The Chancery Court cases are scheduled for hearings on Friday. Just days before this long awaited hearing, Singing River produces a plan for 90% funding. Days before that, Jim Reeves, the one attorney marketing his ability to quickly reach a settlement, was appointed lead counsel in the cases in US District Court.
There is very real concern that in the coming days and weeks, SRHS is going to move to settle very quickly. This will be an attempt to forestall the litigation and discovery process. There will be calls by many to “move on,” “forget about the past,” or “forgive.” Beware those advocating your moving on, before they explain how you ended up here. The last thing anyone at Singing River wants is to be on camera and under oath.
Settlements within 90% of the target and reached early on are almost always to the advantage of the plaintiff. The exceptions are in cases like these, where the payouts will come over time. Plaintiffs need to be certain that appropriate measures are taken to safeguard the pension in the future. No settlement agreement should come without strings attached, firmly tying the hands of those who sought to terminate the pension. There is a danger that too onerous a settlement could become a weight around the system’s neck, effectively putting the system out of business. There is a requirement for balance.
Singing River has played hardball thus far, it’s doubtful they will continue otherwise. Much more to come on this in the next days.