Superior Roofing files for Chapter 11 after pay lawsuit — Nashoba Publishing Online

Superior Roofing files for Chapter 11 after pay lawsuit - Nashoba Publishing Online

Superior Roofing Company off Route 2A in Shirley.

SHIRLEY — Superior Roofing Industries Inc. one of the largest residential roofing companies in New England, remains open after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company, which has eight offices in the region, incurred financial woes after settling a class-action lawsuit two years ago over an estimated $1 million in overtime wages that Brazilian workers allege it failed to pay.

Superior’s owner, Sean Green, said another issue unrelated to the lawsuit also contributed to the filing, but declined to elaborate. He stressed that the company is current with its wage obligations to its existing 45 employees.

But the plaintiffs’ Boston lawyer said the bankruptcy protection petition makes it difficult for the Brazilian workers to collect an undisclosed amount of settlement money.

"This is a setback in getting the money," said Shannon Liss-Riordan, who represented the Brazilian workers, who are unsecured creditors.

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is when debtors, usually businesses, propose a plan that allows them to continue operating while reorganizing their financial affairs to satisfy their creditors. It differs from Chapter 7 filings, which are a liquidation of company assets to satisfy outstanding debts.

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is when debtors, usually businesses, propose a plan that allows them to continue operating while reorganizing their financial affairs to satisfy their creditors. It differs from Chapter 7 filings, which are a liquidation of company assets to satisfy outstanding debts.

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David Nickless, a Fitchburg attorney who represented Superior in the filing, said the company spent a lot of money to deal with the lawsuit and hasn’t been able to recover from it.

The lawsuit, filed in 2004, alleged the company paid the Brazilians and some other non-American workers at a regular rate — not time and a half — for the 10 to 20 overtime hours they worked some weeks, according to Liss-Riordan. Workers also alleged the company failed to pay them for time spent being transported from the office to work sites.

Nickless, who did not represent Superior in the lawsuit, said the company’s financial troubles are largely attributed to legal costs, rather than payments to workers, following the 2006 court settlement. While the amount of the settlement was confidential, Liss-Riordan said Superior Roofing has $135,000 left to pay the 50 workers.

Superior has $6 million in debt, including $2.1 million to its biggest creditor, Sovereign Bank, said Nickless. It has $622,633 in assets. SMG Land Development LLC, another company that Green owns, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March. SMG owns the real estate on which Superior operates.

Founded in 1990, Superior Roofing includes its headquarters on Great Road in Shirley, as well as offices in Chelmsford, Concord, Harvard, Lexington, Littleton, Arlington and Newton.

Liss-Riordan didn’t know if the Brazilian workers were immigrants who happened to work for Superior or if the company brought them here to work. She said many workers lived in Lowell and Leominster at the time of lawsuit and remain in the region.

Nickless and Green both vehemently denied a report in the Boston Herald that the company owed $60,000 in wages to existing employees. Nickless said the figure appeared in court paperwork because the company was required to list all financial obligations incurred prior to the Chapter 11, but employees have received their paychecks.

Superior Roofing Company off Route 2A in Shirley.

SHIRLEY — Superior Roofing Industries Inc. one of the largest residential roofing companies in New England, remains open after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company, which has eight offices in the region, incurred financial woes after settling a class-action lawsuit two years ago over an estimated $1 million in overtime wages that Brazilian workers allege it failed to pay.

Superior’s owner, Sean Green, said another issue unrelated to the lawsuit also contributed to the filing, but declined to elaborate. He stressed that the company is current with its wage obligations to its existing 45 employees.

But the plaintiffs’ Boston lawyer said the bankruptcy protection petition makes it difficult for the Brazilian workers to collect an undisclosed amount of settlement money.

"This is a setback in getting the money," said Shannon Liss-Riordan, who represented the Brazilian workers, who are unsecured creditors.

Superior Roofing files for Chapter 11 after pay lawsuit - Nashoba Publishing Online

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is when debtors, usually businesses, propose a plan that allows them to continue operating while reorganizing their financial affairs to satisfy their creditors. It differs from Chapter 7 filings, which are a liquidation of company assets to satisfy outstanding debts.

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is when debtors, usually businesses, propose a plan that allows them to continue operating while reorganizing their financial affairs to satisfy their creditors. It differs from Chapter 7 filings, which are a liquidation of company assets to satisfy outstanding debts.

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David Nickless, a Fitchburg attorney who represented Superior in the filing, said the company spent a lot of money to deal with the lawsuit and hasn’t been able to recover from it.

The lawsuit, filed in 2004, alleged the company paid the Brazilians and some other non-American workers at a regular rate — not time and a half — for the 10 to 20 overtime hours they worked some weeks, according to Liss-Riordan. Workers also alleged the company failed to pay them for time spent being transported from the office to work sites.

Nickless, who did not represent Superior in the lawsuit, said the company’s financial troubles are largely attributed to legal costs, rather than payments to workers, following the 2006 court settlement. While the amount of the settlement was confidential, Liss-Riordan said Superior Roofing has $135,000 left to pay the 50 workers.

Superior has $6 million in debt, including $2.1 million to its biggest creditor, Sovereign Bank, said Nickless. It has $622,633 in assets. SMG Land Development LLC, another company that Green owns, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March. SMG owns the real estate on which Superior operates.

Founded in 1990, Superior Roofing includes its headquarters on Great Road in Shirley, as well as offices in Chelmsford, Concord, Harvard, Lexington, Littleton, Arlington and Newton.

Liss-Riordan didn’t know if the Brazilian workers were immigrants who happened to work for Superior or if the company brought them here to work. She said many workers lived in Lowell and Leominster at the time of lawsuit and remain in the region.

Nickless and Green both vehemently denied a report in the Boston Herald that the company owed $60,000 in wages to existing employees. Nickless said the figure appeared in court paperwork because the company was required to list all financial obligations incurred prior to the Chapter 11, but employees have received their paychecks.


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