Federal court judge rules in favor of consulting firm in Providence pension lawsuit

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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — A federal court judge has ruled in favor of a New York-based pension consulting firm accused by the city of Providence of negligently overestimating potential savings generated by the city's suspension of retiree cost-of-living adjustments by at least $10 million.

WPRI-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1MRCFWg ) Chief Judge William Smith granted a motion for summary judgment filed by Buck Consultants, ruling on Friday that city officials failed to effectively prove how they would've saved millions of dollars if the 2012 error hadn't occurred.

Attorneys representing Providence said the city relied on Buck's incorrect assessment that the COLA suspension would've saved $180 million when officials negotiated a pension settlement with public safety unions and retirees. They said the estimate should've been $170 million.

In his decision, Smith called the city's argument "inherently speculative."

Information from: WPRI-TV, http://www.wpri.com

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