This morning the DeKalb Schools Board of Education approved a settlement in the GOLD case (Tax Shelter Annuity – TSA Case) for $117.5 million over a 5 year period.
$117.5 million settlement will be subject to the preliminary and final approval of the court.
Increment payments are: First payment of $27.5 million payable at the conclusion of the court approval process and expiration of the appeals deadline. The initial payment is followed by 4 annual payments of $22.5 million due on the anniversary of the first payment.
Moving forward, the attorneys will submit pleadings to the court for preliminary approval. Notice will be sent to the prospective class members. The court will need to deliberate on the reasonableness of the settlement and make a final decision.
It is likely that prospective class members will be notified in 30 to 60 days with instructions on how to proceed.
The settlement is subject to approval by the Court, and the parties are preparing papers to submit to the Court for preliminary approval. If approved, more information will be provided for those who may qualify as members of the class.
2009 – The DeKalb County School District stopped payment on TSA, a supplemental retirement fund for district employees. (Note: The TSA is separate and apart from the TRS) Plaintiffs claim this was in direct violation of the contract the district agreed to and resulted in the loss of millions of dollars for district employees.
2017 – Judge Gregory Adams of the Superior Court of DeKalb County dismissed the employees’ lawsuit entirely and withheld ruling on class certification. Plaintiffs appealed.
June 1, 2018 The Georgia Court of Appeals issued an Opinion that
1) overturned the dismissal of Plaintiffs’ claims;
2) determined that the District is liable as a matter of law for breaching its legal duty to the employees;
3) ruled the Plaintiffs were entitled to judgment on liability in their favor, with only issues of damages calculations remaining for trial by jury; and
4) ruled that the trial court must reconsider class certification in light of the Gold III Opinion.
Oct 21, 2019 – The Supreme Court of Georgia ruled in favor of DeKalb County teachers and school employees. While the Supreme Court didn’t agree with the findings of the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court did agree with their conclusion saying, “we agree with the Court of Appeals, albeit for somewhat different reasons, that the trial court erred in granting Appellants’ motion for summary judgment and in denying Appellees’ motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability for breach of contract.”