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FIRST OGLETHORPE COMPANY FILES SUIT AGAINST COMMISSIONER RYLES; CHARGES VIOLATION OF U.S. AND GEORGIA CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

 ATLANTA, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Tim Ryles, Insurance Commissioner of Georgia, was served Aug. 3, with a personal lawsuit for $12 million by First Oglethorpe Company.
 The lawsuit resulted from Ryles' issuing cease and desist orders on two self-funded workers' compensation funds administered by First Oglethorpe, only one day after an examiner for the Office of the Insurance Commissioner issued reports saying certificates of authority should issue to the funds.
 On July 23, Judge Josephine Holmes Cook of the Superior Court of Fulton County issued a judgment in favor of First Oglethorpe and the two funds calling Ryles' denial of certificates of authority "arbitrary and capricious and without substantial legal justification; said funds having been created in compliance with the laws of Georgia." Judge Cook also permanently enjoined Commissioner Ryles "from issuing or causing to issue any cease and desist order against plaintiffs herein (First Oglethorpe and the Funds) in contravention of the laws of the State of Georgia."
 Ryles was quoted in Atlanta newspapers as saying, "I don't care what the court says. They (First Oglethorpe) are not in business in the state."
 The lawsuit is filed in the State Court of DeKalb County, Ryles' residence. The lawsuit claims Ryles exceeded the authority of his office as Insurance Commissioner and has caused great harm to the plaintiff. The lawsuit includes a claim for punitive damages.
 -0- 8/6/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: A copy of the lawsuit may be obtained by calling either of the contact numbers in this press release./
 /CONTACT: Harry Bassler, attorney for First Oglethorpe Company, 404-956-1813, or Judy T. Harmon, public relations representative, 404-728-0219/


CO: First Oglethorpe Company ST: Georgia IN: INS SU:

BR-CF -- AT003 -- 0183 08/06/93 08:40 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 6, 1993
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