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CNH Industrial v. Reese (Summary Decision February 20, 2018)

Without blocking off space on its arguments docket, the Supreme Court sides with the company on a healthcare benefits issue.

The Supreme Court can decide on a case without hearing oral arguments and without even asking for briefing from the parties. That’s what it did in CNH Industrial v. Reese.

CNH Industrial had agreed (in a union “collective bargaining” agreement) to give retired employees health benefits. The agreement expired in 2004. Reese and other retirees expected that retirement health benefits meant benefits for life. But the agreement did not say that.

The lower court – the Sixth Circuit appeals court – had determined that the agreement included benefits for life. The Supreme Court was not into that interpretation. The Supreme Court reminded the Sixth Circuit that such an inference (lifetime benefits) was invalid ever since the Supreme Court’s decision in M&G Polymers v. Tackett (2015).


Read about a major case of this term relating to union agreements.


Read about another case involving employment contracts.

About the Author

Mariam Morshedi

Mariam Morshedi

Mariam Morshedi is the Founder and Executive Director of Subscript Law. Before starting Subscript Law, she practiced civil rights law for AARP Foundation, where she litigated housing, consumer and disability rights issues.

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