Ohio employers racked up on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, as they are collectively owed $860 million after being overcharged for nearly a decade by the state insurance fund for injured workers. A Cleveland, Ohio judge made the ruling on Wednesday afternoon as per The Associated Press.
Cuyahoga County Common Please Judge Richard McMonagle made his decision involving the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, and it affects about 270,000 mostly small-business owners. Most of them are completely unaware that they are covered by the class action.
His order rejected the state of Ohio's arguments for trying to pay a small amount than the $860 million
This lawsuit began back in 2007 and it said that the bureau gave discounted premiums to companies that joined group insurance plans. Companies not in the groups were charged excessive rates to pay for the discounts.
Back in December 2012, McMonagle ruled in favor of business owners who didn't participate in the group rating program. He agreed that they had been charged unfair premiums from way back in July 2011 to June 2009.
Lawyers for the business argued that companies paying group rates were not charged premiums that covered their losses. This was said to have forced the other companies to cover the difference. The bureau discounted its group plans as much as 90 percent.
After days and weeks and months of arguments, McMonagle rejected the side that the bureau was fighting.
"The court finds that the figure submitted by the plaintiffs was calculated accurately," he wrote.
An appeal is planned by the Bureau, and that means that immediate reimbursements of the $860 million are not likely at all. The money for the payouts is set to come from a surplus of nearly $8 billion held by the $24.5 billion insurance fund for injured workers.