Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma's State-Created Workers' Compensation Insurer Sued by Three Companies

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma's State-Created Workers' Compensation Insurer Sued by Three Companies

Article excerpt

CompSource, the state-created workers' compensation insurer, has been sued by three companies that are seeking to certify the lawsuit as a class action.

TNT StaffPro, Westco International, and Asbestos Handlers - all Oklahoma corporations - filed a lawsuit against CompSource on March 29 in the district court for Tulsa County, represented by Tulsa attorney Michael Freeman. The plaintiffs are asking for certification as a class action and for the court to determine if CompSource should have to refund excess premiums to its clients or grant policyholders a direct interest in any assets purchased with excess premiums.

The lawsuit further questions if CompSource has been allowed to pocket unjustly obtained profits because the company is being 'fattened up' for a private individual and/or organization to purchase.

The plaintiff companies assert that CompSource has a history of charging higher rates for certain employees than is appropriate and that the company has failed to comply with state law, which requires the insurer to set up an appeal process that safeguards due process and equal protection for its clients.

TNT StaffPro is a professional employer organization that leases employees to other businesses, including Westco and Asbestos Handlers. The companies have disputes between themselves as well as with CompSource regarding interpretations of the insurance contracts, the filing states.

The companies claim that months after their workers' compensation policy with CompSource went into effect, the insurer realized it had neglected to add a special code used for workers dealing with asbestos, which entails an additional premium charge.

CompSource's system for determining how much to charge for asbestos handlers is not consistent with the industry standard as determined by the National Counsel of Compensation Insurers, the lawsuit claims. …

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