Allen v. Eastman Kodak Co.

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
Writing for the CourtHOLMES; STRAUSBAUGH, P. J., and McCORMAC
Citation4 O.O.3d 179,362 N.E.2d 665,50 Ohio App.2d 216
Decision Date03 February 1976
Parties, 4 O.O.3d 179 ALLEN et al., Appellants, v. EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY et al., Appellees. *

Page 216

50 Ohio App.2d 216
362 N.E.2d 665, 4 O.O.3d 179
ALLEN et al., Appellants,
v.
EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY et al., Appellees. *
Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District, Franklin County.
Feb. 3, 1976.

[362 N.E.2d 666] Syllabus by the Court

The workmen's compensation law of Ohio, as enacted in the state Constitution and statutes, does not violate individual protections afforded by the United States Constitution.

Bradley & Farris and Walter Kaufmann, Columbus, for appellants.

Lane, Alton & Horst, Columbus, for appellees Eastman Kodak Co. and Eastman Chemical Co.

Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease, Robert E. Leach and Edgar A. Strause, Columbus, for appellees Borden Inc., Edward L. Mahoney and Dewey Bennett.

Wright, Harlor, Morris & Arnold, Columbus, for appellee William T. Paul, M. D.

Crabbe, Brown, Jones, Potts & Schmidt and William T. McCracken, Columbus, for appellee Ashland Chemical Co.

Crabbe, Brown, Jones, Potts & Schmidt and Theodore D. Sawyer, Columbus, for appellee Arco Chemicals.

Young & Alexander and Thomas E. Jenks, Dayton, for appellee Celanese Chemical Co.

Alexander, Ebinger, Holschuh, Fisher & McAlister, Columbus, for appellee Exxon Chemical Co.

Page 217

Glander, Brant, Ledman & Newman, Columbus, for appellee Texaco, Inc.

Power, Jones & Schneider and S. Noel Melvin, Columbus, for appellee Union Carbide Co.

Wright, Harlor, Morris & Arnold and Charles C. Warner, Columbus, for appellees Shell Chemical Co. and Tag Chemical Co.

HOLMES, Judge.

This matter involves the appeal of a summary judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County as granted to certain of the defendants in an action brought by these plaintiff employees of the defendant Borden, and its Columbus Coated Fabrics Division, against such employer, as well as a member of manufacturers and distributors of certain chemicals used by the Columbus Coated Fabrics company in its manufacturing process, which chemicals were alleged to have occasioned serious and crippling injuries to the plaintiff employees.

The complaint also named as defendants Mr. Edward L. Mahoney, the president of Columbus Coated Fabrics, Mr. Dewey Bennett, the safety director of such company, and Dr. William T. Paul, the physician of Columbus Coated Fabrics.

The defendant employer, as well as Mr. Mahoney, Mr. Bennett, and Dr. Paul, filed motions for summary judgment. Such motions were based upon Section 35, Article II of the Ohio Constitution, R.C. 4123.74, which provisions preclude an action for damages by an employee against his own employer, and upon R.C. 4123.741, which precludes an action for damages by 'any other employee' as against any 'employee of any employer.'

Upon granting summary judgment for these defendants herein named, the claims as against the manufacturers and distributors[362 N.E.2d 667] of the complained of chemicals were left pending for further proceedings.

The assignments of error of the plaintiffs, appellants herein, are as follows:

'1. The trial court erred in sustaining the Defendants' Borden, Inc., Edward L. Mahoney, Dewey Bennett, and

Page 218

William T. Paul's Motion for a Summary Judgment on the basis of the Ohio Workmen's Compensation laws, Article II, Section 35, Ohio Constitution; and Sections 4123.74 and 4123.741, Revised Code, for these Sections unconstitutionally deprived the Plaintiffs of their 5th Amendment, U. S. Constitution, right to property without due process.

'2. The trial court erred in sustaining the Defendants' Borden, Inc., Edward L. Mahoney, Dewey Bennett, and William T. Paul's Motion for a Summary Judgment on the basis of the Ohio Workmen's Compensation laws, Article II, Section 35, Ohio Constitution; and Sections 4123.74 and 4123.741, Revised Code, for these Sections unconstitutionally deprived the Plaintiffs of their 5th Amendment, U. S. Constitution, right to life and liberty without due process of law.

'3. The trial court erred in sustaining the Defendants' Borden, Inc., Edward L. Mahoney, Dewey Bennett, and William T. Paul's Motion for a Summary Judgment on the basis of the Ohio Workmen's Compensation laws, Article II, Section 35, Ohio Constitution; and Sections 4123.74 and 4123.741 Revised Code, for these Sections unconstitutionally deprived the Plaintiffs of their 14th Amendment, U. S. Constitution, right to equal protection of the laws.'

Basically, such assignments of error, and the rather voluminous brief filed by the plaintiffs in support thereof, argue that the workmen's compensation law of the state of Ohio, as provided for by the Ohio Constitution and statutory enactment, is contrary to the Constitution of the United States in that such law denies these and other Ohio employees the due process of law as provided by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, and denies such employees the 'equal protection' of the law as provided for by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

We must reject all of the plaintiffs' assignments of error.

Much of the plaintiffs' argument in support of their claim of the unconstitutionality of the workmen's compensation law is based upon their premise that the courts must review the purposes and the legislative intent of such

Page 219

state laws in the light of the changing patterns of manufacturing processes, and the increased use of new, exotic, and potentially physically dangerous types of chemicals and synthetics.

The argument takes the form that such new and dangerous chemicals could not have been in the minds of the framers of the Constitution of Ohio and the minds of the legislature when the code sections were enacted, as such would relate to the right of action that employees should be ever granted where personal injuries have been received. Plaintiffs further emphasize that the continuing right to bring an action for injuries sustained in the course of one's employment should particularly not be denied where it is shown that the employer has not complied with certain safety standards for the protection of such employees.

A number of cases cited by the plaintiffs in support of the aforestated propositions were decided prior to the adoption of the fountainhead for the authority of the original workmen's compensation provision, Section 35, Article II, of the Ohio Constitution, as adopted in 1912.

This constitutional provision provided generally for the elimination of rights of action by employees against employers for injuries received by the employees. It initially provided that rights of action could still be maintained where 'lawful requirements' for the protection of lives, health and safety of employees had not been met.

However, effective January 1, 1924, this latter reference to rights of action where 'lawful requirements' had not been met was amended to specifically preclude a suit for...

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16 practice notes
  • State ex rel. Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Industrial Com'n of Ohio, No. 88-2038
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • July 3, 1990
    ...compensation system is a product of a compromise between employers and employees. The court in Allen v. Eastman Kodak Co. (1976), 50 Ohio App.2d 216, 225 [4 O.O.3d 179, 362 N.E.2d 665], " 'The workers' compensation laws of Ohio may well not be perfection in their attempt to compensate emplo......
  • Edward Blankenship v. Cincinnati Milacron Chemicals, Inc., 81-LW-2840
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • January 14, 1981
    ...116; Sebek v. Cleveland Graphite Bronze Co. (1947), 148 Ohio St. 963, 76 N.E.2d 892; Allen v. Eastman Kodak Co. (10th Dist. 1976), 50 Ohio App. 2d 216, 362 N.E.2d 665; Bankers Indem. Ins. Co. v. Cleveland Hardware & Forging Co. (8th Dist. 1945), 77 Ohio App. 121, 62 N.E.2d 180, appeal dismi......
  • Dirksing v. Blue Chip Architectural Products, Inc., No. CA93-08-156
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • November 7, 1994
    ...to be constitutional. Goetz v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. (C.A.9, 1983), 710 F.2d 561, 564. In Allen v. Eastman Kodak Co. (1976), 50 Ohio App.2d 216, 4 O.O.3d 179, 362 N.E.2d 665, the Tenth District Court of Appeals concluded that Ohio's workers' compensation laws, as enacted in its Consti......
  • Perry v. Hartford Acc. and Indem. Co.
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • August 13, 1984
    ...441 F.2d 1239, 1242 (5th Cir.1971), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 1017, 92 S.Ct. 679, 30 L.Ed.2d 665 (1972); Allen v. Eastman Kodak Co., 50 Ohio App.2d 216, 4 Ohio Ops.3d 179, 362 N.E.2d 665 In the circumstance where a third party is liable for the employee's injury, section 68 allows the employee......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • State ex rel. Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Industrial Com'n of Ohio, No. 88-2038
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • July 3, 1990
    ...compensation system is a product of a compromise between employers and employees. The court in Allen v. Eastman Kodak Co. (1976), 50 Ohio App.2d 216, 225 [4 O.O.3d 179, 362 N.E.2d 665], " 'The workers' compensation laws of Ohio may well not be perfection in their attempt to compensate emplo......
  • Edward Blankenship v. Cincinnati Milacron Chemicals, Inc., 81-LW-2840
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • January 14, 1981
    ...116; Sebek v. Cleveland Graphite Bronze Co. (1947), 148 Ohio St. 963, 76 N.E.2d 892; Allen v. Eastman Kodak Co. (10th Dist. 1976), 50 Ohio App. 2d 216, 362 N.E.2d 665; Bankers Indem. Ins. Co. v. Cleveland Hardware & Forging Co. (8th Dist. 1945), 77 Ohio App. 121, 62 N.E.2d 180, appeal dismi......
  • Dirksing v. Blue Chip Architectural Products, Inc., No. CA93-08-156
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • November 7, 1994
    ...to be constitutional. Goetz v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. (C.A.9, 1983), 710 F.2d 561, 564. In Allen v. Eastman Kodak Co. (1976), 50 Ohio App.2d 216, 4 O.O.3d 179, 362 N.E.2d 665, the Tenth District Court of Appeals concluded that Ohio's workers' compensation laws, as enacted in its Consti......
  • Perry v. Hartford Acc. and Indem. Co.
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • August 13, 1984
    ...441 F.2d 1239, 1242 (5th Cir.1971), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 1017, 92 S.Ct. 679, 30 L.Ed.2d 665 (1972); Allen v. Eastman Kodak Co., 50 Ohio App.2d 216, 4 Ohio Ops.3d 179, 362 N.E.2d 665 In the circumstance where a third party is liable for the employee's injury, section 68 allows the employee......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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