Bloomberg Law
May 24, 2021, 1:36 PM

Westmoreland Avoids SCOTUS Review of Retiree Benefit Obligations

Daniel Gill
Daniel Gill

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to wade into a dispute over whether Westmoreland Coal Co. could use its bankruptcy to modify or cancel retiree benefit payments that are otherwise federally required.

The May 24 decision leaves in place an August 2020 opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that allowed a bankruptcy court to relieve the coal mining company from having to pay certain retiree health benefit payments.

The retiree benefit obligations, which are required by the Coal Industry Retiree Health Benefits Act of 1992, aren’t a tax and can be modified through bankruptcy, the Fifth ...

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