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United States Supreme Court is Considering a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari Of the American Economy Decision

by | May 23, 2018 | MAD News, NYS Workers Compensation |

Plaintiffs in the American Economy Insurance Company case have filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.  The petition is the mechanism by which plaintiffs request Supreme Court review of the Court of Appeals’ decision finding that the amendment to the statute in 2013 which closed the fund for reopened cases to any claim after 1/1/14 was constitutional.

Plaintiffs seek to present their arguments to the Supreme Court that the 2013 amendment violates the U.S. Constitution in the following ways:

  • The amendment violates the contracts clause by impairing pre-existing contractual relationships between carriers and employers;
  • The amendment violates due process as it bears no rational relationship to a legitimate government purpose and amounts to a simple transfer of wealth; and,
  • The amendment amounts to an unconstitutional taking as carriers face liabilities for which they were unable to charge premiums.

In addition to providing the court with a synopsis of the arguments that plaintiffs intend upon presenting to the Supreme Court, plaintiffs are required to provide a rationale for why the court should accept the case for review. Plaintiffs note the following with respect to why the court should grant certiorari:

  • There is a dispute among the lower circuits regarding laws which expand liability under pre-existing insurance policies; and,
  • The issues are important to the insurance industry and other highly regulated industries as a result of the “massive and disruptive economic consequences threatened by the amendment”.

According to information on the Supreme Court’s website, the case has been distributed for Conference on 5/31/18.