NORTH TROY, VT - Starr’s Untied, a trucking company in North Troy owned by Senator Robert (Bobby) Starr and his son Eric Starr, has been ordered to shut down by the courts for failing to obtain workers compensation insurance, but that hasn't kept the family out of the trucking business.
Superior Court Judge Robert Bent issued a permanent injunction on Dec. 20 against Starr’s United, Inc., which states that the company cannot employ workers or operate the business unless it conforms with the Vermont Workers' Compensation Act. Noncompliance with the order could result in criminal contempt and could lead to fines and even prison time.
The injunction will stay in place until the plaintiff, the Vermont Department of Labor, rescinds the emergency stop work order.
On Thursday, Steve Monahan, the director of Workers Compensation with the Vermont Department of Labor, said that the department has learned that all employees with Starr’s United were terminated but rehired by a new company. Monahan could not confirm which company but thinks that it is E. Starr Trucking, a separate trucking company owned by Eric Starr.
Starr’s transportation was under investigation by the Department of Labor, and on Jan. 21, 2011, the Commissioner of Labor determined that Starr’s was employing workers without the workers compensation insurance, which is required by law. The commissioner issued an emergency stop work order with notice served to Eric Starr on Jan. 24, 2011, court records show.
The commissioner also issued a civil violation complaint, which was appealed by Starr’s. At the Oct. 3 hearing, the defendants admitted to continuing to operate the trucking company without worker compensation despite the stop work order.
Court records state that workers compensation is to secure speedy compensation to employees in the event of a work related injury and to limit liability to employers for such injuries.
Starr’s other trucking company, E. Starr Trucking, was also cited for not having workers compensation insurance last spring. E. Starr Trucking now has workers compensation insurance.
The Department of Labor learned of the issue with the companies after a complaint was filed by a worker. Monahan said that he could not elaborate on the complaint filed.
Neither Bobby Starr nor Eric Starr could be reached for comment Thursday.