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Employee denied retiree health benefits because she was five days short of eight year service history

In Mullin v. County of Wayne, the plaintiff contested the County's rejection of her claim for lifetime health benefits after retirement.  She worked for the Airport Authority for most of her career, and then for the County for seven years and 360 days.  The pertinent County retirement ordinance provides for lifetime health benefits for any retiree with eight years of service. 

Under the County's rules, Mullin was deemed to have eight years of service, however, she actually retired five days before completing her eighth year.  On that basis, the County denied her lifetime health benefits.  She argued that the policy should be interpreted consistently with her eight years of credited service under the pertinent Ordinance defining years of service.  The Court of Appeals rejected this analysis, instead adopting the "plain language" of the retiree health requirement of eight [full] years of service.  It also rejected the argument that her years of service with the County Airport Authority should be considered.

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