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Decision Favoring Half of Ohio Small Businesses Final in Seaman Garson Case

June 8, 2011 - Cleveland, OH

Some 100,000 Ohio small businesses, roughly half of all small businesses in the state of Ohio, stand to benefit from a class action lawsuit filed by Seaman Garson, LLC against the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation for flawed premium guidelines that resulted in increases in payments of up to 2,000 percent for some small businesses.

"With 10% of our state out of work, our small businesses need to be focused on growing and creating jobs. The Ohio state workers compensation program should return the funds owed to these businesses to help them do that," explained Stuart Garson, partner of Seaman Garson, a leading class action law firm located in Cleveland, Ohio.

The case, San Allen, Inc. vs. Stephen Buehrer, Administrator Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, seeks restitution for small businesses who were overcharged for premiums calculated on an inflated base-rate. In April, the Eighth District Court of Appeals upheld a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court ruling in favor of the plaintiffs and denied a Bureau of Workers Compensation appeal. In their ruling, the court determined that aspects of the system used to determine premiums violated the law and handling the matter as a class action was superior to deciding the same issues in thousands of separate actions.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation did not seek to have the Appellate Court's decision reviewed by the Ohio Supreme court, so the Appellate Court decision is a final decision on the class certification issue. The case now will return to the trial court for a determination on the merits.

"This is an important victory for Ohio's small business community," explained Jim DeRoche, the lead attorney working on the case. He continued, "In times like these, our small businesses -- who are out there creating real jobs -- must be able pursue restitution of funds that rightfully belong to them."

Those seeking more information on the case, including small businesses who believe they may have been forced to pay inflated Bureau of Workers Compensation premiums, should contact attorney Jim DeRoche at 216.830.1000. The full Appellate Court opinion is available by visiting:

Stuart Garson, Esq.
(216) 830-1000


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