Ohio Attorney General joins coalition to protect Delphi pension recipients

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FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2020, file photo, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost speaks in Columbus, Ohio. Yost filed suit against the Biden administration on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, seeking to restore a Trump-era ban on abortion referrals by family planning clinics that President Joe Biden reversed earlier in the month. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 20, 2020 file photo, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost speaks in Columbus, Ohio. Yost announced on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021 that Ohio’s largest electric utility has agreed in a settlement to forgo the collection of a guaranteed profit subsidy provided in a now-tainted energy bill. Yost says the subsidy would have allowed Akron-based FirstEnergy to collect $102 million from customers in 2021. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has joined a coalition of seven attorneys general in a brief filed before the United States Supreme Court, arguing the rights of former Delphi Corporation employees were violated when the corporation’s bankruptcy resulted in the loss of their pensions.

“It’s an upside-down world when criminals get their day in court, but these hard-working, taxpaying citizens are denied that right,” Yost said. “These Delphi retirees are entitled to due process.”

Petitioners in the lawsuit are former employees of Delphi, an auto-parts manufacturer and supplier previously based in Michigan, and were participants in Delphi’s pension plan. Many of those participants lost between 30 to 70 percent of their vested benefits.

Nationally, over 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees have been affected.

The coalition notes in the brief, “It is concerning enough that these individuals can be endangered when their former employers proceed in bankruptcy and are judicially relieved of their commitments. But at least in a bankruptcy proceeding, there is a recognition that creditors have property rights, and there are safeguards in place and a process that ensures that all parties are heard, after which a judge—not a government corporation—makes the final adjudication. Here, retirees had no opportunity to challenge the plan termination before it was terminated, since the bankruptcy court would not hear the challenge, and the respondents then terminated the plan with-out an adjudication. And when the retirees sought post-deprivation relief, the Sixth Circuit held they had no constitutional right to any process at all. The decision below should be reversed because it failed to even recognize that the retirees had a cognizable property interest in the payments they had been promised.”

Joining Yost and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel are the attorneys general of Delaware, Florida, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Vermont.

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