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Abbott, Hospira face employee benefit suit

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Complaint filed in Chicago district court seeks reinstatement and restoration of lost benefits for 10,000 former Abbott hospital products division employees, who lost their jobs when the unit was spun-off (1"The Gray Sheet" April 26, 2004, In Brief). The suit alleges Abbott violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (1974) when it terminated HPD employees during the spin-off. Plaintiffs also allege Abbott and Hospira adopted no-hire policies preventing employees from transferring between the two firms for at least two years. HPD was the eldest division of Abbott, with 70% of its employees aged 40 or older. "Abbott Laboratories looked into its employee benefits crystal ball and didn't like what it saw, so the company terminated the plaintiffs to reduce its future financial liability," plaintiffs attorney Steven Sprenger, Sprenger & Lang, says in a Nov. 8 release. Meites, Mulder, Burger & Mollica also represents the plaintiffs...

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