Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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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

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In determining whether John Klein was entitled to continued temporary-total-disability compensation where he voluntarily left his position of employment for reasons unrelated to his workplace injury, the Supreme Court overruled State ex. Rel. Reitter Stucco, Inc. v. Industrial Commission, 881 N.E. 2d 861 (Ohio 2008), and State ex rel. OmniSource Corp. v. Industrial Commission, 865 N.E.2d 41 (Ohio 2007), and applied the longstanding principles of voluntary abandonment to Klein’s claim for temporary-total-disability compensation. On Klein’s request for mandamus, the court of appeals determined that the Industrial Commission of Ohio abused its discretion in determining that Klein voluntarily abandoned his employment at Precision Excavating & Grading Company for reasons unrelated to his workplace injury without determining whether Klein was medically capable of returning to work. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and denied the writ of mandamus, holding that when a workers’ compensation claimant voluntarily removes himself from his former position of employment for reasons unrelated to his workplace injury, he is not eligible for temporary-total-disability compensation even if he remains disabled at the time of his separation from employment. View "State ex rel. Klein v. Precision Excavating & Grading Co." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court issued a writ of mandamus ordering the Board of Beavercreek Township Trustees and its members (collectively, the Board) to rescind two resolutions setting the annual salaries for two assistants to the Beavercreek Township Fiscal Officer and to consider a new compensation proposal submitted by the Fiscal Officer. The Supreme Court held (1) Ohio Rev. Code 507.021(A) authorized the Fiscal Officer to hire two assistants and to set compensation for those positions, subject to prior approval by the Board; (2) the Fiscal Officer’s request for a writ of mandamus compelling the Board to approve and fund the two assistant positions at the specific salaries proposed is denied because the Fiscal Officer did not demonstrate that the Board abused its discretion in denying her specific salary requests; but (3) the Board exceeded its authority when it adopted the resolutions setting the annual salaries for the two assistants. View "State ex rel. Beavercreek Township Fiscal Officer v. Graff" on Justia Law

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This suit fell within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Claims, rather than the court of common pleas, because Plaintiff sought legal relief rather than equitable relief. This suit challenged the legality of fees that were incurred by some recipients of workers’ compensation benefits when accessing their benefits. In this appeal, however, the Supreme Court was required to determine only whether the suit was properly brought in the court of common pleas or whether it should have been brought in the Court of Claims, which has exclusive jurisdiction over many suits against state entities such as the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The Supreme Court held that Plaintiff’s claim was equitable because it sought full payment of the benefit lawfully awarded to him by the Bureau, and therefore, the Court of Common Pleas had exclusive jurisdiction in the matter. View "Cirino v. Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals granting a writ of mandamus that ordered the administrator of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (Bureau) to vacate the order of the administrator’s designee finding that Daily Services LLC was the successor to I-Force, LLC and was responsible for I-Force’s rights and obligations, holding that Daily Services failed to demonstrate that it was entitled to relief in mandamus. After Daily Services received from the Bureau an invoice for more than $3.48 million for I-Force’s unpaid premiums, it filed a protest. An adjudicating committee determined that Daily Services was the successor to I-Force under former Ohio Adm.Code 4123-17-02(C)(1). The administrator’s designee upheld the decision. The court of appeals, however, concluded that Daily Services did not “wholly succeed” the business operations of I-Force. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the Bureau did not abuse its discretion when it determined that Daily Services wholly succeeded the business operations of I-Force even if it did not assume every customer, employee, or lease held by I-Force; and (2) the Bureau’s statutory obligation to safeguard the Workers’ Compensation Fund authorizes it to find that an employer is a “successor in interest” when that employer attempts to evade workers’ compensation liabilities. View "State ex rel. Daily Services, LLC v. Morrison" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals granting a writ of mandamus ordering the Industrial Commission to vacate its order allocating the cost of a permanent-total-disability award between two different employers and issue an amended order. Appellee filed an application for permanent-total-disability compensation based on three workers’ compensation claims for work-related injuries she received while working for two different employers. A staff hearing officer granted the application. Appellant, one of Appellee’s employers, filed this mandamus action challenging the Commission’s allocation of the cost of the award among the three claims. The court of appeals ordered the Commission to vacate the portion of the hearing officer’s order allocating the cost of the award. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission abused its discretion by failing to explain the basis for the specific allocations of the award among the three claims. View "State ex rel. Penske Truck Leasing Co. v. Industrial Commission" on Justia Law