Singing River Retirees Bring Fight to New Orleans

The fight against a settlement over lost pensions isn’t over for Singing River Health System retirees. Tomorrow they’ll be boarding a bus and taking their case to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
On Thursday, attorneys for a large group of retirees will pitch an oral argument before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. A panel of three judges will hear the arguments and rebuttals from each side and ask questions.
The appeal is an effort by a group of 200 retirees to stop or allow an opt-out clause in the pension settlement that U.S. District Court Judge Louis Guirola Jr. signed off on last year.
Attorney’s representing retirees say this is a case of first impression that could set a precedent for similar cases in the future. Attorney Harvey Barton said, “The legal question is this: can a non-bankrupt governmental entity like Jackson County absolve themselves and walk away from financial and legal responsibility for a private pension plan for one of their subordinates like Singing River Hospital? Never seen it done, there’s no law on it. This is a unique fact situation. That’s what we’re going to be asking the 5th Circuit to decide is if you allow this to happen here, you’ll see this again in other parts of the United States.”
After the estimated two hour hearing, a decision could take up to two months or come down right away.

Categories: Local News, News

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