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Ohio: VSSR Settlement Agreement Must Be Equitable and Adequate

November 21, 2020 (1 min read)

Ohio Admin.Code 4121-3-20(F)(1) requires that a staff hearing officer (SHO) review a proposed settlement agreement related to an alleged violation of specific safety requirements ("VSSR") claim for adequacy; a cursory review to determine if the agreement was "structurally sound" was not within the tenor of the Code, held an Ohio appellate court. After a hearing on the VSSR, but before any formal decision was tended, the SHO informed the parties that the violation was "serious" and that the injured employee would likely be awarded an additional award of compensation in the amount of 30 percent of the maximum weekly rate. Later, but still prior to a formal award, the employer and the injured worker submitted a settlement agreement calling for the payment of $2,000 to the worker. The SHO refused to approve the award and eventually, the employer appealed. The appellate court was not persuaded by the employer's argument that the agreement was "appropriate in its present form." That term, contained in the Code, meant more than mere legal adequacy.

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 State ex rel. Zarbana Indus. v. Hayes, 2020-Ohio-5200, 2020 Ohio App. LEXIS 4046 (Nov. 5, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 105.06.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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