4123.512 Appeal to court.

(A) The claimant or the employer may appeal an order of the industrial commission made under division (E) of section 4123.511 of the Revised Code in any injury or occupational disease case, other than a decision as to the extent of disability to the court of common pleas of the county in which the injury was inflicted or in which the contract of employment was made if the injury occurred outside the state, or in which the contract of employment was made if the exposure occurred outside the state. If no common pleas court has jurisdiction for the purposes of an appeal by the use of the jurisdictional requirements described in this division, the appellant may use the venue provisions in the Rules of Civil Procedure to vest jurisdiction in a court. If the claim is for an occupational disease, the appeal shall be to the court of common pleas of the county in which the exposure which caused the disease occurred. Like appeal may be taken from an order of a staff hearing officer made under division (D) of section 4123.511 of the Revised Code from which the commission has refused to hear an appeal. The appellant shall file the notice of appeal with a court of common pleas within sixty days after the date of the receipt of the order appealed from or the date of receipt of the order of the commission refusing to hear an appeal of a staff hearing officer's decision under division (D) of section 4123.511 of the Revised Code. The filing of the notice of the appeal with the court is the only act required to perfect the appeal.

If an action has been commenced in a court of a county other than a court of a county having jurisdiction over the action, the court, upon notice by any party or upon its own motion, shall transfer the action to a court of a county having jurisdiction.

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this section, if the commission determines under section 4123.522 of the Revised Code that an employee, employer, or their respective representatives have not received written notice of an order or decision which is appealable to a court under this section and which grants relief pursuant to section 4123.522 of the Revised Code, the party granted the relief has sixty days from receipt of the order under section 4123.522 of the Revised Code to file a notice of appeal under this section.

(B) The notice of appeal shall state the names of the administrator of workers' compensation, the claimant, and the employer ; the number of the claim ; the date of the order appealed from ; and the fact that the appellant appeals therefrom.

The administrator , the claimant, and the employer shall be parties to the appeal and the court, upon the application of the commission, shall make the commission a party. The party filing the appeal shall serve a copy of the notice of appeal on the administrator at the central office of the bureau of workers' compensation in Columbus. The administrator shall notify the employer that if the employer fails to become an active party to the appeal, then the administrator may act on behalf of the employer and the results of the appeal could have an adverse effect upon the employer's premium rates.

(C) The attorney general or one or more of the attorney general's assistants or special counsel designated by the attorney general shall represent the administrator and the commission. In the event the attorney general or the attorney general's designated assistants or special counsel are absent, the administrator or the commission shall select one or more of the attorneys in the employ of the administrator or the commission as the administrator's attorney or the commission's attorney in the appeal. Any attorney so employed shall continue the representation during the entire period of the appeal and in all hearings thereof except where the continued representation becomes impractical.

(D) Upon receipt of notice of appeal, the clerk of courts shall provide notice to all parties who are appellees and to the commission.

The claimant shall, within thirty days after the filing of the notice of appeal, file a petition containing a statement of facts in ordinary and concise language showing a cause of action to participate or to continue to participate in the fund and setting forth the basis for the jurisdiction of the court over the action. Further pleadings shall be had in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure, provided that service of summons on such petition shall not be required and provided that the claimant may not dismiss the complaint without the employer's consent if the employer is the party that filed the notice of appeal to court pursuant to this section. The clerk of the court shall, upon receipt thereof, transmit by certified mail a copy thereof to each party named in the notice of appeal other than the claimant. Any party may file with the clerk prior to the trial of the action a deposition of any physician taken in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Code, which deposition may be read in the trial of the action even though the physician is a resident of or subject to service in the county in which the trial is had. The bureau of workers' compensation shall pay the cost of the stenographic deposition filed in court and of copies of the stenographic deposition for each party from the surplus fund and charge the costs thereof against the unsuccessful party if the claimant's right to participate or continue to participate is finally sustained or established in the appeal. In the event the deposition is taken and filed, the physician whose deposition is taken is not required to respond to any subpoena issued in the trial of the action. The court, or the jury under the instructions of the court, if a jury is demanded, shall determine the right of the claimant to participate or to continue to participate in the fund upon the evidence adduced at the hearing of the action.

(E) The court shall certify its decision to the commission and the certificate shall be entered in the records of the court. Appeals from the judgment are governed by the law applicable to the appeal of civil actions.

(F) The cost of any legal proceedings authorized by this section, including an attorney's fee to the claimant's attorney to be fixed by the trial judge, based upon the effort expended, in the event the claimant's right to participate or to continue to participate in the fund is established upon the final determination of an appeal, shall be taxed against the employer or the commission if the commission or the administrator rather than the employer contested the right of the claimant to participate in the fund. The attorney's fee shall not exceed forty-two hundred dollars.

(G) If the finding of the court or the verdict of the jury is in favor of the claimant's right to participate in the fund, the commission and the administrator shall thereafter proceed in the matter of the claim as if the judgment were the decision of the commission, subject to the power of modification provided by section 4123.52 of the Revised Code.

(H)

(1) An appeal from an order issued under division (E) of section 4123.511 of the Revised Code or any action filed in court in a case in which an award of compensation or medical benefits has been made shall not stay the payment of compensation or medical benefits under the award, or payment for subsequent periods of total disability or medical benefits during the pendency of the appeal. If, in a final administrative or judicial action, it is determined that payments of compensation or benefits, or both, made to or on behalf of a claimant should not have been made, the amount thereof shall be charged to the surplus fund account under division (B) of section 4123.34 of the Revised Code. In the event the employer is a state risk, the amount shall not be charged to the employer's experience, and the administrator shall adjust the employer's account accordingly. In the event the employer is a self-insuring employer, the self-insuring employer shall deduct the amount from the paid compensation the self-insuring employer reports to the administrator under division (L) of section 4123.35 of the Revised Code. If an employer is a state risk and has paid an assessment for a violation of a specific safety requirement, and, in a final administrative or judicial action, it is determined that the employer did not violate the specific safety requirement, the administrator shall reimburse the employer from the surplus fund account under division (B) of section 4123.34 of the Revised Code for the amount of the assessment the employer paid for the violation.

(2)

(a) Notwithstanding a final determination that payments of benefits made to or on behalf of a claimant should not have been made, the administrator or self-insuring employer shall award payment of medical or vocational rehabilitation services submitted for payment after the date of the final determination if all of the following apply:

(i) The services were approved and were rendered by the provider in good faith prior to the date of the final determination.

(ii) The services were payable under division (I) of section 4123.511 of the Revised Code prior to the date of the final determination.

(iii) The request for payment is submitted within the time limit set forth in section 4123.52 of the Revised Code.

(b) Payments made under division (H)(1) of this section shall be charged to the surplus fund account under division (B) of section 4123.34 of the Revised Code. If the employer of the employee who is the subject of a claim described in division (H)(2)(a) of this section is a state fund employer, the payments made under that division shall not be charged to the employer's experience. If that employer is a self-insuring employer, the self-insuring employer shall deduct the amount from the paid compensation the self-insuring employer reports to the administrator under division (L) of section 4123.35 of the Revised Code.

(c) Division (H)(2) of this section shall apply only to a claim under this chapter or Chapter 4121., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code arising on or after July 29, 2011.

(3) A self-insuring employer may elect to pay compensation and benefits under this section directly to an employee or an employee's dependents by filing an application with the bureau of workers' compensation not more than one hundred eighty days and not less than ninety days before the first day of the employer's next six-month coverage period. If the self-insuring employer timely files the application, the application is effective on the first day of the employer's next six-month coverage period, provided that the administrator shall compute the employer's assessment for the surplus fund account due with respect to the period during which that application was filed without regard to the filing of the application. On and after the effective date of the employer's election, the self-insuring employer shall pay directly to an employee or to an employee's dependents compensation and benefits under this section regardless of the date of the injury or occupational disease, and the employer shall receive no money or credits from the surplus fund account on account of those payments and shall not be required to pay any amounts into the surplus fund account on account of this section. The election made under this division is irrevocable.

(I) All actions and proceedings under this section which are the subject of an appeal to the court of common pleas or the court of appeals shall be preferred over all other civil actions except election causes, irrespective of position on the calendar.

This section applies to all decisions of the commission or the administrator on November 2, 1959, and all claims filed thereafter are governed by sections 4123.511 and 4123.512 of the Revised Code.

Any action pending in common pleas court or any other court on January 1, 1986, under this section is governed by former sections 4123.514, 4123.515, 4123.516, and 4123.519 and section 4123.522 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 493, §1, eff. 9/17/2014.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.16, HB 123, §101, eff. 7/29/2011.

Effective Date: 08-06-1999; 2006 SB7 10-11-2006; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

Related Legislative Provision: See 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 493, §7.