A federal appeals court has overturned an award of $6 million to 52 former employees of Mobil Corp. who said they were cheated out of severance pay when they were not hired by the newly formed Exxon Mobil Corp. after a 1999 merger.

The decision in Hooven v. Exxon Mobil Corp. reverses an April 2004 decision by U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe who found that while Mobil’s severance plan documents made it clear that such workers would not be eligible for severance, that fact was not included in a “summary plan description,” or SPD, that was distributed to workers at the time that news of the upcoming merger was first announced.

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