State

Treasurer: Judge’s ruling may cost state $100M-plus

North Carolina state government ultimately may have to pay more than $100 million in damages to retired workers and teachers after a judge ruled it was wrong to require them to begin paying health insurance premiums six years ago.

Retirees sued in 2012 after the legislature directed the state employee health insurance plan to mandate they make monthly contributions to receive what had been standard insurance coverage for decades.

Superior Court Judge Edwin Wilson ruled last week in favor of the retirees, saying the state had entered into a legal contract with workers for a benefit that was taken away. This is a class-action case.

The ruling’s enforcement would be delayed if there’s an appeal. State Treasurer Dale Folwell wrote legislators last Friday identifying the possible $100 million price tag.

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