Matter of William Giblin et al v. Village of Johnson City


Petitioner sought to appeal an order form the Supreme Court which granted petitioner’s application to terminate health insurance benefits to petitioner current wife, Patricia Giblin. This was a combined proceeding pursuant to Article 78 and an action for a declaratory judgment.


Petitioner William Giblin retired as a firefighter from the respondent. According to the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), upon retirement, the petitioner “…shall continue to receive…” family coverage health insurance for himself and his dependents.


In February 2009, petitioner divorced his then-wife, which automatically terminated health coverage for his ex-wife and switch the petitioner to an individual health insurance plan. In March 2009, the petitioner married petitioner Patricia Giblin. William Giblin requested that his current wife be added to his health coverage plan. Respondent informed the petitioner that he did not have the family plan and was no longer permitted to it.


The Supreme Court only terminated the order and instructed the respondent to extend health coverage to Patricia Giblin. According to the court, the petition would be dismissed under Article 78 because this falls under a breach of contract. Therefore, the claim will be resolved under traditional rules of contract.

Furthermore, respondent violated its contractual responsibility in failing to provide health coverage to the petitioner’s dependent. According to the collective bargaining agreement, retirees will “continue to receive” health insurance for himself and his dependents. The CBA does not state any limits for the dependents at the time of retirement, nor does it specifically state anything prohibiting retirees to change the type of coverage.


Based on the CBA, the court ordered that the judgment and order be modified, without costs, by dismissing the Article 78 petition and declaring that Patricia Giblin be provide health insurance coverage as a dependent of retiree, William Giblin.


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