Policy 1216: Authority for Settlement of Workers' Compensation and Liability Claims

Subject Area: Procurement/Disbursement
Responsible Office: Risk Management, Human Resource Services and Legal
Sponsor: Chief Financial Officer
Originally Issued: April 2011
Revised: N/A
Refer Questions To: Courtney Davis, 773-702-2265

Purpose: To assign authority for the settlement of Workers' Compensation and Liability claims.


  1. Under the By-Laws of the University, the Chief Financial Officer is vested with the authority to conduct the business activities of the University.
  2. The Assistant Vice President for Risk Management, Audit and Safety (AVP for RMAS) establishes and implements the risk management functions of the University.
  3. The AVP for RMAS and his/her designees have the responsibility and authority to negotiate and procure all insurance policies for the University, including Workers' Compensation and General Liability insurance. General Liability insurance claims include claims by anyone who is not an employee or patient alleging negligent bodily injury or property damage.  The Risk Management Department manages all property and liability claims and secures reimbursement from insurance carriers, excess of retentions and deductibles. Procurement of insurance policies is subject to Policy No. 1201.
  4. The University maintains self-insured funding for the defense and settlement of claims that fall within the deductible or retention of the University's insurance policies. The AVP for RMAS has the responsibility to ensure that funding reserves and insurance liabilities are appropriate and reported to Financial Services for inclusion on the University's financial statements.
  5. The AVP for RMAS in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel shall have authority for the settlement and defense of any property or liability claim resulting in an uninsured payment up to $100,000.
  6. Human Resource Services (HRS) has the responsibility for management of on-the-job injuries and workers' compensation claims, subject to HRS Policy No. 525.
  7. The Associate Vice President for Human Resource Services and his/her designees shall have authority for the settlement of workers' compensation claims up to $100,000. Human Resource Services shall notify the Risk Management Department of any significant workers' compensation claim that could impact the excess workers' compensation insurance.
  8. The settlement authority in (5) and (7) above shall include, but not be limited to: defense and legal costs, disability and lost time payments, medical cost reimbursement, write-offs of medical bills, and liability settlements.
  9. The Chief Financial Officer has final approval over all insurance and liability related settlements in excess of $100,000. Claims with a reasonable potential to exceed $100,000 will be reported to the Chief Financial Officer on a semi-annual basis.
  10. Any claim in excess of $2,000,000, net of insurance payment, shall be approved by the University's Board of Trustees before final settlement.
  11. No department head should enter into a Worker's Compensation or General Liability insurance related settlement without discussions and approval of the Associate Vice President for Human Resource Services or the AVP for RMAS, respectively. No other employee of the University not outlined above shall have authority for the settlement of any liability or workers' compensation claims.