On April 20, 2012, a Complaint was filed in Gaston County Superior Court on behalf of twenty-six retirees who the NCRGEA helped to recruit (the “Plaintiffs”). The named Plaintiffs are now retired State employees who were formerly employed in a wide range of positions within the North Carolina state government, including members of the judiciary (including a former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and a former North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge), presidents and superintendents of community colleges and local school systems, teachers, law enforcement personnel and administrators. The Complaint alleges that those named Plaintiffs, through their employment service to the State of North Carolina, earned vested rights in non-contributory (“premium free”) medical coverage under an 80/20 health care plan for the duration of their retirement. The State breached its contracts with the Plaintiffs and impaired the Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights when they (1) eliminated the non-contributory 80/20 health insurance plan; (2) forced the election of a significantly reduced 70/30 health insurance plan to receive a non-contributory benefit; and (3) eliminated the Plaintiffs’ voluntary access to and participation in a 90/10 health insurance plan. The named Plaintiffs have sued on behalf of themselves and a class of all other similarly situated vested retirees (currently approx. 177,000 in the class).
The lawsuit makes claims for breach of contract, unconstitutional impairment of contract, violation of due process, violation of the equal protection clause, and for a declaratory judgment. The Complaint requested that the Court grant the following relief: (1) for entry of a monetary judgment for the damages incurred since the breach of contract for the excess premiums paid by retirees and for their uncovered out-of-pocket medical expenses, (2) to compel the State to restore the prior premium-free 80/20 plan and offer a 90/10 plan, (3) for a declaratory judgment declaring that the Plaintiffs are vested in the retiree health benefits and that the State is required to maintain such benefits for all vested retirees, and (4) for a constructive/resulting trust and common fund to manage the damages and remedies afforded to the class members.
Coalition of Supporting Associations