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Northwest OH Legal Blog

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Question of Constitutionality of Legislative Limit on Injured Workers Right to Dismiss Employer Appeal

Recently the Cuyahoga Common Pleas court found that the legislative limit on an injured workers right to dismiss his complaint in court when the employer had initially filed the appeal into court to be unconstitutional.  This occurs when the employer seeks to challenge a decision of the Industrial Commission by appealing such decision into Court.  Once the appeal is filed the injured worker is obligated to file a complaint and is considered the plaintiff in the litigation.  The Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure permit an injured worker to dismiss his complaint and later refile within one year of the dismissal.  The Ohio legislature in 2006 amended the applicable statute to essentially deny the injured worker his right to dismiss if the complaint was pursuant to an employer’s appeal.  The Ohio Rules were not amended to reflect this legislative change and therefore the division exists.  The Cuyahoga court found a violation of due process as well as separation of powers between the legislature and the Courts.  The matter is on appeal and will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.     


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