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Workers' Compensation

Ohio: Spoliation of Evidence Claim Against Employer Barred by Board VSSR Settlement Agreement

A broad release contained within a settlement of a violation of specific safety requirements ("VSSR") claim, signed by an injured employee represented by counsel at the time, barred a later civil action filed by the employee against the employer for spoliation of evidence, held an Ohio appellate court. Acknowledging that releases from future tortious activity were disfavored, the court noted that the workplace accident causing the employee's injury occurred some two years before the execution of the VSSR settlement. Accordingly, the employee had ample time to determine if there were any potential claims--such as spoliation--that he desired to exclude from the settlement. Where, as here, where the intent of the parties was stated in clear and unambiguous terms, the settlement agreement would be enforced.

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 Owens v. Bridgestone Americas, Inc., 2020-Ohio-5156, 2020 Ohio App. LEXIS 3999 (Nov. 3, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 132.05.

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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