Columbus Law Firm Connor, Evans & Hafenstein Prevails in Landmark Workers' Comp Decision from Ohio Supreme Court

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State's high court finds that worker who is disabled on the job can't be considered by employer to have abandoned that job if he is incapable of doing it anymore

The central issue in this case was whether the employer could claim that our client had 'abandoned' his job, permitting his employer to refuse to continue paying him the disability benefits to which he was entitled for being injured on the job

In an important decision that clarifies the rights of workers who are disabled on the job, the Supreme Court of Ohio ruled in favor of an Ohio man whose disability compensation and employment had been terminated by his employer.

The case, Reitter Stucco, Inc. v. Industrial Commission of Ohio et al (117 Ohio St.3d 71, 2008-Ohio-499), was successfully argued for the plaintiff by Daniel Connor, Kenneth Hafenstein and Katie Woessner of Columbus-based law firm Connor, Evans & Hafenstein.

"The central issue in this case was whether the employer could claim that our client had 'abandoned' his job, permitting his employer to refuse to continue paying him the disability benefits to which he was entitled for being injured on the job," said Connor, whose law firm is highly regarded for its representation of plaintiffs in workers' compensation cases. "We're gratified that the Court found in favor of our client so that he may claim his temporary total disability compensation."

The plaintiff in the case had been seriously injured while working at Reitter Stucco in 2003, eventually undergoing major back surgery. After a rehabilitation program designed to assist the plaintiff's return to work, comments made to rehabilitation personnel led to the employer's decision to terminate the plaintiff and the company accordingly terminated his compensation, claiming the plaintiff had abandoned his job by violating a work rule.

In its unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that the plaintiff was "medically incapable of returning to his former position of employment at the time of discharge" and is therefore eligible for temporary total disability compensation. It is considered a landmark case in the state because it clarifies the rights of injured workers who have been disabled on the job and are incapable of returning to that job due to the physical disability they suffered.

For more information about Connor, Evans & Hafenstein, please visit http://www.cehlaw.com or call 614.464.2025.

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