November 23, 2020

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November 23, 2020

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Seventh Circuit: Agreement for Retiree Healthcare Benefits Survives Agreement’s Termination

The Seventh Circuit held that retirees and their families were entitled to lifetime healthcare benefits because, although the healthcare agreement that had been negotiated by their union had expired, it provided that covered individuals “shall not have such coverage terminated or reduced . . . notwithstanding the expiration of this Agreement, except as the Company and the Union may agree otherwise.”  The Seventh Circuit applied ordinary contract law interpretation principles and concluded that the agreement “unambiguously” provided the retirees with vested healthcare benefits.  And, even if the agreement was viewed to be ambiguous, the Court determined that the parties’ behavior provided enough extrinsic evidence to support the conclusion that retiree benefits had vested.  The case is Stone v. Signode Indus. Grp. LLC, No. 19-1601 (7th Cir. 2019).

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 338
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About this Author

James Anderson, Proskauer Rose, intellectual property attorney, litigation legal counsel, corporate structure lawyer
Associate

James Anderson is an associate in the Litigation Department and a member of the Patent Law and Intellectual Property groups. He is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Jim assists clients with a broad range of intellectual property matters spanning various technologies, including electromechanical devices, communications systems, semiconductor devices, and machining and fabrication equipment. He has experience in many phases of practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, from the...

617-526-9851
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