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The Supreme Court’S Application Of 'Ordinary Contract Principles' To The Issue Of The Duration Of Retiree Healthcare Benefits: Perpetuating The Interpretation/Gap-Filling Quagmire, Robert A. Hillman Nov 2017

The Supreme Court’S Application Of 'Ordinary Contract Principles' To The Issue Of The Duration Of Retiree Healthcare Benefits: Perpetuating The Interpretation/Gap-Filling Quagmire, Robert A. Hillman

Robert Hillman

The United States Supreme Court purported to apply "ordinary contract principles" in its decision reversing the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett . The Sixth Circuit had held that plaintiffs, retired employees of M&G, were entitled to lifetime healthcare benefits under their union's agreement with M&G. According to the Supreme Court, the Sixth Circuit wrongly relied on a false set of "inferences" established in International Union v. Yard-Man, Inc. to find that "in the absence of extrinsic evidence to the contrary, the provisions of [the collective bargaining agreement] indicated an intent to vest …


The Supreme Court’S Application Of 'Ordinary Contract Principles' To The Issue Of The Duration Of Retiree Healthcare Benefits: Perpetuating The Interpretation/Gap-Filling Quagmire, Robert A. Hillman Apr 2017

The Supreme Court’S Application Of 'Ordinary Contract Principles' To The Issue Of The Duration Of Retiree Healthcare Benefits: Perpetuating The Interpretation/Gap-Filling Quagmire, Robert A. Hillman

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The United States Supreme Court purported to apply "ordinary contract principles" in its decision reversing the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett . The Sixth Circuit had held that plaintiffs, retired employees of M&G, were entitled to lifetime healthcare benefits under their union's agreement with M&G. According to the Supreme Court, the Sixth Circuit wrongly relied on a false set of "inferences" established in International Union v. Yard-Man, Inc. to find that "in the absence of extrinsic evidence to the contrary, the provisions of [the collective bargaining agreement] indicated an intent to vest …


Presidential Address: Contract Reading Revisited, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2000

Presidential Address: Contract Reading Revisited, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Book Chapters

A quarter century ago, in a presentation at the Academy’s annual meeting, I used the phrase “contract reader” to characterize the role an arbitrator plays in construing a collective bargaining agreement. That two-word phrase may be the only thing I ever said before this body which has been remembered. Unfortunately, it is almost invariably misunderstood. Time and again members have reproached me: “What’s the big deal about contract reading, anyway? Isn’t it just the same as contract interpretation?” Or, more substantively scathing: “Do you really think, Ted, that all you have to do to interpret a labor agreement is to …