Municipalities ordered to pay millions in back workers compensation

HERKIMER COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) – Three Herkimer County municipalities have been ordered by an Oneida County jury to pay the county over $4 million in back workers’ compensation benefits. The ruling comes after a six year lawsuit between the county and the municipalities.

In 2005 Herkimer County municipalities withdrew from the Herkimer County Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance Plan because of escalating costs. The plan was formed in 1956.

Despite the fact the plan was abolished, there were still 170 outstanding claims the county absorbed. To make up for the losses the county formed the “Abandonment Plan”, giving the option to municipalities that withdrew to pay a withdrawl fee or pay their past share on an annual basis.

In 2005 The Village of Ilion, Village of Herkimer, and Town of Frankfort sued the county over the Abandonment Plan on the basis of multiple complaints it was not valid.

The county counter-claimed against the three municipalities.

A ruling by the jury, May 11th, means the three municipalities will pay the following:

Village of Ilion $1,100,546
Village of Herkimer $1,617,528
Town of Frankfort $1,369,137

The county has also filed for an application to collect interest on the amounts which would increase the municipalities bill by $2 million.