Local counties receive thousands in rock salt settlement

Local counties receive thousands in rock salt settlement

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (WYTV) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine Thursday announced his office is sending checks to 850 Ohio public entities, including agencies in the Valley, as part of a $11.5 million settlement.

The antitrust lawsuit was brought by the Attorney General’s Office against Cargill Inc. and Morton Salt over past rock salt prices.

“When I announced this settlement in June, I indicated my intention to return a significant portion of the money to local agencies and governments that buy rock salt,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We know these agencies stretch public funds and taxpayer dollars as far as possible, and we hope this money will help them make roads safer for the citizens who depend on them.”

The settlement resolved a 2012 lawsuit accusing the companies of dividing up the Ohio rock salt market and agreeing not to compete with each other for public bids during a period ending in 2010.

Although Morton and Cargill admitted no wrongdoing, they agreed to pay $11.5 million to resolve the state’s case, just before a jury trial was set to begin.

Of the total settlement, about $6.8 million was available to local governments. Additional payments were allotted to the state’s largest single rock salt purchaser – the Ohio Department of Transportation ($1.7 million), the Ohio Turnpike Commission ($174,435), and, as required by law, the state’s antitrust fund.

Over the summer, the Attorney General’s Office encouraged Ohio public entities to submit a claim for a share of the settlement based on the total amount of rock salt they purchased from Cargill and/or Morton between 2008 and 2010, the timeframe for which the state could seek recovery in the case. All claimants received no less than $500, except for one who only purchased $319 in salt.

A list of local counties and amounts they received are listed below:

  • Columbiana County $57,414.32
  • Mahoning County: $206,559.28
  • Trumbull County:$86,740.64

A complete list of individual municipalities and restitution amounts are listed here.

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