Whirlpool Beats Unions In Retiree Benefits Suit

Law360, New York (July 25, 2011, 6:46 PM EDT) -- A federal judge in Iowa ruled Friday that Whirlpool Corp. could unilaterally change medical benefits for retirees because a class of labor unions had not sufficiently shown that the company had intended to vest retiree benefits.

U.S. District Judge James E. Gritzner entered judgment in favor of plaintiff Whirlpool and its subsidiary Maytag Corp. in its declaratory judgment suit against the United Auto Workers and UAW Local 997 after a bench trial held last December.

Under controlling Eighth Circuit precedent, vesting is not presumed, and welfare...
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