Retiree Support Group of Contra Costa County Class Action
Retiree Support Group of Contra Costa County v. Contra Costa County
United States District Court, Northern District of California
Case No. C12-00944-JST
On October 25, 2016, the Court entered the Order Granting Final Approval to the class action settlement. All settlement class members began receiving the protections of the settlement automatically.
The Court-approved definition of the Settlement Class Members and the various protections provided for in the settlement can be reviewed in the Notice of Class Action Settlement contained in the Case Documents section below.
On February 12, 2012, Plaintiff Retiree Support Group of Contra Costa County (“RSG”) filed a complaint bringing claims for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, due process and impairment of contract claims against Contra Costa County (“the County”).
The case arose out of a dispute about the obligations of Contra Costa County to pay for health benefits for retired County employees. RSG alleged that the County had promised to provide lifetime medical benefits to retirees covered by a number of Memoranda of Understanding (“MOUs”) reached with employee unions going as far back as 1992. RSG alleged that in these MOUs and elsewhere, the County had promised to pay at least 80% of the costs of health benefits under at least one health plan offered by the County.
RSG also alleged the County breached that agreement as early as January 1, 2010 when it froze the dollar amount of the County’s healthcare premium subsidy for retirees and active employees. Over time, this freeze will require the retirees to pay higher percentages of their health care costs.
The Third Amended Complaint setting forth the specific allegations can be found in the Case Documents section below.
The Settlement Agreement
For the members of the settlement class, the settlement provides a number of benefits:
- A legally guaranteed lifetime right to participate in County-sponsored health insurance plans.
- A legally guaranteed lifetime County subsidy of your health insurance premiums up to the maximum subsidy fixed by the Board of Supervisors in 2011; that is, the County cannot pay less than it was paying toward Class Members’ health insurance plans than it was paying at that time.
- A legally guaranteed lifetime right for your eligible Dependents to participate in County-sponsored health insurance plans.
- A legally guaranteed right to have your health insurance premiums determined from a single pool with Active Employees – thus reducing the premiums you would otherwise be charged if Retirees were not pooled with Active Employees.
- In the event of your death, your eligible surviving spouse will have a legally guaranteed lifetime right to participate in County-sponsored health insurance plans. Surviving children will continue to have coverage as long as allowed by the County-sponsored health plans.
- Covered Retirees, their Survivors, and their Beneficiaries will have a legally guaranteed right until June 30, 2024 to request the Federal Court to enforce the Agreement against any violations of the Agreement, without having to file and win a new lawsuit.
A more detailed description of these settlement provisions can be found in the Notice of Class Action Settlement and the Settlement Agreement, both found the Case Documents section.