Almost 7,900 workers who won a class-action lawsuit will be reimbursed for money the state insurance fund took under 1993 and 1995 laws that the state’s Supreme Court later declared unconstitutional. The bureau argued in the suit that workers should have not been paid by both the state and the insurance companies for the same injury.
According to the AP, workers eligible for the reimbursement will receive 70% of what the bureau took from them. The other 30% – or about $15.6 million – will go to fees for the workers’ lawyers.
“Without question, we must be responsible and fair as we build a more equitable workers’ compensation system for Ohio’s employers and injured workers,” said William Mabe, the bureau’s new administrator, according to the AP. “Returning these moneys is another step in that direction.”
The bureau lost its case against the workers in 2004, but Judge Michael Donnelly just approved the payment process on Wednesday.