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LAWSUITS – CURRENT STATUS
Summary of Healthcare and Pension Lawsuits
February 2014
Unfortunately, retirees from State government have been put in a position of having to go to court in order to protect the retirement benefits they were offered in exchange for the service they provided to the State during their working years.

Healthcare Lawsuit - Status

The outcome of the Maag vs. Quinn lawsuit is still awaiting a decision by the Illinois Supreme Court.

As part of this litigation, the State was instructed by the Circuit Court to hold in a separate account the new insurance premium payments being deducted from retirees’ pension annuity payments until the lawsuit is settled. As of February 6, 2014, Fund #234 titled Kanerva vs. State Trust, contained $12,267,864.79. This information may be found on the Illinois Comptroller website at www.ioc.state.il.us under the topic Financial Inquiries.

Pension Lawsuits

Four separate lawsuits have been filed by different groups to oppose the pension system changes prescribed by Public Act 98-0599.

In the order of filing, they are:
December 27, 2013
Illinois Retired Teachers Association; Illinois Association of School Administrators.
January 02, 2014
Retired State Employees Association
January 02, 2014
Illinois State Employees Association Retirees; State University Annuitants Association.
January 28, 2014
We Are One Illinois Coalition

The complaints in each of the four lawsuits are different from the others because each one addresses the parts of the new legislation that adversely affect the people represented by the corresponding organization. However, they all share a common complaint: the reduction (diminishment) of the automatic annual adjustment to the pension annuity payments.

Consolidation of the
Pension Lawsuits


The first lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County (CCCC). The other three lawsuits were filed in the Circuit Court of Sangamon County (CCSC).

On January 24, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, on behalf of the defendants (named officers of the State) made a motion to consolidate the three lawsuits and assign them to the CCCC. At the time of this motion, only three lawsuits had been filed. Since then, the fourth lawsuit was filed.

The State’s motion was made pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 384 which says that the Supreme Court may consolidate cases which share common questions of fact or law if it determines that consolidation would serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and would promote the just and efficient conduct of such actions. Approval of the motion would result in consolidation of the pretrial, trial, or post-trial proceedings.

Three of the plaintiff organizations have responded in opposition to the motion to consolidate and assign the lawsuits to the CCCC. These are the three plaintiff organizations that filed their lawsuits in the CCSC.

The reasons provided by each of the three plaintiff groups for opposing the State’s motion are not the same in all aspects. However, they do share a common point – they object to having the cases assigned to the CCCC.

Those opposing the State’s motion argue that assignment of the lawsuits to the CCCC would not meet the standard of Supreme Court Rule 384 in that it would not serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of actions. Unless factors weigh strongly in favor of transferring a plaintiff’s choice of forum, the plaintiff’s choice of forum should not be changed.

The objections to the State’s motion to assign the lawsuits to the CCCC include that three out of the four lawsuits were filed in Sangamon County and that a broad majority of the participants (plaintiffs and defendants) are located in or near Sangamon County. Attendance in and observation of the proceeding by plaintiff class members is not feasible if the lawsuits are conducted in Chicago; because Springfield is centrally located in the state, it provides a better opportunity for this.