Workers' Compensation

Ohio: Employer Not Liable For Failure to Implement Substance Abuse Policy

A widow’s wrongful death action filed against her deceased husband’s employer for its failure to implement and maintain a substance abuse policy is barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Act, held a state appellate court. The husband collapsed at work and was transported to a nearby hospital where he died. Tests were positive for the presence of marijuana and fentanyl. Moreover, a post-mortem blood test indicated the deceased’s blood alcohol level was 0.08 at the time of his death. The widow alleged that the employer had a company policy prohibiting substance abuse, that it had failed to implement the policy, and that such failure to implement the policy induced her husband and other employees to possess and use drugs and alcohol in their workplace. The Court concluded that any action she possessed was barred by exclusivity.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Parker v. Ford Motor Co., 2019-Ohio-882, 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 959 (Mar. 15, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 103.04.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see