Proposed Settlement in the Works for American LaFrance Workers

Former employees of a Moncks Corner fire truck manufacturer have reached a settlement with the company.

If the settlement is approved by the court, approximately 100 former workers at the plant will receive a six-week severance package.

Attorneys say workers arrived at the plant in Jan. 17, 2014 to learn that the company would cease operations immediately and that they would receive no severance packages. 

Olivia and James Schreiner filed a class action on behalf of the workers alleging the company’s actions put it in violation of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires workers to be paid and receive benefits for 60 days when companies of a certain size reduce their workforce.

The proposed settlement agreement, which must be approved by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel, calls for American LaFrance and Patriarch Partners, which plaintiffs contend controlled American LaFrance, to provide lump sum payments totaling $385,000 to approximately 100 former workers at the Moncks Corner plant.

“This settlement will essentially give workers a six week severance package,” said lead counsel James L. Ward, Jr. of Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, which represents the workers. “Given the precarious financial position of American LaFrance, which ceases to exist or hold meaningful assets, and the inherent risks associated with a protracted legal battle, this settlement compensates the employees, helping them as they transition to the next chapter of their lives.”

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