Are Ohio Employers Entitled to Settlement Money from the BWC?

Fountain pen on employment

On July 24, 2014, Judge Richard McMonagle at the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas approved a $420 million class action settlement in the case San Allen Inc. v. Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.  The plaintiffs in the San Allen class action, which was originally filed on December 18, 2007, alleged that the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation unfairly and illegally overcharged premiums to hundreds of thousands of non-group-rated Ohio employers from July 2001 through June 2009.  The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas initially awarded $860 million to the affected employers.  This judgment was subsequently reduced to $651 million after appeal.  On July 23, the parties to the case settled for $420 million.

The San Allen case was a Rule 23 class action, which means the settlement necessarily includes all class members who do not request to be excluded from the case.  In other words, if you paid non-group-rated premiums to the BWC from July 2001 through June 2009, you were automatically included and represented in the lawsuit and you may be entitled to a share of the settlement fund.

In accordance with the settlement agreement, a notice will soon be sent out to all Ohio employers who are eligible to claim funds from the settlement.  This notice will contain instructions on how to make a claim for your specific portion of the settlement fund.  Sebaly Shillito + Dyer’s Workers’ Compensation department recommends that all Ohio employers that paid non-group-rated premiums to the Ohio BWC at any time between July 2001 and June 2009 vigilantly monitor their mail for this notice.

If you have any questions regarding the San Allen class action lawsuit or if your company is eligible to claim a portion of the San Allen settlement, contact attorneys Karl Ulrich or Erin Moosbrugger in Sebaly, Shillito + Dyer’s Workers’ Compensation Practice Group.

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