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June 18, 2009

Trial Victory for Brunswick Corporation in Class Action Vacation Pay Dispute

Otter Tail County District Court Judge Mark Hansen ruled in favor of Faegre & Benson client Brunswick Corporation June 11 in a class action vacation pay dispute brought on behalf of approximately 300 current and former employees of Lund Boat Company.

Shortly after acquiring Lund Boat Company from Genmar Industries in 2004, Brunswick implemented a new vacation policy for Lund employees. The plaintiffs argued that Brunswick could not lawfully do so and sought damages of approximately $1 million.

Lead trial counsel Chuck Knapp says he is pleased the court recognized Brunswick employees were not shortchanged on accrued vacation. "Modifications to the original vacation policy were fair and equitable," says Knapp. "From our perspective, this was always clear—but demonstrating it to the court was a complex undertaking."

Workers alleged the implementation of the Brunswick vacation policy did not credit them for vacation earned under the Genmar policy from July 1, 2004, to June 30, 2005.

Brunswick argued that it lawfully modified the vacation policy and that, in any event, the modification did not adversely impact the plaintiffs.

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