The following is a message received from our pension litigation attorneys, regarding a clarification to information included in the recent Class Notice.
You questions will be answered at our next General Membership meeting; however, should you need any further information please give us a call at the Lodge (410-243-9141)
January 14, 2020
We look forward to meeting with the FOP membership on January 27, 2020. At that time, we will discuss the status of the pension litigation and will be prepared to answer any questions from the membership regarding the case.
We believe that class members should not opt out of the litigation. The amount of individual recovery, if any, will ultimately be resolved on appeal, and continuing to participate in the litigation is without cost. If we are successful on appeal, retirees may recover more than under the Court’s current formulation for computing damages. If the Court is affirmed, there will be no change. Class members will continue to receive benefits under the current statutory plan, in any event. In addition, the City has stipulated to the Court that it will not seek repayments from class members who received more under the current statutory plan (0/1/2 COLA) than they would have under the prior statutory plan (Variable Benefit), so long as damages are calculated under the Court’s current formulation for computing damages.
On appeal, we expect to ask the Court to reinstate the Variable Benefit that existed before June 30, 2010. The basis for doing so, in this breach of contract case, is premised upon the conclusion that damages cannot be reasonably determined. The trial court, however, concluded that it was possible to determine class members’ individual damages. The result of our appeal could either be the reinstatement of the Variable Benefit, with its attendant market risks, or a determination that damages can be reasonably determined, leaving the question of how much the Variable Benefit would have produced. In our view, the methodology employed by the trial court is inconsistent with the statutory scheme and produces a lower value for the Variable Benefit, resulting in fewer damages.