Benson v. SRT Communications, Inc.

20110164 Richard and Elaine Benson, Bill
and Mary Bliven, Don and Annette
Feist, Pat Lynch, and Lloyd and
Donna Tribitt, Plaintiffs and Appellants
v.
SRT Communications, Inc., Defendant and Appellee

Appeal from: District Court, Northwest Judicial District, Ward County
Judge Todd L. Cresap
Nature of Action: Contracts
Counsel:
Appellant: Lynn M. Boughey
Appellee: David J. Hogue
Term: 11/2011   Argument: 11/29/2011  11:00am
ND cite: 2012 ND 58
NW cite: 813 N.W.2d 552

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Issues: Appellant's Statement of the Issues:
1: Whether a separate contractual relationship is created that binds the employer and its successors when an employee retires during the existence of the labor agreement with a specific agreement evidenced in writing and conduct for over fourteen years by the employer and employee that the health benefits will continue throughout that person's retirement.
2: Whether detrimental reliance applies when an employee reasonably relies on a specific agreement by the employer and employee that the health benefits will continue throughout that person's retirement, where the agreement is evidenced in writing and conduct for over fourteen years, and where that employer and its successor in interest continue fulfilling that agreement for over fourteen years.
3: Whether federal preemption applies when an employee retires during the existence of the labor agreement with a specific and separate agreement between the employer and the employee that the health benefits will continue throughout that person's retirement, thereby making the source of the right to benefits the subsequent agreement and not labor agreement itself.

Appellee's Statement of the Issues:
This appeal from a summary judgment under Rule 56, N.D.Civ.P. presents two issues on appeal:
1. Whether the pleadings, discovery materials and affidavits show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact so that summary judgment was appropriate.
2. When there is no genuine issue of material fact, whether the district court's decision was correct as a matter of law. In this case, the matters of substantive law are matters of federal law.
"On appeal, we determine whether a genuine issue of fact exists and whether the law was applied correctly. Questions of law are fully reviewable on appeal." Steiner v. Ford Motor Co., 2000 ND 31, 6, 606 N.W.2d 881. Stanley v. Turtle Mtn. Gas & Oil, Inc., 1997 ND 169, 6, 567 N.W.2d 345.

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Docket entries:
106/06/2011 NOTICE OF APPEAL: 05/27/2011
207/05/2011 MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLANT BRIEF
307/05/2011 E-FILED MOTION (MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLANT BRIEF)
407/05/2011 ACTION BY CLERK. Granted: 08/03/2011
506/28/2011 Electronic RECORD ON APPEAL (entry nos. 1 - 62)
607/12/2011 Amended Clerk's Electronic Certificate on Appeal (entry nos. 1 - 66)
708/03/2011 MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLANT BRIEF (e-mailed)
808/03/2011 E-FILED MOTION (Mot/Ext/ATB)
908/03/2011 ACTION BY ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE SANDSTROM (Mot/Ext/ATB). Granted: 08/17/2011
1008/17/2011 APPELLANT BRIEF
1108/17/2011 E-FILED BRIEF - ATB
1208/17/2011 APPELLANT APPENDIX
1308/17/2011 E-FILED APPENDIX - ATA
1408/19/2011 Rec'd $136 ATB & ATA e-file surcharge. (receipt no. 20624)
1508/22/2011 Rec'd 7 copies of ATB from Central Duplicating.
1608/22/2011 Rec'd 6 copies of ATA from Central Duplicating.
1709/16/2011 APPELLEE BRIEF (e-filed)
1809/16/2011 E-FILED BRIEF (AEB)
1909/16/2011 APPELLEE APPENDIX (e-filed)
2009/19/2011 Received $25 surcharge for AEB (Receipt #20665)
2109/20/2011 Received $40 surcharge for AEA (Receipt #20670)
2209/21/2011 Received 7 copies of AEB from CSD
2309/21/2011 Received 6 copies of AEA from CSD
2410/06/2011 NOTICE OF ORAL ARGUMENT SENT
2510/26/2011 Request for Radio/TV Coverage (Dale Wetzel from Associated Press) approved
2611/29/2011 APPEARANCES: Lynn M. Boughey/David J. Hogue
2711/29/2011 ARGUED: Boughey/Hogue
2811/29/2011 ORAL ARGUMENT WEBCAST
2903/15/2012 DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED
3003/15/2012 UNANIMOUS OPINION: Sandstrom, Dale V.
3103/15/2012 (Concur in the result): Crothers, Daniel John: CON/RES
3203/16/2012 Judgment Sent to Parties
3305/02/2012 MANDATE

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