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Retired Deere Workers Sue For Health Benefits

Tue, 09/22/2009 - 4:19am

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — About 5,000 retired workers are suing Deere and Co. for changes to their health benefits plan, saying the agricultural machinery manufacturer broke its promises.

An attorney for the Flex Retirees Organization says in U.S. District Court in Davenport that the retirees thought they and their spouses would have medical benefits for life. Arizona lawyer Daniel Bonnett says evidence shows employees were promised lifetime health care benefits by their supervisors.

An attorney for Deere and Co. says the health plan, implemented on Jan. 1, 2008, was clearly explained to employees, and that the company told its workers that it could amend or change its benefits plan.

The bench trial before U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Wolle began Monday and is expected to last two weeks.

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