Justia Public Benefits Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Maryland Court of Appeals
The Maryland State Retirement System (System) filed a claim against Milliman, an actuary, asserting that Milliman had understated the contributions required to fund three of the State's ten retirement and pension systems because of Milliman's misinterpretation of a particular data code. The Retirement System Procurement Officer determined that Milliman had failed to comply with its contractual duties and awarded damages to the System. On appeal, the State Board of Contract Appeals determined that the actuary had substantially breached its contracts with the System and affirmed the damages. The circuit court affirmed the Board's findings that Milliman breached its contracts with the System and affirmed the award of lost investment earnings but reversed the Board's award of amounts equaling lost contributions. The Supreme Court granted certiorari, holding (1) Milliman was liable to the System for repeatedly misinterpreting a data code; (2) the System was not negligent in the development or transmission of data provided to Milliman and, therefore, contributory negligence did not bar the System's recovery; and (3) the circuit court erroneously reduced the Board's damage award representing lost contributions. The Court, therefore, vacated the judgment of the circuit court and affirmed the Board's decision.