Disney, retirees settle

Hours after a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of retirees and long-term employees of the Walt Disney Co., attorneys for both sides reached a tentative settlement. The deal must still be approved by the court.

The complaint, filed Friday in U.S. District Court, centered on Disney’s reduction of medical benefits for certain retirees and long-term employees who still work for the company.

If approved, the settlement will benefit around 1,500 retirees and 2,500 employees who had been employed by the company for 20 years at the time Disney began making changes in the plan.

The settlement capped three months of negotiations between Disney attorneys and lawyers for the plaintiffs, who included six Disney retirees who objected to the company’s changes in its post-retirement medical program.

Disney had attempted to increase the amount of money retirees would have to contribute to retain the plan.

As part of the settlement, Disney will rescind some of the reductions in benefits and make a lump sum payment to long-term employees when they reach age 62 or when they leave Disney as compensation for the benefit reduction.

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