Court OKs $57M verdict for WA home care workers

SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington's Supreme Court has narrowly upheld a $57 million verdict against the state in a case brought by workers who care for severely disabled people.

But the justices decided the workers were not entitled to pre-judgment interest -- thus throwing out an additional $39 million awarded by a lower court judge.

The 22,000 workers claimed they were shortchanged by a Department of Social and Health Services rule that was in effect from 2003 to 2007. The rule automatically reduced their pay by 15 percent. It was struck down by the state Supreme Court in 2007 as inconsistent with federal Medicaid rules.

The question before the court was whether the workers were entitled to recover their lost pay. Five justices voted to uphold the $57 million verdict. Four disagreed.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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