News & Analysis as of

King v. Burwell: What to Expect From the Supreme Court Argument

On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear argument in King v. Burwell, a case involving premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Among its many provisions, the ACA includes...more

State Attorneys General Return to Health Care Reform in U.S. Supreme Court

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in what is being teed up to be “Round 2” on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In the case King v. Burwell, the question before the Court is whether the IRS can extend tax...more

On the Eve of Oral Arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in King v. Burwell: Obamacare in the Balance

As every healthcare geek and Supreme Court wonk will tell you, on March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in King v. Burwell (an amalgamation of four cases – King v. Burwell, Halbig v. Burwell, Pruitt v....more

Five Health Care Developments Important to Employers

Perhaps never before have employers faced so many challenges when it comes to health care issues affecting their workforce. Congress may try to amend the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The Supreme Court of the United States is...more

U.S. Supreme Court Describes “Ordinary Principles of Contract Law”

In a contract governed by federal law, does “The End” really mean “The End”? Some federal courts have said “no,” but the U.S. Supreme Court has just said “yes.” Most contract cases in federal court involve the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Describes “Ordinary Principles of Contract Law”

In a contract governed by federal law, does “The End” really mean “The End”? Some federal courts have said “no,” but the U.S. Supreme Court has just said “yes.” ...more

Supreme Court Rejects Sixth Circuit’s Yard-Man Inferences in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett

In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 935 (2015), the Supreme Court of the United States addressed the interpretation of collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) that include post-retirement welfare benefits, such as...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2015

The Supreme Court cast a ray of sunlight for employers by rejecting the use of a problematic inference in adjudicating claims for retiree benefits brought pursuant to collective bargaining agreements. For many years, the...more

Unanimous Supreme Court Decision Eliminates Presumption That Union Retiree Health Benefits Are Vested For Life

In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a judicial presumption - commonly referred to as the Yard-Man presumption - that union retiree health care benefits are vested for life in the...more

Supreme Court: Ordinary Contract Principles Do Not Allow Inference of Vesting Rights Absent Clear and Express Language

In 2000, M&G Polymers purchased the Point Pleasant Polyester Plant in Apple Grove, WV. At that time, M&G entered into a collective-bargaining agreement and a related Pension, Insurance, and Service Award Agreement (P & I...more

Supreme Court Rejects Yard-Man Inference of Lifetime Vesting of Retiree Health Benefits

The Supreme Court’s recent unanimous decision in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, 2015 WL 303218 (S. Ct. January 26, 2015) confirms that ordinary principles of contract law should be observed when interpreting...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Presumption of Lifetime Retiree Medical Benefits

The New Year holiday is barely over and 2015 has delivered its first significant development affecting manufacturers and their labor unions. On January 26, 2015, in M&G Polymers U.S.A. v. Tackett, a unanimous United States...more

Unlike Diamonds, You Cannot Presume Retiree Medical Benefits Are Forever

Last week, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision that gives unionized employers in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky greater ability to modify medical benefits they provide to retirees pursuant to current...more

Supreme Court Reverses the Sixth Circuit’s Yard-Man Presumption

For the past quarter century, because of conflicting legal authority, employers who offer health care to their retirees, particularly in a unionized setting, have struggled to determine whether they can alter those benefits....more

Supreme Court Addresses an Employer’s Right To Amend Retiree Health Coverage

In M&G Polymers v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that ordinary contract principles govern whether a collective bargaining agreement vests retirees in health coverage (and the contributions they are required to pay for...more

Supreme Court Rejects Sixth Circuit's Approach to Retiree Medical Benefits

Ordinary contract principles govern disputes about collectively bargained retiree medical benefits. A Morgan Lewis team secured a major victory for employers when the U.S. Supreme Court, in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v....more

Supreme Court Dispenses With the Yard-Man Inferences

In a decision watched closely by both employers and unions, a unanimous Supreme Court has resolved a thirty-plus year split among the circuit courts on the standards governing claims for retiree health-care benefits arising...more

Ding-Dong, Yard-Man Is Dead! Supreme Court Decision in Tackett a Huge Win for Employers in the Retiree Healthcare Arena

On Monday, a unanimous United States Supreme Court issued its decision in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, Supreme Court Case No. 13-101, vacating and remanding the Sixth Circuit’s holding that a group of retirees was...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects the Yard-Man Inference Vesting Lifetime Benefits for Union Retirees

In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned three decades of precedent by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, unanimously ruling that, when no specific provision in a...more

Supreme Court Rejects Yard-Man: Ordinary Contract Principles Apply When Interpreting Retiree Medical Promises

The Supreme Court has unanimously vacated a Sixth Circuit ruling that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) vested retirees with lifetime medical benefits. M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 759...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights #4

This week, the IRS announces relief for some taxpayers who received excess advanced premium tax credits; Indiana and Arkansas make major announcements on Medicaid expansion and Iowa’s Governor announces a shift towards...more

Decision Alert: US Supreme Court Potentially Shifts the Balance in Healthcare Employee Benefits Litigation

Justice Clarence Thomas and a unanimous US Supreme Court decided to vacate a Sixth Circuit decision and hold that the federal courts cannot assume from silence in a union’s collective bargain agreement that retiree group...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rebukes Reliance on Yard-Man In Retiree Health Benefit Dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Circuit’s reliance on retiree-friendly inferences set forth in UAW v. Yard-Man are incompatible with ordinary principles of contract interpretation and should not be used when...more

Supreme Court Decides M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett

On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, holding that ordinary principles of contract law govern the interpretation of pension and insurance provisions of...more

Traditional Contract Rules Determine Whether Retirees Are Entitled to Lifetime Healthcare Benefits

Yesterday, in a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that courts must apply ordinary rules of contract interpretation when determining whether retiree healthcare benefits vest for life pursuant to the terms of a...more

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