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Southwest Florida Drywall Company Fined $361,000


FT. MYERS – The state's Division of Workers' Compensation has fined a Naples drywall contractor more than $361,000 for failing to provide workers' compensation coverage for new employees, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher announced today.

A workers' compensation investigator found that David Casman and Joan Veltre, owners of Gulf Coast Drywall & Stucco, Inc., located at 17252 Alico Center Road, Ft. Myers, failed to add six workers to their payroll before allowing them to work on a job site in Naples.

"Employers who evade premiums risk leaving workers without a safety net to pay for potential work-related injuries," Gallagher said. "And by choosing to ‘go bare,' they drive up insurance costs for businesses that follow the law."

Casman and Veltre used an employee leasing company to run payroll for Gulf Coast Drywall & Stucco, Inc. and to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage to their leased employees. The investigator discovered Casman and Veltre failed to report the new workers to the leasing company, thus denying all six men any workers' compensation insurance coverage. Casman and Veltre told the investigator they did not know they had to add the men on the payroll prior to putting them to work on the job site.

The Bureau of Compliance is a branch of the Division of Workers' Compensation that ensures employers obtain and maintain the required workers' compensation insurance coverage for their employees. During the first six months of the current fiscal year, bureau investigators assessed more than $4.7 million in fines and contacted nearly 14,000 employers to verify insurance coverage.

Anyone with information concerning an employer who fails to secure the proper workers' compensation coverage for employees should notify the bureau at (850) 488-2713. Information may also be mailed to Department of Financial Services, 200 East Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-4228.