The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Employment Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

by Roy, Christopher


SC20533 - Gallagher v. Fairfield ("This case requires that we construe a collective bargaining agreement between the named defendant, the town of Fairfield, and its police union. The agreement took effect in 1985, at a time when federal law did not permit municipal employees to participate in the Medicare system. The agreement provides that union members who retired early due to disability, such as the plaintiff, James G. Gallagher, as well as their eligible dependents, would be entitled to town paid private health insurance. The question presented is whether, following an intervening change in federal law that permits the plaintiff and other similarly situated retirees to enroll in Medicare upon reaching the age of sixty-five, the town may terminate their private health insurance, provide them with comparable town paid Medicare supplemental insurance, and require that they bear the costs of their Medicare premiums. The defendants have appealed, and the plaintiff has cross appealed, from the judgment of the trial court, which concluded that the town may require the plaintiff and his wife to enroll in Medicare but, in addition to paying for their Medicare supplemental insurance and any uncovered medical expenses, must also reimburse the costs of their Medicare Part B premiums. We agree with the former conclusion but hold that the town is not required to reimburse the Gallaghers for their Medicare premium costs. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")