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Retiree Health Benefits – Johnson Controls

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Retiree Health Benefits Lawsuit Filed By Johnson Controls Retirees

Five retirees of Johnson Controls, Inc., represented by Feinstein Doyle Payne & Kravec, LLC attorneys Bill Payne and Joel Hurt filed a lawsuit against Johnson Controls, Inc. on December 31, 2012 in the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. In their complaint, the retirees claim that Johnson Controls eliminated their retiree health benefits.

The Johnson Control retirees, who are former members of the United Auto Workers (UAW), claim that the elimination of their health insurance benefits is a violation of previous collective bargaining agreements that provided for lifetime benefits. The UAW had represented the workers and negotiated these important benefits. The workers had earned those benefits through their years of service at an air conditioner manufacturing plant in York, Pennsylvania. A copy of the Complaint may be found here.

Partner Bill Payne is lead counsel on the retiree health benefits lawsuit. During his more than three decades of law practice, Bill has served as counsel for retirees or employees in more than 100 class action lawsuits throughout the United States. Many of those class action lawsuits challenged cuts in company-provided retiree health care benefits.

In 2006, Bill was appointed as class counsel to represent nearly 600,000 former UAW members (and spouses of members) in actions against General Motors and Ford that were worth billions of dollars.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals noted: “In view of Payne’s background, both classes would have been hard pressed to find someone with greater ‘experience in handling class actions … and claims of the type asserted in the action’ or an attorney with more `knowledge of the applicable law.” UAW v. GM, 497 F.3d 615, 628 (6th Cir. 2007).

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