NECA-IBEW Rockford Local Union 364 Health & Welfare Fund v. A&A Drug Co., No. 12-3070 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
The NECA-IBEW Health and Welfare Fund provides health benefits to members of a local union of electrical workers. The Fund negotiated a Local Agreement with Sav-Rx, a provider of prescription-drug benefits, under which Sav-Rx reimburses pharmacies for dispensing medication and then invoices the Fund for some of its costs. The Local Agreement does not call for arbitration. A few months later, Sav-Rx negotiated a different agreement with the national organization of the IBEW, with which the local is affiliated. The National Agreement offers locals reduced charges and more services than the Local Agreement and contains a mandatory arbitration clause. Local unions and funds could opt into the National Agreement, but the Fund's trustees never voted on the matter. Over the next eight years the Fund accepted from Sav-Rx services provided by the National Agreement. The Fund sued Sav-Rx for invoicing the Fund at rates not authorized by either the Local or National Agreement. The district court dismissed, finding that Fund had accepted the benefits of the National Agreement and was bound to it; Sav-Rx established that the Fund knew it was accepting benefits under the National Agreement. The Seventh Circuit affirmed.