An insurance brokerage firm consented to paying $4.75 million this week to the state of Ohio in order to settle an antitrust commercial litigation case. Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) faced bid-rigging and kickback scheme allegations from the State Attorney General’s Office. MMC had been accused of working covertly with insurance firms to remove competition from the commercial casualty insurance marketplace.
The accusations MMC faced alleged the brokerage firm provided it’s customer with fake casualty insurance quotes from 2001 to 2004 in order to create the false impression that competitive bidding had occurred to arrive at the best possible price being presented to the customer in the firm’s quote.
The $4.75 million will be doled out to such public entities as schools and universities, retirement systems, municipalities and public authorities. MMC was pleased to have the matter resolved after so many years, quick to note the settlement expresses “no admission of liability” on the part of MMC.
It’s important to note only $3.5 million will come directly to Ohio from MMC. An additional $1.24 million should be coming to Ohio via a settlement from a related class action suit that had been filed here in New Jersey. If all or part of that money doesn’t materialize, MMC has committed through this recent settlement to pay the difference.
So far, the Attorney General’s office has collected a total of $27 million from Marsh and conspiring insurance companies. There are still a few additional cases pending. Both return of damages as well as disgorgement of income received under false pretenses have been and are being sought in all cases.
Source: National Underwriter “MMC TO Pay Ohio $4.75M To Settle Bid-Rigging Antitrust Suit” 9/28/10