Lumpkin Co. v. Georgia Insurers Insolvency PoolAnnotate this Case
Following the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the Georgia Insurers Insolvency Pool (GIIP), Lumpkin County appealed, contending that following the insolvency of the County's regular insurer, GIIP was required to step in and cover the pending workers' compensation claims against the County. Specifically, the County argued that the trial court erred in finding that it was not entitled to coverage under the GIIP because the County's net worth exceeded $25 million. Alternatively, the County argued OCGA 33-36-3 unconstitutionally violated the County's due process rights. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed: "The County contend[ed] that this ruling was erroneous because the term 'net worth' is inapplicable to government entities, and, instead, the applicability of the twenty-five million dollar exemption under the Act should be assessed based on the County's 'net assets.' The County argue[d] that the bulk of its assets, including land, roads, bridges, and government buildings are restricted from use and are thus unavailable to meet its obligations or satisfy liabilities. Based on the County's calculation of its own net assets, it only has $5.6 million dollars with which to meet these obligations. As a result, the County maintain[ed] that it should receive coverage for its claims from the GIIP. This argument is misplaced." Therefore, the Court held that the trial court did not err in excluding the County from GIIP protection based on the net worth exemption. Furthermore, the County does not possess due process rights by which to challenge the constitutionality of the Act, and its argument premised on any such right necessarily failed.