• BWC Owes Ohio Employers Refunds For Overcharging Premiums
  • October 9, 2014
  • Law Firm: Frantz Ward LLP - Cleveland Office
  • Is Your Business Owed a Refund?

    The parties have reached a proposed settlement in the San Allen, Inc., et al. v. Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation case. This class action case, which began back in December 2007 and included a class of approximately 270,000 Ohio businesses, arose out of allegations that the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (“BWC”) had overcharged state-fund Ohio employers that were not group-rated between the years 2001 and 2008.

    Pursuant to the proposed settlement, the BWC has agreed to create a Settlement Fund in the gross amount of $420,000,000. After deductions for attorneys’ fees and other associated costs and expenses, the remainder of the fund will be paid on a pro rata basis to qualifying Class Members who file timely claims. The Court will consider the proposed settlement at a Final Approval Hearing on November 19, 2014.

    Are you a member of the class?

    The plaintiff class consists of employers who, in one or more policy years from 2001-2008: (1) subscribed to the state workers’ compensation fund; (2) were not group-rated; and (3) reported payroll and paid premiums in job classifications for which the non-group effective base rate was “inflated” due to application of the group experience rating plan.

    How do I know if I qualify for a refund?

    If you are a class member, you should have received a “Notice of Class Action and Proposed Settlement” (“Notice”). A few items to note, however. You may not be entitled to a refund if you were group-rated during several of the policy years and the savings you received during those years offset any harm you incurred during the years you were not eligible for group-rating. If the amount you overpaid is not completely offset by the amount you saved while you were group-rated, then you may still be eligible for a refund.

    What should I do if I believe my company qualifies for a refund?

    Attached to the Notice is a “Sworn Proof of Claim” that needs to be completed and postmarked no later than October 22, 2014. Each Proof of Claim has its own unique identifying number, which corresponds to a BWC policy number, and only one Proof of Claim can be submitted for any given BWC policy number. Please note that the Proof of Claim must be notarized and submitted with a completed IRS Form W-9. A Certificate of Good Standing from the Ohio Secretary of State must also be submitted (see below for information regarding dissolved or bankrupt companies). The Proof of Claim form should be submitted to: San Allen Inc. v. Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 10107, Dublin, Ohio 43017-3107. Incomplete or late claims will not be paid. If you did not receive a Notice or Proof of Claim, you can call 1-844-322-8230 for more information. Be sure to have your BWC Policy Number available.

    My company dissolved or filed for bankruptcy. Is the company still eligible for a refund?

    Yes, your company may still be eligible for a refund. You will need to provide documentation, in the form of a statement, indicating that the company is no longer in operation and has been dissolved or is bankrupt, and further, that the person signing the Proof of Claim is the authorized representative of the dissolved company or the bankruptcy trustee of the bankrupt company.

    How can I tell if the effort is worth it?

    To find out how much your payment could be, go to www.OhioBWCLawsuit.com. Click on “Online Policy Information Portal” and enter both your BWC Policy Number and your claim number (taken from the Proof of Claim). The resulting number is the gross amount of your overpayment as calculated by the parties to the court case. This number will likely be your maximum recovery.

    Are there any other options?

    If you disagree with the Settlement, you can file objections with the Court. All objections must be filed by October 22, 2014.