Trash agency OKs workers’ compensation insolvency deal
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.