SAG-AFTRA Deal In Benefits Suit : $15M Agreement

SAG-AFTRA Deal In Benefits Suit

In a riveting turn of events, a California federal judge has given her seal of approval to a groundbreaking $15 million settlement in a class action suit, claiming that the SAG-AFTRA Health Fund strategically pushed senior actors onto Medicare, raising the stakes in the ongoing battle between Hollywood’s seasoned performers and their healthcare provider.

SAG-AFTRA Deal In Benefits Suit : The Verdict

U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder delivered her verdict on a sunny Friday afternoon, declaring that the settlement represented a triumph for the aging actors who had taken up arms against the SAG-AFTRA Health Fund in 2020. However, in a surprising twist, Judge Snyder wielded her gavel to slash the hefty attorney fees initially demanded by the plaintiffs, setting off a firestorm of debate.

Attorney Fee Showdown

The courtroom drama reached its peak as Judge Snyder wielded her gavel to address the contentious issue of attorney fees. The performers’ legal team, who had set their sights on a jaw-dropping $6.9 million, were dealt a devastating blow when she awarded them $3.9 million instead, sparking shockwaves throughout the legal community.

Monetary Math Mysteries

With the stakes at an all-time high, Judge Snyder deftly navigated a quagmire of conflicting calculations. Rejecting both the fund’s and the class’s proposed figures, she concluded that a 25% share of the $15.4 million settlement was the fairest measure. This figure materialized by combining the $15 million total with the $450,000 that class members were slated to receive this year as part of the settlement-induced benefit contributions from the health fund.

A Clash of Interpretations

The SAG-AFTRA Health Fund’s legal team passionately argued for basing fee calculations on the $7.5 million that their insurers had agreed to pour into the settlement fund. They contended that “only externally contributed money counts” in the fee calculation, reasoning that the rest of the settlement fund would be sourced from an “internal reallocation of plan assets.”