Cuyahoga County Court Distributes Millions to Ohio Charities

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The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on Thursday announced the distribution of more than $6 million to 226 Ohio charities.

The money comes from a civil case heard by Judge John J. Russo, and is part of more than $11 million that has been distributed by The Honor Project to charities throughout the state.

The Honor Project is a “cy pres”. If there are unclaimed funds in a class action settlement, a judge can use the cy pres doctrine to distribute funds that remain for beneficial use. After settlement of State of Ohio, et al. v. American International Group, Inc., et al., excess proceeds, termed “disgorged funds,” remained. The Attorney General’s Office requested that Judge Russo, the presiding judge in the case, distribute the funds under the court’s authority. The Honor Project Cy Pres Initiative was created, outlining how the funds would be applied for and distributed.

There have been three phases to The Honor Project. The first phase was a $2,596,839 million distribution to the companies involved in the litigation and companies that could have potentially suffered damages. In the second phase, $2.45 million was provided to companies that agreed to use the funds to hire new employees, thus reducing Ohio unemployment.

In the third and final phase, the remaining money was distributed to charitable organizations that were selected after an extensive application process.

Additional information is available at

Court News Ohio contributed this report.