Ohio Attorney General Asks Judge to Order Marsh to Submit Documents

March 1, 2007

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann has asked a judge to order New-York based Marsh and McLennan to turn over documents Dann says the state is owed as part of an antitrust investigation.

Dann says the company has impeded the state’s probe by failing for more than two years to turn over subpoenaed documents.

Marsh “has used every tactic imaginable to undermine our investigation of their activities,” Dann said in a statement. “They have failed to produce documents we requested, supplied us with incomplete files, and used settlement negotiations as an excuse to stop producing documents altogether.”

Dann wants the company to turn over more than 600 boxes of documents, according to a motion filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

As evidence, Dann points to Marsh company e-mails obtained from a separate agreement with Zurich American Insurance Co. that Dann alleges refer to fake insurance quotes.

“I need a fake ‘B’ quote on the lead,” Marsh’s Nicole Michaels said in a Feb. 2003 e-mail to a Zurich employee, according to Monday’s court filing.

Dann’s office says the phony quote was meant to mislead policyholders into thinking there was real competition between companies.

In a June e-mail to a different Zurich employee, Michaels writes, “Please send me an email with an unattractive premium … so it won’t sell,” according to the filings.

Marsh settled with New York in 2005 for $850 million over allegations of bid rigging and price fixing as well as hidden commissions. Marsh says that settlement, in a lawsuit filed in 2004, produced $35 million for Ohio policyholders.

“Marsh will continue to cooperate with the Ohio attorney general, but this is old news,” Marsh spokesman Al Modugno said Tuesday. “Nothing in the Ohio attorney general’s motion alleges conduct that postdates the 2004 New York lawsuit or involves any allegations concerning Marsh employees in Ohio.”

Ohio obtained a $7 million settlement with Zurich last year, one of several states that settled bid-rigging complaints in which the company was accused of providing phony high bids as part of a scheme to steer contracts to select companies.

Zurich, though it did not admit wrongdoing, cooperated with investigators and will continue to do so, company spokesman Keith Owens said. .

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.