AUBURN (AP) — A threeyear old lawsuit against Androscoggin County over whether it must pay health care benefit premiums to the surviving spouses of county workers has been settled before trial.

More than a dozen former county employees, their spouses and active county workers had brought the lawsuit.

County commissioners sent a letter to former county workers in 2009 notifying them that the county would no longer pay lifetime health care insurance premiums to husbands and wives of deceased retirees. Commissioners said that benefit was never intended.

In response, some sued.

The Sun Journal reports that in the agreement, the county would continue to pay the premiums of some surviving spouses for a set period of time, and in one case continue paying full benefits.

The settlement does not cover all the plaintiffs.

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