeks' pay owed to him when the plant closed abruptly.

The judge replaced Kendi and his company with AMI Benefit Plan Administrators of Youngstown, Ohio to handle the health insurance coverage. An AMI spokesperson said they could not disclose whether Kendi has paid them. The Ohio firm was instructed to prioritize paying legitimate claims over AMI's administrative fees, which include attorneys, actuaries, and other necessary service providers, according to the court order.

Glowacki mentioned that only the intervention from the Labor Department stopped the calls from collectors who were demanding payment for her outstanding medical bills.

For those debtors who do not fulfill their court-ordered judgment, the Labor Department has utilized various methods such as seizing assets, as well as placing liens and garnishments to collect the owed money, according to Lenore Fortson, a Labor Department public affairs regional director.

In September 2020, Kendi sold the Ken-Co building and 6.7-acre parcel on Water Street to Jack Everett Davis II for $330,000, according to documents filed with the Westmoreland County Recorder of Deeds.

Ken-Co company manufactured parts for fire trucks.

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