Trash agency OKs work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion in­sol­vency deal

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

TOWN OF UL­STER >> Ul­ster County Re­source Re­cov­ery Agency of­fi­cers have ap­proved con­tribut­ing $11,087 to­ward a pro­posed $9 mil­lion set­tle­ment that would re­solve a case filed af­ter Se­lec­tive Safety Work­ers’ Com­pen­sa­tion Trust was declared in­sol­vent.

The agree­ment was dis­cussed dur­ing an agency meet­ing last week, when Trea­surer Tim DeGraff said the agency obli­ga­tion had proven sig­nif­i­cantly smaller than had been feared when the case was filed at $13.9 mil­lion in 2013.

“I was ac­tu­ally wor­ried it might come in (at) a cou­ple hun­dred grand,” he said.

“It has been ... al­most three years,” DeGraff said. “Fi­nally, they went out to bid and got an in­sur­ance com­pany to han­dle some of the set­tle­ment of all this and we can clear our­selves with an $11,000 pay­ment.”

Doc­u­ments from the state Work­ers’ Com­pen­sa­tion Board re­ports Se­lec­tive Safety Work­ers’ Com­pen­sa­tion Trust un­der­went a foren­sic ac­count­ing in 2012 and was found to have a $13,596,318 deficit and that mem­bers of the found were jointly li­able to make good on all claims.

“An un­avoid­able con­se­quence of the mem­bers’ joint and sev­eral li­a­bil­ity is that, un­til now, the board has been un­able to set­tle with in­di­vid­ual mem­bers and re­lease them from fur­ther li­a­bil­ity for the deficit notwith­stand­ing pay­ments un­der the (mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing) or oth­er­wise,” wrote Scott Harms, an at­tor­ney for the state.

“That is no longer the case. The (state) board will pro­vide par­tic­i­pat­ing mem­bers with a full and un­con­di­tional re­lease from any and all fur­ther li­a­bil­ity re­lat­ing to Se­lec­tive upon com­ple­tion of their re­spec­tive pay­ment obli­ga­tions.”

Harms said the set­tle­ment would avoid an “ex­tremely lengthy and time­con­sum­ing process” that would in­volve “sev­eral hun­dred de­fen­dants” that were clients of the former trust.

“The amounts due ... in­cludes mem­bers that are cur­rently in bank­ruptcy, have been dis­charged in bank­ruptcy, are not lo­cat­able, or are de­ceased,” he wrote.

“For the pur­pose of com­put­ing each mem­ber’s set­tle­ment of­fer ... the board has added an ad­di­tional 10 per­cent to each mem­ber’s ... re­spec­tive pro rata amount.”

Un­der terms of the set­tle­ment, trash agency of­fi­cials can pay the $11,087 in monthly pay­ments in­ter­est-free for two years or spread the pay­ment over five years at 2 per­cent in­ter­est, 10 years at 3 per­cent in­ter­est or 15 years at 4 per­cent.

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