A group of retired employees filed a class-action law suit claiming loss of certain retirement benefits. The employees worked for SPX Corporation until 1996 when it was acquired by Dana Corporation. SPX sponsored a pension plan for these employees. In 2006, Dana filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sold certain assets to Mahle gmbH. Under the asset purchase agreement, Mahle assumed certain benefit plans. The dispute arises over eligibility for supplemental retirement benefits under a plan Mahle assumed from Dana. The SPX pension plan had a supplemental retirement feature that was conditioned on completing 30 years of service or attaining a certain combined age and service of 85. The plan Mahle assumed counted all service with SPX and Dana for eligibility but only counted service with Dana for benefit accrual. The group of retired employees do not qualify for a supplemental retirement feature under the plan Mahle assumed. The retirees filed this action claiming that Mahle assumed “pension obligations” of Dana, including the supplemental retirement feature provided in the SPX plan. The District Court for the Western District of Michigan granted summary judgment, rejecting the retirees’ complaint. The court found that the Mahle bought the assets “free and clear” from the bankruptcy estate and that the pension obligation being claimed by the retirees was not a liability that was assumed by Mahle. The court found the free and clear sale provisions under the Bankruptcy Code means that Mahle purchased assets from Dana free and clear, and unless such claim was expressly assumed by purchaser, which Mahle did not do, the obligation to provide supplemental retirement benefits did not carry over to Mahle as a successor. (Auto Workers v. Mahle Engine Components USA, Inc., W.D. Mich., 2013)