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The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation said Wednesday that it will appeal a judge's order to refund $859 million to some 264,000 employers for allegedly charging them excessive premiums.
The order by Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Common Pleas Court Judge Richard McMonagle stems from a lawsuit in which plaintiff employers allege that a separate group-rating program operated by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation caused them to pay inflated prices for insurance.
They argue that they paid additional sums over several years so the bureau could charge employers participating in the group-rating program less for their workers comp coverage.
In December, the judge found in favor of the plaintiffs. But on Wednesday, he set the amount of restitution that the state's monopoly insurer must return to policyholders.
The state agency said it would appeal the ruling.
In a statement, the bureau said its actions were lawful and restitution is not warranted because the plaintiff companies incurred $1.26 in claims costs for every $1 in premium they paid. The plaintiffs' claims costs and expenses exceeded the premiums they paid by a larger amount than did the claims costs for other employers, the bureau said.