Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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In this original action, the Supreme Court granted the City of Cleveland's request for a peremptory writ of prohibition against Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Nancy M. Russo and ordered Judge Russo to vacate the orders that she previously entered in Ass'n of Cleveland Fire Fighters, Local 93 v. Cleveland, Cuyahoga C.P. No. CV-19-190679, and to cease exercising jurisdiction over that case, holding that the relief the Union was seeking fell within the exclusive jurisdiction of the State Employment Relations Board (SERB). The International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 93 (the Union) filed an unfair-labor-practice charge with SERB, alleging that Cleveland's fire chief's decision to change fire fighters' 24-hour shift start times were unfair labor practices. The Union then filed a complaint for a declaratory judgment, a temporary restraining order, and injunctive relief in the common pleas court against the City of Cleveland and its fire chief, alleging that the chief's shift-time order violated Ohio Rev. Code 4117.08 because it involved a matter subject to collective bargaining. Judge Russo denied Defendants' motion to dismiss for subject matter jurisdiction. The Supreme Court granted the City's request for a writ of prohibition, holding that the Union failed to assert any claims that fell outside the scope of the collective-bargaining rights created by Chapter 4117. View "State ex rel. Cleveland v. Russo" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying Appellant's request for a writ of mandamus against the State Highway Patrol Retirement System (HPRS), holding that Appellant was not entitled to an order compelling HPRS to vacate its finding that his disability was "not in the line of duty" and to grant disability retirement "in the line of duty." Appellant, a state trooper, applied to HPRS for permanent and total disability retirement benefits based on the diagnosis of an L5-S1 disk collapse and right-side disc bulge, as well as disintegration of L5-S1 vertebrae and arthritis. HPRS approved Appellant's disability but concluded that Appellant's condition did not occur in the line of duty. Appellant filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus, but the court of appeals denied the request. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to show that HPRS abused its discretion when it found that Appellant's injury did not occur in the line of duty. View "State ex rel. Seabolt v. State Highway Patrol Retirement System" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals granting a writ of mandamus compelling the Ohio Public Employees Retirement Board (the OPERS board) to grant Appellee membership status and service credit in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and denied the writ, holding that there was "some evidence" to support the OPERS board's conclusion that Appellee was an independent contractor rather than a contract employee. The OPERS board found that Appellee was an independent contract under Ohio Adm.Code 145-1-42. The court of appeals granted Appellee a writ of mandamus, concluding that the OPERS board abused its discretion in finding that Appellee was an independent contractor. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the language of Appellee's contract, the fact that he was required to submit invoices in order to be paid for his work, and his ineligibility for benefits that were available to contract employees satisfied the "some evidence" standard supporting the conclusion that Appellee was an independent contractor. View "State ex rel. Sales v. Ohio Public Employees Retirement Board" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Tenth District Court of Appeals granting Sharon Vonderheide's petition for a writ of mandamus and ordering the Industrial Commission to vacate its decision denying Vonderheide's request for temporary total disability (TTD) compensation, holding that "some evidence" supported the Commission's decision. The Commission denied Vonderheide's request for TTD compensation after she had surgery on her right knee, finding that Vonderheide failed to establish that she was in the workforce and had wages to replace as of the date of her surgery. The court of appeals granted Vonderheide's mandamus petition, holding that the Commission's decision was an abuse of discretion because it was not based on "some evidence." The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the court of appeals erred by disregarding the directive that an order that is supported by "some evidence" will be upheld; and (2) Vonderheide did not show a need for oral argument. View "State ex rel. Vonderheide v. Multi-Color Corp." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ denial of Appellant’s petition for a writ of mandamus in this workers’ compensation case, holding that the Industrial Commission did not abuse its discretion by concluding that res judicata barred Appellant’s motion to recalculate his average weekly wage (AWW). In challenging the calculation of his AWW, Appellant requested that the Commission forgo the standard statutory formal and to instead calculate his AWW using a method that would do him “substantial justice,” as statutorily permitted in cases of “special circumstances.” The Commission denied the motion, first on the merits and second on grounds of res judicata. The court of appeals denied Appellant’s petition for a writ of mandamus, concluding that Appellant had not established special circumstances. The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of the writ solely on the basis of res judicata, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion when it concluded that the issue of special circumstances was previously decided and therefore res judicata. View "State ex rel. Tantarelli v. Decapua Enterprises, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying David Murray’s petition for a writ of mandamus challenging the State Employee Relations Board’s (SERB) dismissal of Murray’s unfair labor practice charges against the City of Columbus and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) as untimely, holding that the SERB did not abuse its discretion when it dismissed Murray’s unfair labor practice charges. After being fired from his job as a police officer, Murray sought to regain his employment through arbitration involving the City and his union, the FOP. Dissatisfied with the way the arbitration was handled, Murray brought two unfair labor practice charges against the City and the FOP. SERB dismissed all of the charges, concluding that they had been filed outside the ninety-day statute of limitations applicable to each charge. Murray then filed a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel that the charges be set for a hearing. The court of appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the SERB correctly dismissed the charges as untimely. View "State ex rel. Murray v. State Employment Relations Board" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Tenth District Court of Appeals denying Byington Builders, Ltd.’s request for a writ of mandamus compelling the Industrial Commission to vacate its award to Thomas Trousdale of additional compensation for Byington’s violation of a specific safety requirement (VSSR), holding that although aspects of the Court of Appeals’ analysis were flawed, that court reached the correct result. Trousdale fell from a pitched roof of a two-story building while working for Byington. Trousdale’s workers’ compensation benefits claim was allowed for several injuries. Trousdale then filed an application for an additional award for a VSSR, claiming that Byington violated specific safety requirements. The Commission denied Trousdale’s VSSR application in part and granted it in part and awarded additional compensation in the amount of forty percent of Trousdale’s maximum weekly rate due to this VSSR. Byington then filed its mandamus complaint seeking a writ directing the Commission to vacate its prior decisions and to enter an order denying Trousdale’s request for a VSSR award. The Court of Appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion in granting Trousdale a VSSR award, and the Court of Appeals did not err in denying Byington’s request for a writ of mandamus. View "State ex rel. Byington Builders, Ltd. v. Industrial Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that the service provided by Seaton Corporation to Kal Kan Foods, Inc. was not a taxable “employment service” under Ohio Rev. Code 5739.01(B)(3)(k) and 5739.01(JJ) was reasonable and lawful. Seaton agreed to furnish, manage and supervise supplemental staffing to assist in production operations at Kal Kan’s manufacturing plant in Columbus, Ohio. The tax commission levied a sales-tax assessment against Seaton and a use-tax assessment against Kal Kan. The BTA found that the service at issue was not taxable because Seaton, not Kal Kan, supervised and controlled the workers that Seaton supplied to Kal Kan’s plant. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the BTA properly analyzed which entity exercised supervision or control over the work performed by Seaton’s workers at Kal Kan’s plant, and those factual findings were supported by the record; and (2) therefore, the BTA’s decision was reasonable and lawful. View "Seaton Corp. v. Testa" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying a writ of mandamus to compel the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund to award Appellant on-duty-percentage disability benefits for injuries he alleged were sustained during the course of his employment, holding that the Fund’s board of trustees did not abuse its discretion in denying benefits. Appellant filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus challenging the board’s decision not to award on-duty disability benefits for his injuries. The court of appeals adopted the decision of the magistrate recommending denying the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because some evidence supported the board’s decision, the court of appeals did not err in denying the requested writ. View "State ex rel. Wegman v. Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the Industrial Commission and granted Jackson Tube Service Inc.’s request for a writ of mandamus compelling the commission to vacate its order that granted Chad Thompson’s application for an additional award due to the violation of a specific safety requirement (VSRR) and to issue an order denying the VSSR application, holding that there was no evidence to support the commission’s decision to grant the VSSR award. Thompson’s workers’ compensation claim was allowed for a femur fracture. Thompson also filed an application for a VSSR award. The commission granted the VSSR application and rejected Jackson Tube’s argument that it was impossible to comply with the specific safety requirement. On appeal, Jackson Tube argued that the court of appeals erred when it rejected Jackson Tube’s impossibility defense. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the commission abused its discretion in granting the VSSR award because it relied on speculative testimony regarding the existence of alternative means of performance proved nonexistent and that the evidence demonstrated that Jackson Tube established the defense of impossibility. View "State ex rel. Jackson Tube Service, Inc. v. Industrial Commission" on Justia Law