In "American Airlines Seeks to Rob Retirees of Benefits" two Pullman & Comley attorneyswere quoted on the retiree benefits that may be lost during American Airlines Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
According to Elizabeth Austin, chair of the Bankruptcypractice, "“It is not unusual for these retiree benefits to be relegated to unsecured creditor status. You do see these types of benefits discharged though Chapter 11 proceedings, or at least reduced.”
Added Employee Benefits attorney George Kasper, "Generally, the courts recognize employees’ rights to retirement benefits where an employer has clearly communicated to them that they vest in those benefits and have a lifetime right to them. The courts will look for some documentation evidence that that promise was clearly made. On the other hand, they’re hesitant to enforce that claim where they don’t find anything clear in writing.”
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