Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory retirees have received $5.8 million in benefits from settlement of a healthcare lawsuit against the University of California, according to a court-mandated report on the first year of settlement activities.

The lawsuit, filed in 2010 by LLNL retirees, sought to regain access to university healthcare benefits, which they received prior to a contract change in 2007. The suit became a class action in 2014, and while the retirees did not regain access to UC healthcare coverage, a settlement reached in late 2019 provided additional benefits to nearly 9,000 members of the class action, including LLNL employees who retired prior to Oct. 1, 2007, as well as the heirs and estates of the deceased.

The settlement provides for the university to pay $80 million into a fund to be maintained by a settlement administrator. The fund will benefit class members in three basic ways during the next two decades: reimbursing excess past medical costs incurred by the loss of UC health care, contributing to eligible future medical costs, and paying for benefits counseling.

According to the court-mandated report, by the beginning of February, $1,000 checks had been mailed to 5,935 class members. Another 287 checks were being prepared for mailing.