North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Experts Debate Wells Fargo Ruling Out of Minnesota

June 14, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Last Wednesday, the multinational bank Wells Fargo was ordered to pay out $30 million to four non-profit entities, pursuant to a jury’s verdict that the bank participated in fraud. North Carolina workers’ compensation policy analysts have been reviewing the case to see whether it may have interstate implications.

The four non-profit entities — the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Reinsurance Association, the Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi Foundation for Children, the Minnesota Medical Foundation, and the Minneapolis Foundation — all alleged that Wells Fargo essentially tricked them into believing that they were investing in low risk options, when in actuality the bank had been funneling their money into risky investments which blew up during the recent credit collapse. The jury found that the bank violated the Minnesota Consumer Fraud Act (and other laws). Punitive damages have yet to be assessed against Wells Fargo.

Representatives for the bank expressed disappointment about the decision, although it could have been worse for Wells Fargo. The non-profits asked for $400 million — more than ten times what the jury returned.

The litigation over punitive damages (and the potential Wells Fargo appeal) could stretch on for years – a not uncommon phenomenon in North Carolina workers’ compensation cases in which millions of dollars hang in the balance.

Most individual workers’ comp cases involving occupational diseases, injuries at work, and conflicts with insurers do not take as long to resolve and do not get nearly as complicated as the Wells Fargo case. Nevertheless, if you or a loved one faces friction getting benefits, dealing with an insurer, or managing the deadlines associated with your claim, connect at once with a reputable and experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney to review your strategic options and make sure that you’ve dotted all your I’s and crossed all your T’s.

More Web Resources

Wells Fargo vs the non-profits

Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Reinsurance Association