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More than 30 retired employees filed a class action lawsuit against Hamilton Township School district in 2014. The primary plaintiffs alleged Hamilton Township School District failed to make cash payments to retirees who expected to receive compensation for prescription medication coverage.
According to court documents, the lead plaintiffs asserted the school district stopped making payments to retirees in July of 2011. Non-payment for prescription drug coverage continued through 2012 and 2013 until every retiree no longer received the cash payments stipulated by contract. The primary plaintiffs claimed Hamilton Township School District violated New Jersey contract law, as well as federally mandated statutes requiring employers to cover the cost of prescription medications during employee retirement. According to a spokesperson for the New Jersey State Health Benefits Plan, the average cash payment for employee prescription drugs has increased every year since the inception of the binding contract.
Terms of the class action settlement require Hamilton Township School District to set up a $4 million fund to cover two payments owed employees between 2011 and 2017. An additional $13 million goes towards annual payments owed to district retirees over the next 10 years. The defendant continues to deny the class action lawsuit allegations, but the school district agreed to the settlement to avoid the high costs of litigating a civil trial.
What You Need To Know About The Hamilton Township School District Settlement
The class action settlement has created five different class member groups. Visit the class action settlement www.HamiltonRetirees.com website to discover which class you belong. Eligible class members have until October 24, 2017 to opt out of the class action settlement or dispute any provision of the agreement. The potential award varies, with payments automatically sent through the United States Postal Service. Class members can expect to receive compensation that matches the amount of the cash payments they would have received if the Hamilton Township School District had continued to issue payments. Class counsel has said “retroactive payments will be made in two payments. The first half paid within 30 days of final approval, and the second half paid in or around January 2018. Prospective payments will be paid over a 10 year period with one payment made at the beginning of each year, starting in January 2019.”
The judge presiding over the class action settlement case Joan Gray, et al, v. Board of Education of the Township of Hamilton, Mercer County, Case No. MER-L-747-14, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County has scheduled the final hearing on December 18, 2017. To learn what transpired at the final hearing, visits the class action settlement website. The website also will post updates concerning the potential award.