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Friday, September 20, 2013

Parma considering following Cleveland in suing Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation over inflated premiums

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Parma is considering pursuing legal action against the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation for allegedly inflated premiums.
PARMA, Ohio -- The city is considering following Cleveland's lead in filing suit against the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation for allegedly inflated premiums.

The Cleveland lawsuit, filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court June 28, argues that the bureau billed the city excessive workers' compensation insurance premiums for many years. Meanwhile, public employers that qualified for group rates were being inequitably undercharged, the complaint states.

Cleveland is seeking repayment from the bureau of premium overcharges.

Parma Law Director Tim Dobeck said the city, which does not qualify for the discounted group premium rates, was approached by Cleveland-based law firm Bashein & Bashein regarding taking action against the bureau. He said he believes the city may be asked to serve as the representative plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit brought by several communities.

Dobeck was not able to provide an estimate as to how much in repayment the city may be entitled to.

A request for comment from Bashein & Bashein was not immediately returned.

The Cleveland lawsuit, and potential Parma-led class action, comes on the curtails of a March ruling that awarded 264,000 Ohio private employers a total of $859 million from the bureau following a lawsuit contending similar premium overcharges. That decision is being appealed by the bureau.

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