US Department of Labor files lawsuit against Williamson Memorial Hospital health care plan

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Charleston, W.Va – The U.S. Department of Labor announced Friday that it has filed a lawsuit against a former hospital CEO to recover losses after failing to report contributions to the company’s health care plan.

According to the Department of Labor, Charles Hatfield committed “breach of trust” as CEO of Williamson Memorial Hospital. The hospital filed for bankruptcy in October 2019.

The investigation found that Hatfield withheld voluntary premium contributions and did not remit payments to cover employees’ medical expenses. The investigation focused on the period from July 1, 2018 to October 31, 2019.

“Fiduciaries have a legal obligation to operate employee benefits solely in the best interests of participants and beneficiaries,” said Christina O’Brien, acting regional director of the Employee Benefits Security Administration. “Whenever they fail to meet that obligation, we hold them accountable.”

The filing also requests that Hatfield be permanently removed as a fiduciary and barred from serving as a fiduciary in any benefit plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

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