News Release            Lucent Retiree Organization

(Contact information at end of news release)

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2005

 

Lucent Retirees Organization Members File Class Action Lawsuit

Against Lucent Technologies For Failure To Maintain Retiree

Health Care Benefits As Required By Federal Law

 

            NEW YORK – Three members of the Lucent Retirees Organization filed today a class action lawsuit against Lucent Technologies and related defendants.  The suit charges that the company failed to maintain health care benefits for retired employees as required by Section 420 of the Internal Revenue Code and by Lucent’s medical plan and pension plan.

            The suit alleges that Lucent violated the strict requirements of federal statutes to maintain health care benefits for retired employees for a five-year period following its action in September 1999 to transfer substantial “surplus” cash assets from the Lucent Retirement Income Plan to a retiree health care account within that pension plan.

“The LRO is supporting the plaintiffs to the fullest extent of our resources, to help bring about refunds and recoveries of monies that Lucent retirees were forced to pay in recent years as a direct result of Lucent’s violations of federal law,” said Ken Raschke, LRO President.

            The action, which was filed in the United States District Court in Camden, N.J., also names as defendants the Lucent Employee Benefits Committee and the Lucent Medical Expense Plan for Retired Employees.  The three representative plaintiffs in the case are Lucent retirees who are LRO members.  They are Peter and Geraldine Raetsch of Reading, Pa. and Curtis Shiflett of Macungie, Pa.

            The suit challenges Lucent’s reductions and terminations of retiree medical and prescription drug benefits, as well as increased co-pays, increased contribution requirements and more during the years 2000 through the present.  It seeks a court order that Lucent shall, among other things, “…ensure the timely payment, reimbursement and/or refund to each plaintiff and Class member of all financial burdens that were illegally imposed by defendants.”

            Raschke said the LRO will work with Alan Sandals, principal attorney of Sandals & Associates, P.C., Philadelphia, who represents the LRO members and the class of retirees.  Sandals also is serving as counsel to the LRO and as co-counsel in a separate lawsuit against Lucent and AT&T that seeks restoration of the death benefits terminated by Lucent in February 2003.

            The text of complaint filed today is posted on the LRO website at www.lucentretirees.com/docs/420FILING.pdf.    

About the LRO

The Lucent Retirees Organization was chartered in January 2003 in the state of New York.  The LRO seeks to represent the interests of 235,000 retirees and dependents.  Membership in the LRO is composed of individuals who participate in the Lucent pension plan, including all Lucent and Bell Labs retirees, and those who retired when the company was known as Western Electric and/or AT&T Network Systems, plus subsidiaries such as Teletype and Sandia.  The LRO is a member of the National Retiree Legislative Network and allied with retiree associations from other major corporations.  For more information about the LRO go to www.lucentretirees.com.  

 

 

                                                            ###

For More Information Contact:

Alan M. Sandals, Esquire                       Ken Raschke                            Ed Beltram

Sandals & Associates, P.C.                   LRO President                          LRO Communications

Phone: 215-825-4000                             Phone: 336-765-9765                 Phone: 719-687-6157

Email: asandals@sandalslaw.com           Email: kraschke@triad.rr.com    Email: edbeltram@msn.com