Trustees to a union’s benefit funds have sued Pryor Cashman for failing to provide legal advice that would have prevented the funds’ third-party administrator from embezzling $42 million. The trustees for the three Construction Workers Local 147 funds filed the suit last week in Manhattan Supreme Court against the firm and partner Christopher J. Sues. The malpractice suit followed the December arrest of Melissa G. King, who was charged federally with misappropriating millions from the funds as the principal behind administrator King Care LLC.

Pryor Cashman had advised the trustees and benefit funds for more than a decade. The trustees claim Pryor Cashman should have realized administrative expenses for the funds compared to contributions were “unusually high” and encouraged the trustees to ask why, the complaint said. Pryor Cashman also failed to recommend hiring an independent auditor or ensure the funds’ accountants and auditors maintained proper and adequate books and records, the complaint said.

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