Cases & Deals

Crown settles arbitration in connection with retiree health benefits class action

Client(s) Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc.

Jones Day represented Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc. in a class action dispute with the United Steelworkers of America (USW) involving Crown's unilateral modification of the level of retiree health benefits for approximately 10,000 retirees formerly represented by the USW. In the case, Crown filed a declaratory judgment action against the USW in a favorable jurisdiction and the USW filed its own suit in a competing jurisdiction. The parties each moved to dismiss the other's lawsuit in favor of their own, or to transfer the other's case to be consolidated with their own. While the forum issues were being litigated, which included an appeal to the Third Circuit, the parties agreed to refer the matter to arbitration. Ultimately, after extensive discovery and a lengthy arbitration hearing in which Crown was successful in obtaining a favorable judgment on an important part of the case, the case settled.

Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc. v. United Steelworkers of America Int'l Union, Case No. 1:03-CV-3882 (N.D. Ill.); Lawhorn v. Crown, Case No. 1:03CV-461 (S.D. Ohio); Arbitration Matter: USW et al. and Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc; Crown Cork & Seal Co. v. United Steel Workers of Am. Int'l Union, AFL-CIO, No. 04-1139 (3d Cir.)