From our private database of 28,700+ case briefs...
Nemeth v. Clark Equipment Co.
United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
677 F. Supp. 899 (1987)
James Nemeth (plaintiff) and 17 other employees (employees) lost their jobs when their employer, Clark Equipment Company (Clark) (defendant), closed its construction-machinery plant in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Clark, which operated three plants before the closure, had determined that it risked bankruptcy if it did not reduce overhead. One of Clark’s plants could not be closed because it was in Canada, and duty restrictions would prevent Clark from competing in the Canadian market if Clark did not maintain manufacturing capacity there. Clark conducted a series of plant-capacity studies to determine whether closing one of the other plants would preserve the company’s financial viability. Based on these studies, Clark decided to close the Benton Harbor plant, leaving its Asheville, North Carolina, plant operational. Over the five-year period studied, Clark calculated that the difference in operating costs between the two plants was $26.9 million, approximately one-fifth of which was attributable to pension costs. Paul Schultz, former manager of the Benton Harbor plant, stated that “the pension costs were killing us.” Nevertheless, no single item or expense was determinative, and Clark focused on the bottom line in making its decision to close the Benton Harbor plant. As a result of the plant closing, the employees, all of whom were nearing retirement age, lost the right to qualify for full retirement benefits. The employees filed suit, alleging that Clark’s decision to close the Benton Harbor plant violated § 510 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) because it was motivated by a desire to prevent the employees from obtaining their full retirement benefits.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Enslen, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 546,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 546,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 28,700 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.