Experts surprised by Celadon bankruptcy: ‘worst-case bankruptcy scenario’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Celadon unexpectedly shut down, and now 4,000 employees are left wondering what’s next.

Bankruptcy attorney John Bymaster says filing for Chapter 11 is a chance for a company to either reorganize or liquidate their business.

“This is just very disheartening and a very difficult situation. Operations like this just rarely just stop. In fact, a Chapter 11’s entire purpose is to allow the continued operation of the company,” Bymaster said.

The move also caught employees by surprise.

“If you’re paying attention, you can kind of see it and see the stock prices sliding, but this happening so fast blindsided us,” former Celadon employee Vincent Weaver said.

After six years with the company, Weaver turned in his truck.

It was a déjà vu moment for him.

“I’m kind of like the angel of death for trucking companies cause I’ve worked at three trucking companies, and it’s the third one that’s went out of business with me employed at it,” Weaver said.

He hates that so many people are losing their job, but he’s hopeful Celadon will pay them their final paychecks.

Bymaster says employees are entitled to their final wages, but it’s very unlikely employees will be paid for their benefits.

“Direct wages are usually put at a higher precedence that are owed at the time of the filing than benefits or even the continuation of benefits,” Bymaster said.

He predicts all of Celadon’s contracts will go away too.

“A lot of times, contracts are not able to continue. They are rejected during a bankruptcy filing or brought down to a lower class to be compensated, and that’s another blow people may face,” Bymaster said.

Meanwhile, Weaver hopes the situation serves as a lesson for other workers.

“It don’t matter where you work or what you do, you should try to be financially responsible and have some money saved up,” Weaver said.

Bymaster says moving forward, the judge and the United States Trustee’s Office will have full oversight of everything that happens next.

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