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Collective bargaining agreements

Cornell University Law School

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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 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 …