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Ohio: Employee Who Tests Positive for Metabolites Entitled to Benefits Unless Marijuana Use Proximately Caused Accident

March 27, 2015 (1 min read)







Unless an employee’s drug use was the proximate cause of his work-connected injury, he was entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in spite of his violation of a workplace rule by having marijuana metabolites in his system at the workplace [see Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 4123.54(A)(2)], held an Ohio appellate court. While the employer proffered evidence that the employee told other employees that he could not pass the urine drug screen on the day of the accident because of marijuana use, the worker’s testimony also indicated that he had not smoked marijuana on the day of the accident, and had last smoked marijuana several weeks before the accident. The evidence did not demonstrate that the worker was under the influence of marijuana on the date of the accident and that his marijuana use was the proximate cause of the accident. The trial court did not, therefore, abuse its discretion in excluding the evidence on the basis that its prejudicial effect outweighed its probative value.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Trent v. Stark Metal Sales, Inc., 2015-Ohio-1115, 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 1070 (Mar. 23, 2015) [2015-Ohio-1115, 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 1070 (Mar. 23, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 36.03 [36.03]

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









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