BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Many former and current employees of a business developing a petroleum refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota filed a suit claiming that they are owed salaries and bonuses.
Meridian Energy Group first suggested the refinery only 3 miles (5 km ) in the playground 2016, with the objective of getting it working by following year. On the other hand, the project was beset by legal and funding setbacks. This past year, CEO William Prentice told The Associated Press that the company had postponed the refinery’s startup before 2022.
The workers’ lawsuit, filed last week in Texas, states that beginning in spring 2018, Meridian”started to defer payment of payroll to workers as a result of alleged fiscal woes.” The organization, in a bid to keep workers functioning, said it might benefit them with yet-to-be compensated bonuses, according to the suit, which was first reported Monday from Bismarck blogger Jim Fuglie.
Five former and two current employees of Meridian Energy Group, such as its own operations supervisor, filed the litigation. Five of those folks suing reside in Texas and the other two reside in Minnesota, according to the suit.
The litigation seeks nearly $607,000 at”economic damages,” lawyer fees and a jury trial.
The organization explained in a statement Tuesday that it”doesn’t comment on ongoing legal issues.” Operations director Todd Tooley, who resides in Minnesota and is suing his firm for almost $193,000, didn’t immediately return a phone message.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is North Dakota’s greatest tourist attraction, with over 700,000 traffic yearly. Environmental groups argue that pollution in the mill will spoil scene and air quality in the 30,000-acre (12,000-hectare) park. The business has said the job are the”cleanest refinery in the world” along with also a model for environmentally friendly technology.
The organization has said the job is anticipated to cost about $1 billion. Securities filings reveal Meridian has increased only about 9 percent of the project’s costs so far.
St. Paul, Minnesota-based SEH Design/Build last year filed a $2. 18 million lien, alleging it hasn’t yet been compensated for site preparation work. The business said at the time that payments were made on the lien but wouldn’t disclose the sum.
The litigation comes around three months after the North Dakota Supreme Court removed one barrier for the job if it sided with state authorities in an obstacle to the organization’s air quality permit to create the facility.