General

No remaining issues in Betty Johnson class action

THE Office of the Attorney General, the Commonwealth Ports Authority and the Settlement Fund trustee on Tuesday told the federal court that a settlement agreement has resolved all issues in the Betty Johnson class action.

In a report filed with the court, Settlement Fund trustee Joyce C.H. Tang and AG Edward Manibusan recommended that the case be closed.

Joyce C.H. Tang

Tang asked the court to issue an order that includes the terms of the agreement and a final judgment approving the class action settlement

She said the order should also state that the autonomous agencies (as defined in the settlement agreement to include CPA) have withdrawn their motions and requests for any relief in the Johnson action and any other actions against the fund.

CPA legal counsel Robert T. Torres said the ports authority agreed that all issues in the case and its motion for writ of mandamus have been resolved, rendering the motion moot.

For the status hearing scheduled for Sept. 27, 2017, the District Court for the NMI has ordered the appearance of Gov. Ralph Deleon Guerrero Torres or, in his absence, Lt. Gov. Victor Borja Hocog, and Secretary of Finance Larrisa Larson.

A CNMI government retiree, Betty Johnson sued the commonwealth for failing to pay the amounts it was mandated to pay to the Retirement Fund since 2005.

In Sept. 2013, the parties agreed to settle the lawsuit and the U.S. court approved a $779 million consent judgment in case the government does not meet its obligations to the Settlement Fund.

Under the settlement agreement, retirees are entitled to 75 percent of their pension benefits. With the opening of the Saipan casino, however, the CNMI government has been appropriating funds to restore the retirees’ 25 percent pension cut.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/98719-no-remaining-issues-in-betty-johnson-class-action

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