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Published: Tuesday, 12/10/2013

GM wins ruling over $450M retiree health dispute

Judge: GM not obligated to make $450 million payment for health care for certain retirees


DETROIT — A judge says General Motors has no legal obligation to make a $450 million payment for medical benefits for certain blue-collar retirees.

The payment was part of a 2007 agreement between GM and the United Auto Workers before the old GM filed for bankruptcy. But the provision was missing from a 2009 deal signed by the new GM that emerged from bankruptcy.

The deal was related to medical benefits for retirees who worked for GM or Delphi, a former affiliate.

In a 34-page decision Tuesday, Detroit federal Judge Avern Cohn says it’s strictly a matter of reading the 2009 agreement. Cohn says whether GM has a “moral obligation” to make the payment is “another matter and not relevant.”

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