CONCORD — Property-Liability Trust, a former subsidiary of the New Hampshire Local Government Center, got some breathing room on Thursday on a requirement that it return more than $17.1 million to members of a separate public health insurance risk pool.The state Supreme Court on Thursday granted PLT’s request for a stay on the payment until the court rules on LGC’s appeal of a Bureau of Securities Regulation order that it return the money.
“We are extremely pleased that the Court granted PLT’s request to stay the payment required by the BSR’s order,” PLT Executive Director Wendy Parker said in a statement.
Last year, LGC, after a lengthy hearing with the BSR, was ordered to give the money back to members of HealthTrust, another former LGC subsidiary. The hearing officer, Donald Mitchell, ruled that the money had been improperly transferred from HealthTrust to subsidize a workers’ compensation program for about a decade.
The payment is due Dec. 1, but PLT does not have the money. PLT had asked for the stay partly because it claims it doesn’t have the cash to make the payment and was unable to secure a loan to cover the payment.
LGC, which was also ordered to split up its subsidiaries and pay back surpluses of $33 million to HealthTrust members and $3.1 million to PLT members, appealed the order to the Supreme Court, though it made the first two payments in August. Arguments in the case are scheduled for next month, but a decision likely will not be handed down before Dec. 1, prompting PLT to ask for a stay in the payment until the court rules on the appeal.
BSR Attorney Andru Volinsky said the BSR is “pleased” to have the Court’s guidance regarding the stay. A previous attempt for a stay of the entire order was denied by the court last year.
“We look forward to the upcoming argument in three weeks and are hopeful the Court will fully uphold Mr. Mitchell’s order as soon as its workload allows,” he said.