Ohio Gov. Backs Protecting Efficient Workers’ Comp System

July 16, 2004

Characterizing actuarial service companies and third-party administrators in the workers’ compensation system as vital to efficient and cost-effective operations, the State of Ohio has filed a brief with the Ohio Supreme Court to protect actuarial service companies’ right to represent employers in workers’ comp matters before the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and the Ohio Industrial Commission. The State filed the Amicus Curiae brief in the case of the Cleveland Bar Association v. CompManagement Inc.

“Actuarial companies such as CompManagement help our economy by keeping employees’ and employers’ costs down,” Ohio Gov. Bob Taft said. “To make a change to this well-established and time-tested system could put Ohio companies and Ohio workers out of business.”

The brief addresses the final report issued by The Ohio Supreme Court Board of Commissioners on the Unauthorized Practice of Law. The Board recommended prohibiting actuaries (or third-party administrators) from representing employees and employers in matters before the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and the Industrial Commission. The Workers’ Compensation system has traditionally permitted actuaries to engage within the system as an alternative to attorney services.

The Amicus brief sets forth a number of state interests regarding actuarial representation including the loss of efficiency Ohio’s workers’ comp system would face should employers and employees be forced to hire attorneys, the increased cost on all Ohio employers, including state agencies, and the negative impact any change would have on Ohio’s job growth.

The Supreme Court of Ohio is scheduled to hear oral arguments in this matter on Aug. 17, 2004.

Editor’s note: See related workers’ comp story in Midwest news.

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