Judge McMonagle has awarded damages in the San Allen case. The Judge accepted the plaintiffs’ expert on damages. He awarded $859,440,258.79 after a hearing on the issue of the amount of class action damages for employers who were not in a group rating plan from 2001 to 2009.

The Court specifically rejected the evidence from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation which suggested that the “Schwartz formula” should be modified by adding various factors. The Court rather abruptly stated that under his prior order, the Schwartz formula would be accepted and there would not be any alterations to it. The evidence presented by the BWC was deemed by the Court to be just that.

This is the final decision on liability and damages. Non-group rated employers for the eight years in question will be awarded this amount allocated and assessed by year and by payroll reported. Do not expect checks in the mail; the BWC has stated that it is going to appeal. The final resolution probably will not occur for a year or so.

The BWC responded to the Judge’s adverse ruling with a lengthy press release. The BWC expressed disappointment, and made several observations about the employers who were awarded the refund. The BWC explained that these employers had claims costs in excess of premiums of more than $861 million (a coincidence?). That translates to $1.26 in claims cost for every premium dollar paid by the employers in the class.

In addition to appealing this decision, the BWC promises to continue its Destination: Excellence Program to increase safety and reduce employer costs.