TRENTON – A state appeals court ruled against a senator who had filed an Open Public Records Act request in regards to auto insurance information.
The court ruled Thursday against state Sen. Nia Gill, D-34, who had sought from the Department of Banking and Insurance documents concerning the rating criteria used by automobile insurers to determine premiums.
The court said that Gill was relying on the law that “underwriting rules” filed by insurers with the Department “shall be subject to public inspection.”
Although the Department had turned over many documents to Gill, it held back some that it said contained proprietary commercial information that if disclosed would benefit competitors.
Gill filed a complaint with the Government Records Council, which sent the matter to the Office of Administrative Law. That led to a ruling that certain documents fell within the proprietary exclusion, and today the court upheld the Records Council’s final determination.
Gill, who is chair of the Senate Finance Committee, sought the insurance information, and argued that the Records Council’s decision was contrary to the statute’s plain language and unreasonable.