HALL COUNTY -- Five current and former Hall County employees filed an estimated $75 million class-action lawsuit Monday against the county regarding frozen pension benefits.
The expected class is more than 100 Hall County employees, the overwhelming majority being first responders.
“We cannot comment on pending litigation,” Hall County spokeswoman Katie Crumley said.
The Times also reached out to commissioners Jeff Stowe and Scott Gibbs. Neither had been briefed on details of the lawsuit.
Attorney Ed Buckley of the Atlanta-based firm Buckley | Beal said the lawsuit is regarding retired employees and employees reaching retirement that “are being denied and will be denied pension fund benefits unless we are able to resolve this.”
The lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court is challenging a 1998 freeze in retirement pension benefits. The lawsuit claims the county “made no additional employer contributions for plaintiffs to the ‘trust fund.’”
One example listed in the lawsuit was 1st Lt. Bradford Rounds, who was hired in Hall County in 1988.
According to the lawsuit, Rounds’ monthly pension benefit would be $2,567 under the plan’s formula.
“Under defendants’ ‘freeze’ of his accrued pension benefits as of July 1, 1998, his ‘frozen’ monthly pension benefit is only $389 per month,” according to the lawsuit.
The county commissioners will be served with the lawsuit at their regular 6 p.m. meeting today.