Important Documents:

NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION

THIS NOTICE MAY AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS; PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY.

TO:     All former City of Joliet employees who retired before January 1, 2010 and whose retiree health care benefits were reduced in any way after their retirement.

The Circuit Court of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, Will County, has authorized the mailing of this notice to inform you that you may be a class member in a pending class action lawsuit. This notice concerns your rights regarding the class action lawsuit as well as how to exercise your rights. Please read it carefully.

1. What is a “class action” lawsuit?

A “class action” is a lawsuit in which one or several people, called “named plaintiffs,” sue for their own benefit as well as for a group of other people, called the “class.” The named plaintiffs try to recover a judgment, usually an amount of money, for everyone in the class.

2. What is this lawsuit about?

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of former City of Joliet employees, who, since retirement, have allegedly been required to pay more for retiree health care benefits than they paid at the time of their retirement.

The suit alleges that the of City of Joliet breached the terms of several union collective bargaining agreements by failing to provide agreed-upon retirement benefits and that it violated Article 13, Section 5 of the Illinois Constitution by diminishing retiree health care benefits. It seeks damages in an amount necessary to compensate the members of the class for any alleged contract breach and/or constitutional violation, as well as an injunction against continued contractual and constitutional violations.

The City of Joliet claims that the retirement benefits at issue are neither vested nor guaranteed and that it has the contractual and legal right to change these benefits. The City of Joliet further denies that it has taken any actions in violation of Article 13, Section 5 of the Illinois Constitution.

The case is entitled Marconi, et al. v. City of Joliet, case number 10-MR-0165.

3. Who is the Defendant?

The Defendant is the City of Joliet.

4. Am I a class member?

You are a member of one or both of the certified classes if you meet the below criteria:

Subclass One: All former City of Joliet employees who retired before January 1, 2010 as bargaining unit employees whose retiree health care benefits were subject to collective bargaining agreements and whose health care benefits were reduced in any way after their retirement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, former supervisory level employees who were involved in negotiating the relevant collective bargaining agreements on behalf of the City, including former City Managers and City Attorneys as well as the following individuals: Michael Suppan, Rodney Marion, John Mezera, Tom Thanas, Jeff Plyman, Vickie Kehl-Gans, and Richard Clementi, are excluded from the aforementioned definition.

Subclass Two: All former City of Joliet employees who retired before January 1, 2010 and whose retiree health care benefits were reduced in any way after their retirement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, former supervisory level employees who were involved in negotiating the relevant collective bargaining agreements on behalf of the City, including former City Managers and City Attorneys as well as the following individuals: Michael Suppan, Rodney Marion, John Mezera, Tom Thanas, Jeff Plyman, Vickie Kehl-Gans, and Richard Clementi, are excluded from the aforementioned definition.

5. What is the status of the lawsuit?

The Court has ruled that the case will proceed as a class action. The Court has not yet decided the merits of the class claims, and therefore has not yet decided what damages, if any, the class members are entitled to receive.

The parties are currently pursuing discovery relating to the claims in the case. The case has not yet been set for trial.

6. Why am I receiving this notice?

You have been sent this notice at the direction of the Court because you may be a member of the classes.

If you are a class member, then you can participate in the class action and pursue your right to damages and other relief, if any, decided in this lawsuit. Alternatively, you can file your own lawsuit, but you must first “opt out” of the class action.

This notice is being sent to you so that you can make a decision about whether or not to participate in or opt out of the class action. If you are a class member and you do not wish to be bound by the judgment or rulings in this case, then you must opt out by following the procedure described in paragraph 11 below.

7. Am I required to hire a lawyer or take any other steps to participate in the lawsuit?

No. If you wish to participate in this class action, you do not need to hire a lawyer and you do not need to take any other steps. The plaintiffs in the class action are being represented by Scott Rauscher and Michael Kanovitz of the law firm Loevy & Loevy, whom the court has appointed as Class Counsel to represent all of the class members in the lawsuit. These attorneys will automatically pursue the case on your behalf if you qualify as a class member. You may also seek to individually intervene in this lawsuit with the court’s permission, although you do not need to do so in order to share in any potential damages awarded to the class or be bound by any adverse Court rulings.

On the other hand, you have the right to opt out of the class and pursue your own individual claims (if any) against the City by retaining your own personal legal counsel. The opt-out procedure is described below in paragraph 11.

8. How will the class lawyers be paid?

If Class Counsel obtains money or benefits for the class, they may ask the Court for attorneys’ fees and expenses. Individual class members will not be required to pay any fees or expenses directly. Rather, any award of attorneys’ fees or expenses would likely be deducted from any common fund obtained for the class.

9. How can I get more information?

The lead attorneys representing the class members are Scott Rauscher and Michael Kanovitz, with the law firm Loevy & Loevy. You can reach them by calling (312) 243-5900 or by writing to them at 311 North Aberdeen Street, Third Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60607.

10. What effect will the lawsuit have on me if I stay in the class?

If the class prevails on its claims, members of the class who do not opt out may be entitled to a portion of the damages, if any, that are awarded. If you are a class member and wish to receive any damages that are awarded to the class, then you must remain a part of the lawsuit. Unless you opt out, you are electing to remain a part of the case, and all of the decisions by the Court will bind you, including any favorable or adverse rulings by the Court. If you remain a part of the case, you will not be allowed to bring a separate lawsuit against the City of Joliet for the same claims brought here.

11. What do I need to do to opt out of this lawsuit?

If you wish to stay in the class action you do not need to take any further steps. You will automatically be a member of the class. The lawsuit will be litigated on your behalf and you will be notified later if the class prevails in the case or if there is a judgment or settlement that entitles you to damages.

If you do not wish to stay in the class action, you must send a letter or postcard, requesting to be excluded from the class. Your request must identify this case — “Marconi v. City of Joliet, 10-MR-0165” — and it must include your name and your mailing address. Your request must be postmarked no later than [60 calendar days after the date this notice is mailed] and must be addressed to:

City of Joliet Class Action

c/o Scott Rauscher

Loevy & Loevy

311 N. Aberdeen St., Third Floor

Chicago, Illinois 60607

12. Can I see a copy of the Complaint in the lawsuit?

Yes. Copies of the Amended Complaint and Answers in this case and many of the other pleadings and papers are available on the website of Loevy & Loevy. You can view them over the internet and print or download copies free of charge by going to www.loevy.com and clicking on the button for the City of Joliet Class Action. You may also review and copy all of the publicly filed documents in person at the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Will County, 14 West Jefferson Street, Joliet, Illinois, 60432.

13. May I talk to a lawyer if I have questions?

Yes. If you wish to speak to an attorney about this notice or if you have other questions, you may call the lawyers of Loevy & Loevy free of charge at (312) 243-5900 during regular business hours.

You may also write the attorneys at Loevy & Loevy by sending a letter to:

City of Joliet Class Action

c/o Scott Rauscher

Loevy & Loevy

311 N. Aberdeen St., Third Floor

Chicago, Illinois 60607

Please identify yourself and include a return address with your letter. You are also free to consult with and/or retain the legal counsel of your choice.

 

 

Dated: July 19, 2016

 

DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT DIRECTLY. THE COURT WILL NOT RESPOND TO LETTERS OR TELEPHONE CALLS. IF YOU WISH TO ADDRESS THE COURT YOU MUST FILE AN APPROPRIATE PLEADING OR MOTION WITH THE CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT OF WILL COUNTY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COURT’S USUAL PROCEDURES.