US - Marsh & McLennan, Mercer's parent company, has agreed to pay $4.75m to settle a suit brought by the Ohio attorney general alleging the firm conspired to eliminate competition in the commercial casualty insurance industry.
The suit claims the company conspired with insurance companies to provide clients with fictitious quotes to make it appear as if a competitive bidding process had taken place. The suit claims this happened between 2001 and 2004.
Among the 25 public agencies represented by Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray are the Ohio Highway Patrol Retirement System, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio.
Cordray said: "This settlement regains a piece of what we lost as a result of secret conspiracies that ultimately cost Ohioans millions in premium payments by schools, universities, cities, counties and others."
In a statement, Marsh said: "We are pleased to have resolved this matter, which relates to events dating back to 2004 and earlier. The settlement makes no findings against Marsh... and expressly does not include any admission of liability by the company."
In November, Marsh & McLennan paid $400m to settle a class action lawsuit brought by Ohio and New Jersey pension funds alleging steered business to insurance companies the paid kickbacks known as contingent commissions.
At the time, the firm paid without admitting guilt. (Global Pensions; November 13, 2009)
Officials at Marsh & McLennan could not immediately be reached for comment.
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