Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Barnes Group, Inc. v. International Union United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

April 19, 2017

BARNES GROUP, INC., (including its Associated Spring Division), Plaintiff,
v.
INTERNATIONAL UNION UNITED AUTOMOBILE AEROSPACE & AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.

          RULING ON MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION AND ORDER CERTIFYING CLASS

          Michael P. Shea, U.S.D.J.

         I. Background

         This action arises out of a dispute concerning the payment of retiree health benefits between the Plaintiff, Barnes Group, Inc. (“Barnes”), and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (“UAW”) and four Barnes' retirees who have been named as representatives of a proposed defendant class of Barnes' retirees. The UAW has represented Barnes' employees and retirees at Barnes' Associated Spring Division plants in collective bargaining negotiations with Barnes for many years, and in 1996 Barnes and the UAW settled a class action concerning the payment of medical benefits. (See Docket 3:93-cv-00122.) The Court assumes familiarity with the history of the collective bargaining agreements and the earlier class action.

         This action pertains to changes to the medical benefits of retirees who retired after the 1996 class action settlement, and are therefore not covered by the settlement. Although it negotiated the changes with Barnes after determining that they were in the best interests of its members, the UAW determined that it could not apply the changes to these retirees in the absence of a court order, because its authority to do so is ambiguous. Barnes seeks a declaratory judgment that the UAW and its affiliated Locals have authority to agree to the changes in retiree medical benefits of the retirees who retired after the 1996 class action settlement, or alternatively, that Barnes may implement these changes on its own, without violating federal law.

         The parties have filed a Joint Motion to Certify a Stipulated Class. (ECF No. 37.) They seek certification of a stipulated class (the “Barnes 2 Retirees Class”), which includes all individuals who are:

a. Barnes employees who retired between July 31, 1996 and April 6, 2016, the date the new collective bargaining agreement covering retiree medical benefits, known as the Memorandum of Agreement, 2016-2017 Barnes-UAW National Retiree and Active Health Care Agreement (“2016-2017 MOA”), was ratified, and those who retire after that date but before the date set by the Court for closing of the Class, from either of the two Bristol Associated Spring plants and who were represented by UAW Local 712 at the date of their retirement;
b. Barnes employees who retired or will retire between August 1, 1993 and April 6, 2016, the date the 2016-2017 MOA was ratified, from the Saline Associated Spring plant, or its predecessor plant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, who were represented by Local 38 at the date of their retirement;
c. Barnes employees who retired or will retire between June 15, 1992 and April 6, 2016, the date the 2016-2017 MOA was ratified, and those who retire after that date but before the date set by the Court for closing of the Class, from the Corry Associated Spring plant and who were represented by Local 629 at the date of their retirement;
d. Barnes employees who retired or will retire between July 23, 1992 and the April 6, 2016, the date the 2016-2017 MOA was ratified, from the Dayton Associated Spring plant and who were represented by Local 1177 on the date of their retirement; and,
e. the spouses and dependents of any retiree described above including the surviving spouse of any such retiree who is deceased.

(ECF No. 38 at 6.)

         II. Discussion

         Class certification is governed by Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Specifically, Rule 23(a) identifies four prerequisites which must be met before a class action can be certified.

One or more members of a class may sue or be sued as representatives parties on behalf of all only if (1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable, (2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class, (3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class, and (4) ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.