Widow to Collect Benefits After Husband’s Death

Barkan Meizlish , May 14, 2015

The widow of a worker who died in Ohio after hours his workplace injury should receive more than 23 years’ worth of workers’ compensation benefits for the lost use of his limbs, sight and hearing from the time of his injury to his death a few hours later, an Ohio appellate court has ruled. Dhimitraq Taluri, 63, worked for Lakewood, Ohio-based Arberia L.L.C. and died in October 2011 after he reportedly fell 30 feet through a roof while performing demolition work, court records show. Mr. Taluri initially survived the fall with severe injuries to his brain and skull, but died 4½ hours later at a nearby hospital.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation granted workers compensation death benefits to Mr. Taluri’s widow. Ms. Taluri later filed a motion seeking an award for loss of use of Mr. Taluri’s arms, legs, eyes and ears caused by his fall in the hours prior to his death. Arberia appealed, arguing in part that Ohio law would limit the award for the loss or Mr. Taluri’s limbs, sight and hearing to one week of benefits since he only lived for a few hours after his work accident.

However, a three-judge panel of the Ohio Court of Appeals in Columbus unanimously overruled Arberia’s objections and upheld the benefits award to Ms. Taluri. The court found that Mr. Taluri qualified for loss-of-use benefits before his death that could be awarded in a lump sum payment. The court also held that, partial disability benefit awards are based on the life expectancy of a claimant’s surviving spouse and other dependents, not on the life span of the deceased claimant.


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