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Xerox to Appeal Judge’s Order

July 18, 2001

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Xerox Corp. will appeal a judge’s order that the company’s pension plan was flawed.

Judge David R. Herndon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in East St. Louis, Ill., has ruled that Xerox incorrectly calculated lump sum retirement payments to departing employees. As a result, the retirees received lower payments than they would have been due under federal pension-benefits regulations, he ruled.

Douglas R. Sprong, a Belleville, Ill.-based lawyer representing former employees, said the cost to Xerox’s pension fund could be between $100 million and $300 million.

Christa Carone, a spokeswoman for Xerox, said Wednesday the dollar amount range includes ``highly speculative numbers,″ and the copier maker insists that the retirees sustained no financial losses.

The appeal is based on the company’s contention that Herndon, whose ruling did not specify a dollar amount, made the wrong decision, she said.

Sprong did not return numerous telephone calls seeking comment Wednesday.

The case covers at least 25,000 former Xerox workers who chose to receive pension benefits in a single payment rather than monthly checks. The retirees say their pensions were sharply discounted because they retired before age 65.

Xerox has been scrambling for more than a year to cope with strong competition, a flawed sales force reorganization, sluggish sales and a sharp drop in its stock price, which has started to rebound recently.

In trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, Xerox closed at $8.48 a share, down 6 cents.

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