Articles Posted in Ohio Supreme Court

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Gregory Murphy suffered two work-related injuries in 2001 and 2006 while working for Packaging Corporation of America (PCA). Murphy received temporary-total-disability for the 2001 claim, and after his second injury occurred in 2006, Murphy received temporary-total-disability compensation for the 2006 claim. In 2010, the day after compensation ended for the 2006 claim, Murphy filed a second request for temporary-total-disability compensation. The Industrial Commission granted temporary-total-disability benefits. PCA filed a complaint for writ of mandamus in the court of appeals. The court of appeals denied the writ, concluding that the Commission’s order was based on some evidence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion when it awarded temporary-total-disability compensation. View "State ex rel. Packaging Corp. of Am. v. Indus. Comm'n " on Justia Law

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Between 1996 and 2003, Appellant filed several workers’ compensation claims, which were allowed for certain conditions. Appellant subsequently filed two applications for permanent-total-disability compensation. The Industrial Commission denied the applications, relying in part on the report of Dr. Lee Howard, a psychologist, who determined that Appellant could perform work without significant limitations. Appellant filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus, arguing that the Commission abused its discretion when it relied on Dr. Howard’s report because the report was stale. The court of appeals denied the writ, determining that Dr. Howard’s report was relevant evidence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion when it relied on Dr. Howard’s report in denying permanent-total-disability compensation. View "State ex rel. Bailey v. Indus. Comm'n" on Justia Law

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Robert Sheppard was injured while working for Employer. After Sheppard retired, he filed an application for permanent-total-disability (PTD) compensation, which a staff hearing officer granted. Employer filed a request for reconsideration on the basis that the staff hearing officer’s order contained mistakes of fact and law. After a hearing, the Industrial Commission issued an order confirming that the staff hearing officer’s order contained a clear mistake of law and denying the underlying request for PTD compensation. Sheppard filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus alleging that the Commission abused its discretion when it exercised continuing jurisdiction and denied PTD compensation. The court of appeals denied the writ, concluding (1) the staff hearing officer’s mistake of law was sufficient for the Commission to invoke its continuing jurisdiction; and (2) once the Commission properly invoked its continuing jurisdiction, it had authority to reconsider the issue of PTD compensation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the staff hearing officer made a mistake of law justifying the exercise of continuing jurisdiction; and (2) the Commission’s continuing jurisdiction vested it with authority to issue a new order denying PTD compensation. View "State ex rel. Sheppard v. Indus. Comm'n" on Justia Law

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Robert Corlew was an employee of Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. when he was injured while working. Honda’s long-term-disability insurance carrier eventually determined that Corlew was not eligible for ongoing disability benefits because he was capable of gainful employment outside of Honda. Corlew subsequently retired because there was no position available at Honda. One year later, Corlew underwent surgery on his wrist. The Industrial Commission awarded temporary-total-disability (TTD) compensation to be paid during Corlew’s postsurgical recovery, concluding that Corlew had not voluntarily retired or abandoned the workforce. The court of appeals denied Honda’s request for a writ of mandamus, concluding that Corlew’s retirement was due to his industrial injury, and thus was involuntary, and that there was no evidence that Corlew had abandoned the entire workforce. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Corlew was eligible for TTD compensation even though he suffered no economic loss that could be directly attributed to his industrial injury. View "State ex rel. Honda of Am. Mfg., Inc. v. Indus. Comm'n" on Justia Law

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Appellant was injured when he fell from a ladder as he was working on a billboard in the course and scope of his employment with Employer. Appellant sought an award for violation of a specific safety requirement (VSSR), alleging that Employer had violated several safety rules, resulting in his injury. The Industrial Commission denied the award. Appellant subsequently filed an action in mandamus in the court of appeals, requesting that the Commission be ordered to grant him the VSSR award. The magistrate of the court of appeals and a three-judge panel determined that the Commission did not abuse its discretion in denying the award. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission (1) properly considered evidence of the industry standards in determining whether Appellant’s ladder and harness equipment complied with the law; (2) correctly concluded that a hook ladder, when properly secured, can be part of a billboard structure; and (3) properly considered Appellant’s negligence in deciding to deny a VSSR award. View "State ex rel. Richmond v. Indus. Comm'n" on Justia Law

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In 2006, Appellant injured her lower back while working for Employer, who was self-insured. Later that year, Employer discharged Appellant for violating the company’s absenteeism policy and failing to accept the light-duty work offered. The Industrial Commission denied Appellant’s request for temporary total disability (TTD) compensation, concluding that Appellant had abandoned her employment and that the abandonment barred payment of TTD compensation. Three and a half years after the denial of benefits, Appellant filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus. The appellate court denied the writ, concluding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion when it denied Appellant’s request for TTD benefits, as her conduct had amounted to a voluntary abandonment of employment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion when it denied Appellant’s request for compensation, as the Commission’s order was supported by the evidence. View "State ex rel. Jacobs v. Indus. Comm'n" on Justia Law

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Appellant had been employed as a nurse with Progressive Parma Care, LLC since 1995. During her tenure at Parma Care, Appellant was disciplined on several occasions. On April 10, 2008, Appellant was injured at work. On April 16, 2008, the director of nursing terminated Appellant for cause. On April 21, 2008, a physician certified that Appellant was temporarily and totally disabled from all employment beginning on the date of her injury. The Industrial Commission denied Appellant’s request for temporary total disability (TTD) compensation, concluding that Appellant’s discharge from employment for violating written workplace rules had been a voluntary abandonment, making Appellant ineligible for benefits, and that the medical evidence did not support Appellant’s claim that she had been temporarily and totally disabled at the time of her termination. Appellant filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus, alleging that the Commission had abused its discretion when it denied her request for TTD compensation. The court of appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion when it denied Appellant compensation for TTD. View "State ex rel. Robinson v. Indus. Comm'n " on Justia Law

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Appellant was injured while working for Employer. Appellant’s workers’ compensation claim was allowed for a dislocated left shoulder and a torn left rotator cuff, among other injuries. Appellant later requested compensation for the scheduled loss of use of his left upper extremity. The Industrial Commission denied Appellant’s request for benefits by relying on the report of Dr. D. Ann. Middaugh as evidence that Appellant had retained some use of his left arm. Appellant filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus alleging that the Commission’s finding as an abuse of discretion. The court of appeals denied the writ, concluding that Dr. Middaugh’s report was some evidence upon which the Commission could rely to deny scheduled loss compensation. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Appellant was entitled to an award for the scheduled loss of his left arm because (1) Dr. Middaugh’s findings were not consistent with her ultimate conclusion, and consequently, Dr. Middaugh’s report could not be some evidence supporting the Commission’s decision to deny an award for loss of use; and (2) the only other report submitted for consideration with Appellant’s loss-of-uses award stated that, for all practical purposes, Appellant had lost the function of his left arm. View "State ex rel. Wyrick v. Indus. Comm'n of Ohio" on Justia Law

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George Smith suffered an injury while working for Ohio State University. The Industrial Commission of Ohio allowed Smith’s claim for bilateral inguinal hernia. Tragically, Smith suffered brain damage resulting from postoperative complications from surgery to repair the hernia, leaving him in a persistent vegetative state. A doctor later concluded that Smith had bilateral vision and hearing loss caused by the loss of brain function. Smith sought additional scheduled awards for the loss of vision and hearing. However, no test could be performed to determine whether Smith suffered an actual loss of sight or hearing, and the medical evidence showed that Smith was unable to process sights and sounds because of damage to his brain, not because of any injury to his eyes or ears. The Industrial Commission denied Smith’s request for additional compensation based on the lack of any objective testing showing vision or hearing loss. The Supreme Court affirmed the Commission’s denial of Smith’s claim, holding that the evidence supported a finding that Smith suffered from a loss of brain-stem function, a loss that has not been included in the schedule for compensation set forth in Ohio Rev. Code 4123.57. View "State ex rel. Smith v. Indus. Comm'n" on Justia Law

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Appellant sustained a work-related injury and collected temporary total disability (TTD) compensation on her claim for certain injuries. Appellant later filed an application to add a psychological condition to her claim, at the same time requesting TTD compensation as a result of the condition. A hearing officer approved the additional condition but denied TTD compensation. Appellant subsequently filed another request for TTD compensation. A staff hearing officer awarded TTD compensation. The full Industrial Commission granted reconsideration and denied Appellant’s request for compensation, concluding that Appellant had voluntarily abandoned the entire workforce, and thus the claimed period of disability was not caused by the allowed conditions. Appellant filed a complaint seeking a writ of mandamus, which the court of appeals denied. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion in concluding that Appellant’s lack of earnings was not due to her psychological condition and that her failure to seek other employment was evidence she had voluntarily abandoned the workforce. View "State ex rel. Roxbury v. Indus. Comm'n" on Justia Law