Class Action Lawsuit
In 2012, Mr. Michael Carpenter, Mr. Christopher Whelchel, and Gray, Layton, Kersh, Solomon, Furr, & Smith, P.A. filed a class action lawsuit against the state of North Carolina on behalf of former Chief Justice Beverly Lake and 25 other class representatives and approximately 170,000 retirees who are seeking restoration of retiree health insurance benefits. The State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees stopped offering a non-contributory 90/10 health plan in 2009 and 80/20 plan in 2011.
On June 17, 2014, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that Chief Justice Lake and the other retired state employees can continue their legal fight over health insurance coverage. A three-judge panel found that a lower court was right to reject a motion by state officials to dismiss the lawsuit and that the retirees have a case that should be decided on whether ending the health insurance options affecting nearly 190,000 people violated a valid contract between them and the State of North Carolina.