June 2, 2006
Elizabeth I. Kiovsky, Esq.
Beth Doherty Quinn, Esq.
BAIRD & KIOVSKY, LLC
2036 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80206-1106
BethK@bairdkiovsky.com (Beth Kiovsky, Esq.),
BDQ@bairdkiovsky.com (Beth Doherty Quinn, Esq.)
Counsel for Qwest Defendants
There are two matters I wish to address:
1. Scheduling of Initial Depositions. Assuming all responsive documents have been provided by Qwest Defendants (I received the supplemental papers emailed to me on May 24, 2006), Plaintiffs' side now wishes to schedule depositions well in advance of the September 8, 2006 discovery cut-off date. I have set aside almost all of July and August to schedule depositions. And, if needed we can start during the last half of this month. Therefore, please check with Qwest Defendants and send me several alternative available deposition dates for the following persons, all of whom we understand are being represented by defense counsel team of attorneys:
Barry Allen 1/2 day
Jill Sanford 1/2 day
Margis Dobis 1/2 day to full day
Felicity O'Herron 1/2 day to full day
Of course, there will be additional depositions to be taken by Plaintiffs' side, but, we wish to confirm these four at this time.
2. Confirmation re: November 26, 1986 Benefits and Compensation NEWS publication. In a prior letter to me you stated that Qwest Defendants were unable to respond to Request to Admit No. 13 because they could not locate a copy of the November 26, 1986 publication which is quoted in the Second Amended Complaint at paragraph 79. I have obtained another full copy of that publication and attached it hereto. Therefore, we ask Qwest Defendants to respond to Request to Admit No. 13 which is:
"Admit that U S WEST distributed to PLAN participants a November 26, 1986 newsletter entitled “Benefits and Compensation News” containing the following text: “What changes take place in my benefits when I retire? . . . DEATH BENEFITS – Your qualified beneficiaries are protected by the Plan’s sickness and accident benefit provisions for the entire period of employment and during your retirement. A benefit equal to one year’s pay at retirement will be paid to the mandatory beneficiary (if any) of an employee who dies after retirement while receiving a service or disability pension.”
Presently, Qwest Defendants have responded to Request to Admit No. 13 as follows: "Defendants have conducted an extensive investigation (Including requesting documents from Plaintiffs in formal and informal discovery requests) and have not located a newsletter dated November 26, 1986. Defendants are without knowledge or information to form a belief regarding the truth of the facts set forth in Request No. 13 and therefore Defendants deny Request No. 13."
Plaintiffs find it very hard to believe that Qwest Defendants don't know where such official newsletters have been stored. Anyhow, the November 1986 publication was issued not only to persons already retired but throughout the U S WEST organization to existing employees just before implementation of the January 1987 early retirement program known as "Enhanced Management Transition Program." We expect there will be testimony by some former U S WEST official that the information in the "Benefits and Compensation NEWS" was intended to reassure all retirees that a retiree's qualified beneficiaries would always be protected by the Pension Death Benefit and this statement was intended to guide the 1,000 or more managers who shortly thereafter elected to participate in the January 1987 early retirement program.
Please send me a courtesy email acknowledgment of your receipt of this message and request. And, have a good weekend.
Attachment (Benefits and Compensation NEWS November 26, 1986 - 4 pages)
c: Kerber v. Qwest Named Plaintiffs