Ohio judge awards $860 million for class action over insurance overcharge by state government

by Heygood Orr and Pearson

An Ohio judge has ruled that the state must pay $860 million to thousands of Ohio employees who paid too much to a state bureau for their insurance. Judge Richard McMonagle ruled that about 270,000 Ohio state employees were overcharged for their insurance by the state over a 10 year period.

According to a class action lawsuit filed against the State of Ohio, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation began giving discounts more than a decade ago to companies that joined a group insurance plan. The bureau charged companies that did not join the group insurance more in order to pay for the discounts, which the plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege was illegal.

Judge McMonagle ruled that the companies which did not join the group insurance plan were charged unfair premiums by the state between 2001 and 2009. Most of the individuals involved in the Ohio insurance lawsuit are small business owners who may be unaware that they were covered by the class action lawsuit.

Plaintiffs in the Ohio insurance class action lawsuit asked the judge to award damages of $1.3 billion, which included interest on the unfair premiums. Judge McMonagle chose to award the plaintiffs the full amount of $860 million, although he declined to award interest on the sum.