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Firestone Tire & Rubber co. sold five plants making up the plastic division to Occidental Petroleum Co. Most of the workers retained their jobs through this transition without missing any pay or interruption of work. At the time of this sale Firestone had maintained three pension plans and welfare benefit plans for workers; a termination plan, a retirement plan, and a stock purchase plan. Firestone was the only source of funding for these plans and they had not set up a separate fund in which to pay out the benefits from these benefit plans. All of these plans were governed by Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C.1001 et seq. (ERISA). Unaware that the termination benefit plan was governed under ERISA Firestone failed to set up a claims procedure. 

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