Review Does Not Mean Reweigh

Barkan Meizlish , June 3, 2015

Recently, in State ex rel. Turner Constr. Co. v. Indus. Comm., 142 Ohio St.3d 310, 2015-Ohio-1202, an employer requested a writ of mandamus that would compel the Industrial Commission to vacate an order of permanent-total disability compensation to a former employee.
In this case, the employee had several previous workers’ compensation claims, but only a claim from 2007 had allowed psychological conditions. In 2011, the employee applied for permanent-total disability compensation based off the psychological condition alone. This request was supported by medical, and approved by the Industrial Condition.
The employer filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus, but this was denied, as the Court of Appeals concluded that there was not an abuse of discretion. The employer appealed, and requested mandamus to determine whether the entire award should be granted under the 2007 claim, or spread amongst other claims. The court denied this mandamus request, because it is not the role of a reviewing court to assess the credibility of the evidence. State ex rel. Pass v. C.S.T. Extraction Co.. 74 Ohio St.3d 373, 376, 658 N.E.2d 1055 (1996).
Thus, so long as the commission’s order is supported by some evidence, there is no abuse of discretion and a court must uphold its decision. Id. Because the commission based its decision to approve the permanent total disability application based off the medical relating to the psychological condition, which was only allowed in the 2007 claim, the Court determined that the employer was not entitled to the extraordinary relief in mandamus.

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