Lexington Police Officers Challenge Judge's Dismissal Of Health Benefits Lawsuit

Jul 16, 2013

A group of retired and current Lexington police officers is appealing a federal judge’s decision to dismiss their lawsuit that alleges the city violated their constitutional rights by not contributing 100 percent of the cost of their retiree health insurance programs.

Credit Josh James

Retired officers Tommy Puckett and Donald Chumley, along with current police officer Michael Sweeney, filed the suit last September. The city’s contribution to premiums changed at the start of 2012.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell dismissed the suit against the Urban County Government in June, saying no contract existed between the city and police officers guaranteeing that the government was forever obligated to pay 100 percent of the insurance premiums.

The changes in payments meant Puckett and Chumley had to foot close to $200 more a month for the benefits. They maintain that the city violated “both property and contract rights protected by the U.S. Constitution” by instituting the changes.