[Nfbmo] News Story on BP case

escoulter at centurytel.net escoulter at centurytel.net
Tue Oct 10 23:54:14 UTC 2017

Channel 13 apparently already moved their link  for their story so I've pasted it below. To answer a query if the recipient has passed they will do whatever is legally required to track down heirs. If they cannot do that the funds would revert to the state of Missouri in some fashion but I do not know where. It does not mean those in the class will receive additional funds from the lawsuit.







Advocates for the blind said the state's continuing refusal to repay beneficiaries of the blind pension fund only adds to the cost to taxpayers (File).


COLUMBIA — Two organizations that work with blind Missourians said on Tuesday they were pleased with a court order that requires the state to refund users of the blind pension fund.

In a ruling issued last month and made public this week, Cole County Judge Pat Joyce ordered the state to pay more than $26 million in back pay, attorney's fees and interest. The ruling is the latest in a string of court cases dating back to 2006. That year, the Missouri Council of the Blind sued the state after it discovered the pension fund's beneficiaries were not receiving the benefits they were supposed to. Jannel Morris, the president of the group's Columbia chapter, said the fund's roughly 3,400 users are not eligible for other benefits such as Social Security disability payments and have no other place to turn. She said the state was shortchanging beneficiaries about $30 a month on average.

"They're using more of the taxpayers' money for lawsuits and court cases than they could just be paying what they're supposed to be paying," she said.


inReadinvented by Teads

Eugene Coulter, a social services liason for the Missouri National Federation of the Blind, said the state clearly knew it made a mistake because it fixed the calculation it used after the initial lawsuit was filed. At that point, he said he would have thought the state would have simply repaid the beneficiaries. He said this latest ruling puts taxpayers on the hook for an additional $5,500 for every day the case continues.

"I don't believe the state can win this at this point," he said. "They've lost every round."

Coulter and Morris both said what happens next is up to the state, but they both said the state should save taxpayer money and make the required payments rather than further appealing the case.

Loree Anne Paradise, the attorney general's deputy chief of staff, said in a statement, "This case involves a long-running dispute concerning the calculation of certain benefits payable from the State's Blind Pension program. The Attorney General's Office is assessing the status of the case following the most recent court decision."

More information about the NFBMO mailing list