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State BWC Ordered To Pay $859 Million Towards Ohio Companies

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 4:54 PM

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A Cuyahoga County judge has ruled that Ohio's Bureau of Worker's Compensation has to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in restitution to more than 270,000 employers. Ideastream Brian Bull reports:

Judge Richard McMonagle ruled in a class action lawsuit last year that the BWC grossly overcharged premiums to those that were not members of employer groups between 2001 and 2009.

After hearing testimony on how much the companies were owed, McMonagle settled on $859 million. 

Plaintiff’s lawyers had asked for $1.2 billion. 

Attorney Stuart Garson helped represent the companies.  He told ideastream last month that at the height of the BWC’s program, discounts for employer group members were as high as 95 percent.

“Those companies that got these incredible discounts were not covering the risk and cost they brought to the system,” said Garson. “Therefore, for everybody that was excessively undercharged, somebody had to pay that difference, and that difference was being paid by the non-group.”

The BWC may appeal the decision.  Paying the restitution would require it to either raise its insurance premium rates or take money out of its own reserves.

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