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Richmond, Virginia

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Aubrey Ford
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Jury Awards $17.4 Million to Retirees for Termination of Pension Payments

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In a complex commercial litigation matter involving employee pension rights, jurors in Butte, Montana ordered Northwestern Corporation to pay $17.4 million in compensatory damages and $4 million in punitive
damages to 15 retired executives who sued after the company terminated their supplemental pensions. This case affirms the rights of executives and employees to the continuation of pension and retirement benefits to which they are entitled.

The decision came after a two-week civil trial before the District Court. The verdict included compensatory damages and damages for emotional and financial distress.

Northwestern Corporation purchased Montana Power three years ago and assumed responsibility for the various retirement and pension benefits. Northwestern attempted to terminate the retirement benefits of certain executives. Each of the 15 retirees was awarded just over $1 million for damages and emotional distress.
This matter involving business litigation and employee rights confirms the necessity of vigilantly protecting the rights of employees and former employees regarding their wages and benefits.