Minn. Sues AIG Rather Than Take Settlement

The Associated Press
February 16, 2006

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The state sued insurer American International Group Inc. on Thursday rather than accept a settlement that could have been worth $1.2 million.

Attorney General Mike Hatch said he estimates the state could be owed as much as $10 million, so he wanted to pursue the lawsuit rather than accept the settlement.

The lawsuit comes one week after AIG's $1.64 billion settlement with federal and state regulators over allegations of improper accounting and participation in bid-rigging schemes. The settlement included $344 million for states harmed by AIG's practices from 1986 to 1995 involving state workers' compensation funds.

AIG neither admitted nor denied the accusations.

Hatch said insurers are supposed to pay a 2 percent state tax on the worker's compensation premiums they collect here. The lawsuit, filed in Ramsey County District Court, alleges that AIG underreported its Minnesota premiums, though it's not clear by how much, Hatch said.

"We just want to get an accounting," he said.

Hatch said Minnesota's share of the settlement would have been $1.2 million, with half to be paid right away, and the other half to be paid in a year if the state waives all claims against AIG. He said the state will still get the first half, or $600,000.

AIG spokesman Chris Winans declined to comment except to say, "Throughout this whole process, we have made every effort to cooperate with all of our regulators."

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press

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