Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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In 1992, Appellant was injured in an accident while in the course and scope of his employment. In 2014, Appellant applied for permanent total disability benefits. A hearing officer found that Appellant was not permanently and totally disabled. Appellant filed a complaint in mandamus alleging that the Industrial Commission abused its discretion by entering an order that was not supported by the evidence. The court of appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion in relying on an expert’s report to find that Appellant was capable of up to four hours of sedentary work a day, and therefore, the court of appeals properly denied Appellant’s request for a writ of mandamus. View "State ex rel. Bonnlander v. Harmon" on Justia Law

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Norman James was injured while employed by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. James later quit his job at Wal-Mart. James briefly got a job with Casper Transport Inc. and Casper Service Automotive (Casper). On June 1, 2007, James was involved in an auto accident unrelated to his employment. Casper fired James on November 16, 2007 for excessive absenteeism, and James had not worked since that time. James filed a motion requesting temporary-total-disability benefits beginning November 17, 2007. The Industrial Commission denied benefits for the period from November 17, 2007 through September 29, 2009, the date of the Commission hearing. James then filed an original action in mandamus. The court of appeals granted a limited writ vacating the denial of temporary-total-disability benefits and returned the case to the Commission to further address the end of James’ employment at Casper. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals to the extent that the court issued a limited writ of mandamus and affirmed the remainder of the appellate court’s judgment, holding that the evidence supported the Commission’s decision to deny temporary-total-disability compensation. View "State ex rel. James v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc." on Justia Law

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Employee was terminated from his employment after failing a routine drug test administered soon after a workplace accident in which he was injured. Employee’s drug use did not cause the accident. Employee’s workers’ compensation claim was initially allowed for temporary total disability (TTD) compensation. However, the Industrial Commission subsequently determined that Employee voluntarily abandoned his employment by using marijuana prior to the accident and was therefore not eligible for TTD compensation. Employee petitioned for a writ of a mandamus compelling the Commission to vacate its order denying TTD compensation and to issue an order granting Employee TTD compensation. The court of appeals granted the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that when an employee is terminated after a workplace injury for conduct prior to and unrelated to the injury, the employee’s termination does not amount to a voluntary abandonment of employment for purposes of TTD compensation when (1) the discovery of the dischargeable offense occurred because of the injury; and (2) the employee was medically incapable of returning to work as a result of the workplace injury at the time of the termination. View "State ex rel. Cordell v. Pallet Companies" on Justia Law

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Eleven captains and one battalion chief in the Cleveland Fire Department (collectively, Relators) alleged that each of them was eligible for promotion in the fire department but was deprived of the opportunity to take a competitive promotional examination. Relators filed this action in mandamus against the City of Cleveland and its mayor (collectively, Respondents) seeking immediate cessation of the noncompetitive examination process that the City was using for promotion within the fire department. The firefighters’ union challenged the noncompetitive examination process on the same grounds in a declaratory injunction action in the court of common pleas. The Supreme Court dismissed Relators’ action, holding that Relators had an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law by way of intervening in the declaratory judgment case, precluding a writ of mandamus here. View "State ex rel. Schroeder v. Cleveland" on Justia Law

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Appellant injured her knee while working, and a worker’s compensation claim was allowed for a medial meniscus tear of her right knee. When arthroscopic surgery was later performed on Appellant’s knee and no evidence of a meniscus tear was found, the Industrial Commission exercised its continuing jurisdiction and disallowed Appellant’s claim. Appellant filed a petition alleging that she was entitled to participate in the workers’ compensation system for her workplace injuries and also filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus alleging that the Commissioner’s denial of her claim was an abuse of discretion. The court of appeals denied the writ of mandamus. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant had an adequate remedy by way of appeal, and therefore, the court of appeals lacked jurisdiction to issue a writ of mandamus. View "State ex rel. Carroll v. Galion Assisted Living, Ltd." on Justia Law

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Appellee was injured at work. The Industrial Commission awarded Appellee permanent total disability compensation benefits, concluding that Appellee was unable to perform any sustained remunerative employment due solely to the medical impairment caused by the allowed psychological condition in her workers’ compensation claim. Appellee subsequently applied for permanent partial disability compensation, arguing that she was entitled to this award based on the physical conditions allowed in her claim. The Industrial Commission determined that a claimant is not barred from concurrent compensation for permanent partial disability if it is based on conditions that were not the basis for the prior finding of permanent total disability in the same claim. Appellant, Appellee’s employer, filed a complaint seeking a writ of mandamus to compel the Commission to vacate its order. The court of appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court reversed and granted Appellant’s request for a writ of mandamus, holding that the Commission has no authority to award an injured worker permanent partial disability compensation when the worker has been previously found to be permanently disabled in the same claim, even when the new finding is based on conditions in the claim that formed no part of the basis for the prior finding of permanent total disability. View "State ex rel. Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services, Inc. v. Industrial Commission" on Justia Law

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Marilynne Earles was injured in the course and scope of her employment with BF Goodrich Company, Specialty Chemicals Division (Goodrich). Earles returned to work with certain restrictions. Later, Earles find an application for wage-loss compensation based on a reduction in her earnings while working in a light-duty position. A district hearing officer denied the application. A union representative subsequently filed an appeal on behalf of Earles. The Industrial Commission accepted the appeal and awarded wage-loss compensation. Goodrich filed a complaint in mandamus alleging that the Commission had abused its discretion. The court of appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion in (1) concluding that Earles’s wage loss was the direct result of her inability to return to her previous position due to the physical restrictions resulting from her claim; and (2) concluding that the appeal was timely filed. View "State ex rel. BF Goodrich Co., Specialty Chemicals Division v. Industrial Commission of Ohio" on Justia Law

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In 2006, Inge Fox injured her left arm and hand in the course and scope of her employment with Manpower of Dayton, Inc. Fox’s workers’ compensation claim was allowed for several medical and psychological conditions. In 2013, Fox applied for permanent-total-disability compensation. The Industrial Commission granted the application, finding that Fox’s inability to work was based solely on the medical impairment caused by her allowed conditions. Manpower requested a writ of mandamus that would compel the Commission to vacate its award of permanent total disability compensation to Fox. The court of appeals denied the request. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Manpower failed to demonstrate that it was entitled to extraordinary relief in mandamus. View "State ex rel. Manpower of Dayton, Inc. v. Industrial Commission of Ohio" on Justia Law

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After he retired, Robert Marmaduke filed a disability-benefit application with the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund (OP&F). Finding that Marmaduke was permanently and partially disabled, the Disability Evaluation Panel recommended awarding Marmaduke a permanent-partial disability benefit. Marmaduke appealed, but the OP&F’s board of trustees reaffirmed its award of a permanent-partial disability benefit. The court of appeals affirmed the board’s determination that Marmaduke was entitled to a permanent-partial, rather than permanent-total, disability benefit. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the OP&F did not abuse its discretion in awarding Marmaduke a permanent-partial disability benefit. View "State ex rel. Marmaduke v. Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund" on Justia Law

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Manuel Perez was injured while working in the construction industry and was awarded temporary-total-disability compensation. Prior to his injury, Perez owned and was operating an auto-repair business. Years later, the Industrial Commission of Ohio determined that Perez was overpaid temporary-total-disability compensation for more than four years and that he committed fraud in applying for it. The court of appeals affirmed the Commission’s finding of an overpayment and dismissed the fraud finding for insufficient evidence. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion (1) in finding that Perez had been overpaid compensation while operating his auto-repair business; and (2) when it concluded that the evidence supported a finding of fraud. View "State ex rel. Perez v. Indus. Comm'n" on Justia Law