|ELIZABETH A. CLEMONS, DAVID R. KHALIEL, and
LARRY W. TAYLOR, on behalf of themselves and all
other similarly situated individuals,
NORTON HEALTHCARE INC. RETIREMENT PLAN,
| Nos. 16-5063/5124|
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Western District of Kentucky at Louisville.
3:08-cv-0069—Thomas B. Russell, District Judge.
Argued: June 22, 2017
Decided and Filed: May 10, 2018
Before: SILER, McKEAGUE, and WHITE, Circuit Judges.
McKEAGUE, Circuit Judge. This appeal is the latest installment in an ERISA litigation
saga that has spanned almost ten years. At the risk of oversimplifying their case, the Plaintiff–
Retirees claim that Defendant Norton Healthcare, Inc. Retirement Plan (“Norton”) underpaid
them under the terms of the plan. The district court found that the plan was unambiguous in the
Retirees’ favor. We agree with the district court on most issues. However, because the Plan is
ambiguous in one crucial respect and may not comply with ERISA in another, we VACATE the
district court’s summary judgment order and REMAND for further examination of those issues.
Consequently, we also VACATE the district court’s damages order, including its certification of
a class under Rule 23(b)(1)(A) and (b)(2) during the damages stage. In doing so, we mean no
slight to the district judges and their staff, who ought to be praised for their commitment to this
case and for their patience with the complex issues it presents.