A Cleveland court in San Allen Inc. v. Bureau of Workers Compensation, Cuyahoga Cty. Case No. CV-07-644950, recently held that the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) must reimburse employers $860 million in premium overcharges from 2001 to 2009. The BWC, of course, appealed the decision on April 16, 2013.
The relevant case was originally filed in 2007 alleging that the discounted premiums that the BWC gave companies that joined group insurance plans were offered at the expense of companies that were not in these groups. Ultimately, the trial court found in favor of the nearly 270,000 affected employers, agreeing that the BWC had overcharged in their premium payments from 2001-2009. As such, the BWC has been ordered to pay $860 million in reimbursements.
Unfortunately for employers, the BWC’s appeal suggests that speedy restitution payments are unlikely.
The BWC, however, is facing increasing public pressure. Specifically, class members have formed a coalition of Ohio companies called “Pay Us Back Ohio BWC.” The organization’s website encourages employers to pressure the BWC to pay the reimbursements and even allows employers to enter their BWC policy number to find the amount of restitution owed.
Squire Sanders will continue to provide updates as this situation unfolds.