By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Former manager sues Evergreen

Dennis Mantello, 72, says in a lawsuit filed March 11 in Yamhill County Circuit Court that he worked as the director of operations for Evergreen’s helicopter subsidiary from Dec. 9, 2011, to Feb. 22, 2013. He was injured in a car crash on Dec. 26 2012, he says, and informed the company in late February that he was suffering from lingering injuries and might require surgery.

Mantello was hospitalized overnight at the time of the crash. He missed three days of work then, and had occasionally missed a day or two since, due to his injuries, he says in the suit.

Instead of allowing him to take medical leave so he could have the surgery, he alleges, the company fired him. He said it did so at the insistence of Smith, who believed his age would likely lengthen his recovery period.

Mantello is seeking $400,000 for emotional distress and $325,000 for economic loss. Evergreen had not yet filed an answer, as of press time.

Evergreen has agreed to sell its helicopter subsidiary to Erickson Air-Crane for upwards of $250 million, but it will take some time for the deal to close and legal liability can’t be absolved through a change in ownership.

In addition, two other companies have filed lawsuits against Evergreen’s air cargo subsidiary, Evergreen International Airlines.

California-based Unical Aviation is suing the airline for $35,370 in overdue payment for goods and/or services. It does not specify in its legal action how the charges were incurred.

Meanwhile, Parker Hannifin Corporation is suing the airline for $64,512.60, “for the balance of an account for various goods and/or services rendered,” plus accumulated interest of $1,935.38.

The lawsuits are just the latest in a flurry filed against various Evergreen subsidiaries over late or missed payments.

The company has been struggling under a heavy debt load, something that sale of its helicopter subsidiary is designed to solve. Its intention in the new cases is not yet clear, but it has been allowing some recent money-owed claims to go uncontested.

In resolution of one of those earlier cases, a judge moved on March 21 to award Chapin Farms LLC. of Salem a judgment of $100,000 against another subsidiary, Evergreen Agricultural Enterprises.

The judgment covers the unpaid bill for 20,000 hazelnut trees. In it, the judge authorizes the Yamhill County Sheriff to “seize the crop” and sell it to satisfy the debt.

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