Judge mulls $860M Workers' Comp restitution

Associated Press


A judge in Northeast Ohio is weighing arguments in a request by Ohio employers for $860 million in restitution they say they’re owed by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for overcharges.

An evidentiary hearing on the matter began Thursday in Cuyahoga County.

Attorneys for the employers contend the sum is needed to repay as many as 270,000 Ohio employers that Judge Richard McMonagle of Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court ruled in December were overcharged from July 2001 to June 2009 by the Workers’ Compensation Bureau.

The employers initially asked for $1.3 billion but have revised their request. The state is presenting arguments for a lower amount.

A bureau spokeswoman said the money would come from assets of the state’s $7 billion insurance fund for injured workers.

The bureau is appealing the decision.

The AP reported in a previous story that the lawsuit, filed by a group of mostly small businesses, said the bureau gave discounted premiums to companies that joined for group insurance plans and charged companies not in those groups excessive rates to pay for the discounts.

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