Pictou, Nova Scotia – The Nova Scotia Supreme Court has ruled in favour of Michelin regarding the legal costs of a pension lawsuit brought by Everett Smith on behalf of the Concerned Pension Group.
The Concerned Pension Group, a voluntary association of approximately 570 Michelin Pension Plan members, claimed that surplus funds were diverted by the tire manufacturer to meet required employer contributions, instead of for the exclusive benefits of employees, former employees and beneficiaries.
In October 2007, Justice Suzanne Hood ruled that Michelin had fully met its contribution obligations to the benefit pension plan. In the latest decision, Hood awarded Michelin reimbursement of costs and disbursements in the amount of $599,377.95, with Smith personally responsible to pay 50 per cent, or $299,688.97. The company said that it will make every effort to collect the funds from Smith in accordance with the court’s decision.
Michelin, which maintained from the beginning that the “allegations in this lawsuit were totally without merit,” sought a ruling that legal costs in the amount of $1.2 million be paid by Smith. Smith, in turn, asked that these costs and his own legal costs totalling $940,000 be paid using funds from the Michelin Pension Plan. In her decision, the judge stated that “Michelin was entirely successful on every issue.”