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Ohio Supreme Court Ruling May Affect Workers' Comp Settlements


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11/17/2008
Brent Adams
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In Ohio, the state’s insurance fund for injured workers is attempting to learn what impact a recent court ruling which could theoretically allow for hundreds of workers compensation claims that had previously been settled to be reopened could have.

On April 29, an internal order was issued by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation the banned destroying any records related to a claim’s settlement. It came in the wake of a decision by the state’s Supreme Court on April 16 siding with a worker who had a low IQ and limited reading skills. Without representation, the man received $2,000 in 1997 as a settlement for his claim of a broken leg after a fall in his factory job. The Supreme Court rejected this settlement between the agency and Robert Wise.

According to Keary McCarthy, spokesman for the workers’ comp bureau said that the agency’s order isn’t as relevant as the potential effect of the court’s ruling on claims.

Between 1997 and 2007, there were 255,266 claims settled by the agency.

According to McCarthy, there is no way to know how many settlements the Supreme Court’s decision will affect.



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