The first case in a new lawsuit brought against an Energy deregulation law in Ohio is called Knights of Columbus Litigation Conclusion. The suit was filed by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the suit the Ohio EPA deregulated energy companies in July of 2021. The new law called the “swaps” allowed energy companies to purchase output from other companies at a wholesale price, sell it all to other companies, and then re-sell it again to consumers at a profit. Consumers are said to have purchased this output for less than the wholesale rate and without fully recouping their investment or paying the true value.
knights of columbus lawsuit
There were claims that the swapping lowered prices of gas and electricity but the plaintiffs denied these charges saying that there was no direct benefit to consumers from these laws. In November of 2021, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources received complaints about this activity and the investigation into the matter was opened. The EPA was not involved in the initial complaint. It does not appear that this investigation will uncover any significant evidence that swapping caused harm to consumers. According to the Columbus Dispatch, a settlement in the case could be reached before the end of 2021.
This lawsuit focuses on the three oil refineries located in Youngstown, Toledo, and Youngstown.
The three oil refineries together account for roughly a quarter of the jobs in the region. A worker stepping onto a platform at any of those plants could be at risk for being exposed to oil. The suit says that since this oil has not been adequately tested it is a health hazard. The OSHA has been aware of OSHA’s lack of testing standards and they had not been brought into play in the lawsuit.
This isn’t the first time OSHA has settled a Knight of Columbus lawsuit.
The department is responsible for the constant changes to safety regulations regarding oil and other hazardous materials. The OSHA administrator has been sued repeatedly by lawyers who say that he has been too lenient with employees. The OSHA administrator is only two years into his job. Many wonder if he is too busy to handle a constantly changing industry and labor laws.
The Knight Of Columbus lawsuit also claims that the management of the companies knew about the danger of oil exposure but did nothing to prevent or warn employees. One man worked as many as seven days per week without ever wearing any type of protective gear. Another worker was exposed to oil vapors without any type of protection when his workday was over. Neither man nor the other workers were ever given the chance to seek safer working conditions.
Many have criticized OSHA for settling these cases without trial.
The settlements are usually twenty-five to fifty percent less than the original settlement amounts. Many wonder if the Department of Labor is using these cases as a way to boost their public image and gain more taxpayer funds. The Columbus Dispatch has reported that the settlements in the Knights of Columbus lawsuit have totaled over one billion dollars. This settlement amount is nearly double what the department garnered last year.
While the settlement amounts may seem impressive, there is no guarantee that the settlement will be paid out.
Only the judge can make that determination. In a case like this, it pays to hire an attorney. An attorney can help you obtain the best settlement possible because he or she will know all of the specifics of your situation. With the assistance of an attorney, you can receive just compensation in case you are injured or ill at work.
If you are going to file a claim for compensation, make sure that you fully understand everything that is involved. Knights of Columbus cannot give you legal advice. Only an attorney can do that. An attorney can tell you whether your case is strong or weak based on the facts that have been presented in the case. If you hire an attorney, be sure to listen to what they have to say during the case.