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Workers' Compensation

Ohio: Commission Was Within its Powers to Reject Settlement in VSSR Case

Affirming a November 2020 decision by a lower appellate court, the Supreme Court of Ohio held the state Industrial Commission was within its powers when it rejected a proposed settlement agreement executed by representatives of an employer and an injured employee that purported to dispose of the employee’s violation of specific safety requirements (VSSR) claim. The high court agreed that the Commission had broad discretion in approving such agreements. Its discretion allowed it to judge whether the settlement was fair and equitable. The employer had contended that the statute only allowed the Commission to examine the form of the agreement, that the parties should be free to come to their own bargain. The court noted that prior to the settlement, the Commission had sent the parties a letter indicating the award would probably range between $21,000 and $70,000. Under those circumstances, the Commission was within its power to refuse a settlement for a lump-sum payment of $2,000.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the co-Editor-in-Chief and 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. Indus. Comm’n of Ohio, 2021-Ohio-3669, 2021 Ohio LEXIS 2073 (Oct. 19, 2021)

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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