GRAY v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OF HAMILTON, MERCER COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY, LAW DIVISION, MERCER COUNTY, Docket No. MER-L-747-14
On December 21, 2017, the Court issued its Order of Final Approval of the class action settlement with Hamilton Township. The Order contemplates that the Hamilton Township Board of Education (the “Board”) would make two equal retroactive payments to persons who qualify as Class Members. However, the Board has elected to combine both payments in a single check that will be mailed in January 2018. In addition, the Board has agreed to make ten (10) annual payments to Class Members starting in January 2019.
Class members (or estate representatives) should keep the Board informed of address changes (or provide notice of a deceased Class Member) by contacting Teri Vega:
Hamilton Township School District Attn: Teri Vega 90 Park Avenue Hamilton, NJ 08690 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What should you do now?
If you recently moved to a new address, or if you are the representative of a deceased class member, you should make sure that the Board of Education has your current address. If you have not already done so, submit an address update to Teri Vega: email@example.com. In addition, since future payments will be made out to 2028, each Class Member should make sure that his or her representatives or heirs are informed about the benefits of this Settlement. Be sure to keep the Board informed of any address changes.
What Is This Case About?
The lawsuit alleged that the Hamilton Township Board of Education (“Board”) breached its obligations to make cash payments in lieu of prescription drug coverage to certain retirees, and in some instances to their dependents, by stopping such payments, and that this benefit is owed to Class Members both retroactively and prospectively. The parties have agreed to settle, but the Settlement does not constitute an admission of any liability by any party.
Who is Included in the Settlement?
“Class Members” included in the Settlement consist of five Subclasses:
- Subclass A (Hamilton Administrators/Supervisors – see definition here)
- Subclass B (HTEA Members who received an annual maximum drug copayment – see definition here)
- Subclass C (HTSSA Members who received an annual maximum drug copayment – see definition here)
- Subclass D (HTEA Members who received a defined payment – see definition here)
- Subclass E (HTSSA Members who received a defined payment – see definition here)
How Much Money Will Be Paid?
The Board has agreed to pay $17,000,000 to the members of all 5 subclasses as a total settlement. Payment of $4,000,000, representing past payments due, will be paid in two payments. Both payments will be made in or around January 2018. These payments are intended to result in all class members being paid the amounts they would have received if they were paid through December 31, 2017 (if the benefit had not been stopped). The $13,000,000 in remaining settlement monies will be paid in prospective payments over a ten (10) year period, with one (1) payment made at the beginning of each year, the first of which will be made in in January 2019, and the remaining payments made in January of each of the following nine years.
- With respect to Class Members who died prior to January 1, 2017: The Board has agreed to pay to each Class Member’s estate the Class Member’s share of the amounts due up until the date of death (for each year the member was alive on January 1 of a given year).
- With respect to Class Members who died after January 1, 2017: The Board has agreed to pay to the Class Members estate both retroactive payments. All remaining prospective payments will be paid to the Class Members’ estates on the same schedule (provided the Board is notified of the death by the estate’s administrator).
- With respect to Class Members who are dependents of retirees: once a dependent “ages out” (exceeds the age of 26 years), any retroactive payment remaining due shall cease.
Information on contacting Class Counsel is available here.