Ohio Supreme Court Denies Permanent Partial Award in Workers' Compensation PTD Claims
On December 8, 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court held in THE STATE EX REL OHIO PRESBYTERIAN RETIREMENT SERVICES,INC., APPELLANT, v. INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF OHIO ET AL., APPELLEES https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2016/2016-Ohio-8024.pdf. that Sherry Redwine, an injured worker could not receive an award of Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) once an award of Permanent Total Disability (PTD) had been granted. Sherry Redwine, the claimant, had been awarded PTD solely for her work related psychological conditions. In addition to her psychological injury she also sustained physical injuries in the same claim. She contended that since her award of PTD was not based upon her physical injuries, she was therefore entitled to receive a PPD award on the physical injury alone. The Ohio Supreme Court in a 5- 2 per curiam decision held that the receiving of PPD and PTD in the same claim at the same time is a concurrent payment not authorized by statute. The Court specifically found that R.C. 4123.57 and 4123.58 do not "expressly authorize concurrent payment of PPD and PTD compensation"
The claimant successfully argued in the Court of Appeals that absent specific statutory language to the contrary R.C. 4123.95 requires a liberal construction in favor of the injured worker. The Supreme Court rejected that argument and held that "R.C. 4123.95 does not authorize courts to alter the meaning of unambiguous statutory language … Thus, the court of appeals could not read into either R.C. 4123.57 or 4123.58 authority to award concurrent permanent-partial-disability and permanent-total-disability compensation."
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?
Claimants can still pursue Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) awards prior to the awarding of Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits. However once PTD is awarded, claimants may no longer apply and receive any further PPD compensation in the same claim.
Do you have an experienced attorney that focuses on Ohio Workers' Compensation? If you are not represented or your attorney isn't up to date on the current decisions, you may be missing compensation due to you. Call Garson Johnson at (216) 696-9330 if you have questions regarding your workers' compensation case.