News and Case Updates

Payment Update #5

Payment Update #5

As you know from previous updates, we were informed by the court-appointed claims administrator for this case, Gilardi & Co., LLC, that it anticipated sending out your payments by the end of August.  When it became apparent this would not happen, we immediately contacted Gilardi on your behalf for an explanation.

After speaking with Gilardi representatives, it appears that the final claims administration steps are almost complete.  It look longer than Gilardi expected to get the fund set up within the State of Washington for paying the employment taxes on the award.  The delay occurred in large part because the State took a long amount of time to provide Gilardi with the applicable unemployment tax rates necessary to create this fund and finalize your awards. Gilardi has now received the unemployment tax rate last week and will be sending all the tax rates (State and federal) to the Department of Social and Health Services for review.  Once reviewed, Gilardi will be requesting the amount needed from the Department of Social and Health Services for the employer share of the employment taxes.  By law, Gilardi cannot disburse funds to class members until these steps are completed.  Settlement payments will be disbursed from Gilardi within days of receiving the funds necessary to cover the employer share of the employment taxes.

As we have said earlier, were it up to us, you would have your checks long ago. Unfortunately, the law imposes many requirements before such a large fund can be disbursed to so many people.  The process of meeting these requirements is largely driven by the State coordinating and cooperating with Gilardi to provide all necessary information so that Gilardi can complete the legal steps necessary to issue your checks.  We can assure you that we are exerting the maximum amount of pressure possible to ensure these things occur in a timely manner, to express our (and your) displeasure when delays occur, and to impress on the State and Gilardi the necessity of resolving delays as soon as possible.  We appreciate your continued patience.

Posted in: Updates

Leave a Comment (0) →

Payment Update #4

Payment Update #4

The court-appointed claims administrator for this case, Gilardi & Co., LLC, informed us this week that it anticipates sending out your payments by the end of this month. In the meantime, we reached out to Gilardi for further information regarding the payment process and wanted to share that information with you. As you may recall from previous updates, Gilardi has been busy with a legally-required audit and finalization of the preliminary award amounts for each class member as calculated by the court-appointed certified public accountant. This audit has involved many steps, from simply double-checking and verifying the CPA’s calculations, as well as much more legally and mathematically complex steps, such as calculating employment tax withholding from each amount (as they represent wages subject to withholdings) and remitting the total withholdings to the State. We have been assured that Gilardi has a team of tax professionals and accountants working on this around the clock to make these calculations for each of the over 22,000 class members.

We will let you know when you may contact Gilardi to request the amount of the payment you will be receiving. You can contact Gilardi at 1-877-308-5024 or through the following website: http://www.rekhter-dshs-classaction.com/contact-us.aspx. We appreciate the privilege of representing you and your patience during this process.

Posted in: Updates

Leave a Comment (0) →

Payment Update #3

Payment Update #3

We are writing to update you with information that we received just today regarding the court-ordered calculation and verification process for your payments.  In June, because it was required by the court in this case, notice was mailed out to all 22,000 class members by the court appointed settlement administrator, Gilardi & Co., to verify the identities and current addresses of class members and to ensure that every single person entitled to a portion of these funds receives them.  Later that month, Gilardi provided financial information to the certified public accountant (CPA) hired by the court to calculate each class member’s portion of the judgment.

We were notified today that the CPA has finished his calculations and provided them to Gilardi.  As required by law, Gilardi now must audit those calculations itself and make sure they are correct before being able to provide you with the finalized amount of your payment and to begin mailing checks.  We have made sure that Gilardi understands that the class members have been waiting a long time for their payments, and Gilardi has assured us that the audit will occur as quickly as possible.

We will let you know when you may contact Gilardi to request the amount of the payment you will be receiving.  You can contact Gilardi at 1-877-308-5024  or through the following website:  http://www.rekhter-dshs-classaction.com/contact-us.aspx.  We wish we could provide you with the amount of your payment ourselves, but we do not have access to that information as part of this court-mandated process.  We will also let you know as soon as Gilardi provides us with a definite date for your checks being mailed to you.

Were it up to us, you would have received your payments long ago.  We understand your need for the wages wrongfully withheld from you by the State, and we have battled through delay tactic after delay tactic by the State to make your recovery happen as soon as possible.  Ultimately, however, the law requires—especially with so many class members and tens of millions of dollars—many accounting and audit safeguards before Gilardi can distribute the money so that the distribution is done fairly, efficiently, and correctly.  In other words, the legal requirements are designed around the idea of “do it right, do it once” to make the payment process as smooth and painless for you as possible.  We appreciate your patience during this process.

Posted in: Updates

Leave a Comment (0) →

Payment Update #2

Payment Update #2

In mid-April, the State of Washington finished providing the claims administrator, Gilardi & Associates, with updated contact information, social security numbers, and other relevant information for all 22,000 class plaintiffs.  With this information now provided, the claims administrator and a certified public accountant will be able to finish calculating the exact amount owed to each plaintiff.  The claims administrator then is required by law to perform a number of tasks to double-check the amounts owed, to determine whether further information is needed to verify the identities of the recipients of those amounts, and to publish notice in media such as local newspapers that checks will begin issuing soon in order to make sure that plaintiffs for whom updated contact information is not available have an opportunity to claim their money.

The claims administrator believes all these legally-required steps will be completed and it will begin sending out checks by July or August.  We thank you for your patience and your understanding that all these steps are required by the court and designed to make the process of receiving your money as smooth and seamless as possible.

In the meantime, if you have updated contact information or need to check whether your contact information on file is correct, please call the claims administrator at 877-308-5024. You may also visit the claims administrator’s claims website for this settlement at http://rekhter-dshs-classaction.com.

Posted in: Updates

Leave a Comment (0) →

Payment Update

Payment Update

The State of Washington is providing the claims administrator, Gilardi & Associates, with updated contact information and social security numbers for all 22,000 class plaintiffs. As soon as this information is provided, the claims administrator and a certified public accountant will be able to fix the exact amount for each plaintiff and begin sending checks. We understand that this process will be completed very soon and we hope the checks will be in the mail to the class plaintiffs very soon.

If you have updated contact information or need to check whether your contact information on file is correct, please call the claims administrator at 877-308-5024. You may also visit Gilardi’s claims website for this settlement at http://rekhter-dshs-classaction.com.

Posted in: Updates

Leave a Comment (0) →

DSHS Now Making Full and Final Payment of Judgment

DSHS Now Making Full and Final Payment of Judgment

As we told you in earlier updates, the state legislature has been debating a supplemental budget bill which includes full payment of the money you are owed in this case, as well as the costs of responding to and recovering from last year’s Carlton Complex wildfires and the Oso landslide, whose victims PCVA is also proud to represent.  In a remarkably quick turnaround, the legislature passed that bill.  Yesterday, Governor Inslee signed that bill into law, effective immediately.

With this quick funding action by the legislature, DSHS has now initiated full and final payment of the roughly $85 million it owes to the court-appointed claims administrator, Gilardi & Co., who will be mailing a check to you for the amounts you are owed.  The calculations for how much each of you will get are still being worked out, but this important final step by the State means you are close to receiving your checks.  We will update you as soon as Gilardi sets a date for beginning to mail out your checks.

Posted in: Updates

Leave a Comment (1) →

January 30, 2015 Update:  Court Approves Plan of Distribution of Funds to Class Members

January 30, 2015 Update:  Court Approves Plan of Distribution of Funds to Class Members

The great news keeps on coming this week.  Today, Judge Erik Price of the Thurston County Superior Court approved our proposed Plan of Distribution of the money owed to you.  If you missed our earlier post explaining what a Plan of Distribution is, you can read it here.  Both the State and several non-profit entities potentially entitled to any money left over after you are reimbursed for your share of $85 million judgment against the State (courts call these “leftovers” a “residual”) wanted to delay the process while sorting out precisely how the residual, if any, will be distributed to the State and those non-profits.  However, we successfully argued that you have waited long enough for the money owed to you already, and the Court should simply approve a plan for paying you now and cross the “residual” bridge if and when we actually get there.

Getting the Court to approve a Plan of Distribution was the next-to-last step in the process for getting you the money owed to you under the judgment.  And, as we discussed in our last post, it looks like the last piece of the puzzle will slide into place sooner than we thought.  Originally, the State said that it intended to pay the $85 million judgment this July.  However, yesterday, the state House of Representatives passed a supplemental budget authorizing payment of the judgment.  If the state Senate also passes the supplemental budget and Governor Inslee signs it into law, the State could make its payment (and money starts going out to you) much sooner than July.  We will keep you posted.

In the meantime, many of you have called or written asking how much money you will receive from the judgment.  Now that we have a Plan of Distribution in place, we have our damages expert calculating precisely how much money you are entitled to under the judgment.  We will update you here when those numbers are available.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

DSHS Lawsuit Update: Supplemental Budget Passes Washington House

DSHS Lawsuit Update: Supplemental Budget Passes Washington House

KOMO News released a story yesterday stating that the Statehouse has passed an unusual supplemental budget to deal with several issues, including a lawsuit that PCVA and our partners in the case, Livengood Alskog, brought against the Department of Social and Health Services. We took that case to trial in December 2010 and won a verdict of over $57,000,000. As the article states, interest accrues at a rate of rougly $20,000 per day, so paying it off now is “better than waiting months…” The text of the article by AP reporter Derrick Nunnally is below:

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – The Washington state House on Thursday agreed to spend nearly $300 million on a supplemental budget for expenses from last year’s wildfires and the deadly Oso landslide to social-services spending on child abuse and mental-health cases.

The supplemental budget bill passed the Democratic-controlled House on a bipartisan 83-15 vote. It now moves to the Senate, where Republicans lead the majority caucus, before going to Gov. Jay Inslee for approval. The money will cover a range of state programs, with the largest share going toward expenses from responding to natural disasters, including the mudslide and multiple wildfires in the eastern half of the state last summer.

“It’s a little unusual to do a supplemental budget this early in a legislative session, but last year was an unusual year,” Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, said in a prepared statement.

Other money in the bill addresses lawsuits the state lost last year over the treatment of mentally ill patients and in-home care workers. The amount to pay off the caregiver lawsuit grows by $20,000 in interest each day, several lawmakers noted, which makes paying it off now better than waiting months for the Legislature to approve its full two-year budget later in the legislative session.

“We know we’re going to pay it in two to three months anyway,” said Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, who voted for the bill.

Rep. David Taylor, R-Moxee, voted against it and said the money to combat wildfires didn’t properly address a “complete and utter lack of management of public lands” that caused the fires to be so damaging.

“We’re doing nothing to take care of the issue,” Taylor said. “We’re just throwing more money at it, over and over.”

The same bill also moves up this year’s deadline for the state’s economic and revenue forecast to Feb. 20 in hopes of expediting a budget agreement in a year where lawmakers are trying to address a projected shortfall of more than $2 billion.

Read the article on KOMO News: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Supplemental-budget-passes-Washington-House-290274691.html

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

January 27, 2015 Case Update

January 27, 2015 Case Update

Recently, the State informed us that it wants to make a $12 million payment on the $85 million it owes to you. Because this case is a class action where these millions of dollars will have to be paid out to the tens of thousands of class members, the law requires the Court to approve a Plan of Distribution spelling out exactly the process for how you will claim your share, how it will be distributed to you, and when it will be paid to you. The State wanted to condition any payments on requiring you to go through a complex, inconvenient claims process of sending you various forms that you would have to return before receiving any money, but we demanded the simplest, most convenient way of getting your share of the judgment to you — simply mailing you a check for the precise amount of money you have lost due to the State’s actions in this case. We refused to budge on this point, and the State eventually agreed.

We have now submitted a Plan of Distribution to Judge Erik Price of the Thurston County Superior Court for his approval. Under the Plan, you will receive a single check for all your lost wages once the State has paid the entire judgment that it owes — putting the most money into your hands in the quickest, easiest way possible for you, and saving you from the hassle of having to deal with multiple checks.

The Court will decide whether it is approving the Plan of Distribution at a hearing on January 30. If the Court approves the Plan, the State’s lawyers are still indicating that they will pay the rest of the $85 million by July of this year. Once that happens, you will begin receiving your checks sent by the claims administrator in this case, Gilardi & Co., LLC. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the case, please do not hesitate to email or telephone us.

If you have any questions regarding the case, please do not hesitate to email or telephone us.

Posted in: Updates

Leave a Comment (1) →

September 10, 2014 Case Update

September 10, 2014 Case Update

On Friday, September 5, 2014, the case returned from the state supreme court back to Thurston County Superior Court where Judge Erik Price made his first rulings in the case.  Judge Price signed an order entering a judgment, officially titled the Second Amended Judgment, against State of Washington Department of Social and Health Services in the amount of $57,123,794.50, with post-judgment interest accruing at 12% from the date of the entry of the verdict on December 20, 2010.

Gilardi & Co., LLC, a San Francisco-based claims administration company, has been appointed by the Court to handle the notice and distribution of funds for class members.  Class Counsel will now work with Gilardi & Co., LLC to develop the comprehensive plan to notify over 20,000 individual providers that wages have been recovered for them and to alert them to the process under which the money will be distributed.  This plan will be presented to the Court for its approval soon.

Many providers have asked when the State DSHS will be paying the judgment.  The best answer at this point is that it is unclear but the State has indicated it intends to wait until July 2015 to pay the judgment.  Class Counsel will continue efforts to obtain payment on the judgment sooner because we know how important it is to everyone.

If you have any questions regarding the case, please do not hesitate to email or telephone us.

Second Amended Final Judgment on Jury Verdict GRANTED (PDF, 381KB)
First Amended Supplemental Judgment and Order for Attorney Fees and Costs Following Mandate (PDF, 376KB)

Posted in: Updates

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 3 123