Utah Supreme Court Rules on Status of WCF Ownership

August 25, 2005

The Utah Supreme Court has declared that Workers Compensation Fund’s assets are owned by policyholders, not the State of Utah. The ruling in favor of WCF settles long-standing challenges by the State of Utah and upholds previous Supreme Court and district court decisions.

The ruling, released Thursday, states in its conclusion:

We affirm the district court’s decision that the ‘State of Utah has no ownership interest in the Workers’ Compensation Fund or its assets other than as a policyholder.’ As a quasi-public corporation, the WCF exists to serve an essential public purpose, to provide workers’ compensation insurance, all the while being private in ownership. Furthermore, apart from the Legislature’s ability to modify its governing statutes, the State has no managerial, financial, or operational control over the WCF. The same is true for the WCF’s assets, the Injury Fund; and we reaffirm our prior decisions, which have that those assets belong to the WCF policyholders and not to the State.

WCF welcomes the Supreme Court decision. “We appreciate the time and attention given by the courts on this matter,” said Lane A. Summerhays, WCF president and CEO. “We are pleased to have the ownership issue finally resolved, and look forward to continue with our primary focus—providing workers compensation insurance services, safety resources and injured worker support that our owners—the policyholders—deserve.”

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