The U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) has obtained a consent judgment appointing an independent fiduciary to take over administration of the health plan of a defunct West Hills-based union. The department sued the president of the Intl. Union for Natural Health, Alternative and Complementary Medicine Professions (IUNHCAMP) and three plan trustees for mismanagement that resulted in an estimated $7 million in unpaid health care claims.
The judgment, entered in the the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Cent. Dist. of Calif., settles the Nov. 2003 suit that alleged that union president Steven Gorman and the plan trustees violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The defendants allegedly failed to charge health plan participants adequate premium rates and to implement appropriate medical underwriting guidelines. The suit also alleged that Gorman’s involvement with the IUNHCAMP health benefits plan violated a Sept. 2000 court order barring him from any fiduciary involvement with any employee benefit plan subject to ERISA.
Plan trustees named as defendants included: Henry Golden of West Hills, Willard Green of Virginia and Jeffrey Langlois of Wisconsin. The judgment permanently bars all defendants from positions as fiduciary of any plan covered by ERISA. Shortly before the health plan ceased operations, it was providing medical and dental benefits to approximately 4,500 participants in California, New York, Washington, Alaska, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee and Vermont. On February 9, 2004, the court issued a final order and judgment in a separate, private class action suit filed by former participants in the IUNHCAMP Health and Welfare Trust awarding a $6 million judgment against Golden, Green and Langlois.
The Los Angeles office of the U.S. Labor Dept. Employee Benefits Security Admin. (EBSA) investigated the case. [(Chao v. IUNHCAMP) Civil Action No. 03-8422: EBSA, 5/6/04]