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Poole v. City of Waterbury
Connecticut Supreme Court
831 A.2d 211 (2003)
Between 1986 and 1999, a series of collective-bargaining agreements between the city of Waterbury (the city) (defendant) and the firefighters’ union (the union) provided that city firefighters would continue receiving full healthcare benefits after retirement. As evidenced by contractual language and the parties’ interaction, both the city and the union expected these benefits to continue for the rest of a retiree’s life. In 1999, because of the city’s dire financial straits and the greatly increased costs of healthcare, the city demanded that any new agreement restrict retiree healthcare benefits. The union rejected the city’s demand, and the parties referred their dispute to binding arbitration by a board created by the state legislature to oversee the city’s finances. The board granted the city’s demand for reduced retiree healthcare benefits. Jeffrey Poole and other retirees (plaintiffs) sued the city. The trial court issued an injunction requiring the city to reinstate the full benefits. The city appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Katz, J.)
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