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Ohio Supreme Court rules law designed to reduce comp appeal delays constitutional


The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a law meant to reduce delays of appeals in workers compensation cases is constitutional.

In 2009, Shannon Ferguson injured his shoulder while working for Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Michigan. Mr. Ferguson filed for workers comp benefits and received them. In 2012, Ford appealed the ruling that he was entitled to benefits to the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court based in Cleveland, Ohio.

Mr. Ferguson filed a separate lawsuit arguing that a provision that was intended to reduce delays of appeals in workers compensation cases is unconstitutional. The law was found unconstitutional in the lower courts, but the state Supreme Court reversed this decision.

“The General Assembly saw what it viewed as an area of concern, that a claimant in an employer-initiated workers’ compensation appeal court could unilaterally prolong the appeal process for the sole purpose of guaranteeing the continued receipt of benefits for at least an additional year – this resulted in a needless extension of a process designed to run quickly, financial effects on the system as a whole and a waste of judicial resources,” according to a ruling written by Justice R. Patrick DeWine.

The lawyers for the parties could not be immediately reached for comment.