United States District Judge Christopher Cooper issued an order on August 26, 2016 granting preliminary approval for the class action settlement announced by class counsel on August 24. He stated that the settlement “appears to be fair, adequate and reasonable.”
Judge Cooper scheduled a fairness hearing to be held on November 4, 2016 at the United States Courthouse in Washington D.C. Following the hearing, Judge Cooper will decide whether to grant final approval of the settlement.
A copy of the order may be obtained here.
On August 23, 2016, Stein Mitchell, on behalf of the class members, and the United States Postal Service entered into a settlement agreement that is sufficient to pay every class member a full recovery of all unpaid benefits plus interest from the date each class member’s benefits first should have been paid.
Stein Mitchell and the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, representing the Postal Service, filed with United States District Judge Christopher R. Cooper a Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement on August 24. Court rules provide that if the court grants preliminary approval of the settlement, a date will be set for a fairness hearing after which Judge Cooper will rule whether to approve the settlement. The class members will be notified of the date of the fairness hearing and how class members may participate if they want to.
Class counsel also filed a request for attorney’s fees and reimbursement of expenses. That motion also will be addressed at the fairness hearing.
The Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement and the Petition for Award of Fees, with supporting exhibits, are posted here.
On June 15, 2016, Stein Mitchell, on behalf of the plaintiffs, and the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, on behalf of the United Stated Postal Service, filed a Joint Status Report indicating that the parties had finalized their proposed settlement agreement. The United States Attorney for the District of Columbia has submitted the proposed settlement agreement to the Department of Justice for its review and approval. The parties will file an additional Joint Status Report following the Department of Justice’s review and approval of the proposed settlement agreement no later than July 15, 2016.
The United State District Court ruled in favor of a class of family members of deceased Postal Service Employees who were owed unpaid life insurance benefits.
This class action was brought by David Fierst and Robert Bredhoff of Stein Mitchell Cipollone Beato & Missner LLP in Washington, D.C. The class action is on behalf of 2,144 beneficiaries of Postal Service employees who died between July 1981 and November 1998 who never received their proper life insurance benefits. The suit seeks payment of the unpaid principle and interest for payments that were many years delinquent.
On December 4, 2014, Judge Christopher Cooper ruled that the beneficiaries who were not paid the proper life insurance benefits are entitled to an additional payment, and that all 2,144 members of the class are entitled to be paid interest on the long-overdue payments.
The Postal Service also moved for an order denying recovery. It argued that it was too hard to find the beneficiaries after so many years. It also argued that Postal Service employee unions had given up on any claim for interest. The judge rejected these arguments and denied the Postal Service’s motion.
These are several issues that must still be resolved including but not limited to setting an interest rate, locating unfound beneficiaries and ensuring the proper administration of payments to class members. We are working hard towards the speedy resolution of this injustice and expect the court to ensure all class members are made whole.
On May 31, 2013, United States District Judge Robert L. Wilkins granted a motion to certify a class in McKinney v. United States Postal Service, and appointed David U. Fierst and Robert L. Bredhoff of the Washington DC law firm Stein Mitchell Cipollone Beato & Missner LLP as class counsel.
The Court certified the class to include beneficiaries of deceased United States Postal Service employees, or the beneficiaries' estates or other legal representatives, who may be entitled to an additional death benefit payment under the provisions of the USPS Annuity Protection Program and who did not receive notice before March 28, 2008. The Court also certified plaintiff Pamela McKinney as Class Representative. To view the order, click on the "Case Documents" link above.
Class counsel are now attempting to identify and contact potential class members. If you think you may be a class member, contact class counsel by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the "Contact Us" link above.