Action 9: Disabled vet wanted lump sum in retirement funds

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Johnny Addertion is a disabled veteran.

He spent 11 years with RJ Reynolds during the 1980s and earned $36,000 in retirement money.

"That's a lot of money for him. That's a lot of money for anybody," said Brenda Watts, Addertion's sister.

Last October, Addertion had a choice: Take that $36,000 in a lump sum or monthly. He wanted the lump sum, so he'd have the money on hand, especially with his disability.

But RJ Reynolds said it was too late. That it had mailed him a notice and he missed the deadline by six days.

"I'm not saying they didn't mail it. We didn't get it," Watts said.

Addertion was ready to give up, but his sister was not.

"My brother means a lot to me and he's been through a lot in his life and he deserved it," Watts said.

She said she contacted RJR multiple times, spoke with three lawyers and sent letters to Sen. Kay Hagan and Rep. Mel Watt.

"She wouldn't quit. She wouldn't take no for an answer," Addertion said.

When nothing worked, she turned to Action 9.

"We've been going a whole year with letters and phone calls and emails, I made one email to you guys," Watts said.

Action 9 reached out to RJR, who agreed to pay the lump sum.

"It took y'all two weeks to do what I couldn't do in a year," Watt said. "I know it never would have happened without y'all."

One of the first things Action 9 learned about Addertion is he's a jokester, but he isn't laughing about this.

"You and my sister are my favorite people right now," he said.