BWC Ordered To Pay Restitution To Businesses

Mar 21, 2013

A Cuyahoga County judge has ruled the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation must pay hundreds of millions of dollars in restitution to more than 270 thousand businesses.

 Brian Bull of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports.

Judge Richard McMonagle ruled in a class action lawsuit last year that the B-W-C 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 dollars. 

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 B-W-C’s program, discounts for employer group members were as high as 95 percent.

SGarson01: “Those companies that got these incredible discounts were not covering the risk and cost they brought to the system.  Therefore, for everybody that was excessively undercharged, somebody had to pay that difference, and that difference was being paid by the non-group.” (:25)

The B-W-C 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.

For Ohio Public Radio, I’m Brian Bull in Cleveland.