State ex rel. Adams v. Teledyne Ohiocast

Decision Date14 December 1994
Docket NumberNo. 93-2139,93-2139
Citation71 Ohio St.3d 182,642 N.E.2d 1093
PartiesThe STATE ex rel. ADAMS, Appellant, v. TELEDYNE OHIOCAST et al., Appellees.
CourtOhio Supreme Court

In 1978, appellant-claimant, Claster Adams, alleged that he had contracted bilateral hearing loss from excessive noise exposure during the course of his twenty-six-year employment with appellee Teledyne Ohiocast. A June 22, 1978 letter from Dr. William H. Saunders stated:

"This letter will describe your recent consultation in June 1978.

"We found you with a profound or severe sensorineural or inner ear type hearing loss in the right ear and a moderate sensorineural hearing loss in the left ear, cause undetermined. An electronystagmographic (balance mechanism) was normal.

"The special x-ray films of the skull (internal auditory meati) were normal and there seems to be no evidence of tumor.

"I would advise you to have another audiogram made in about one year and for most purposes, I think you would do well to wear a hearing aid in the left ear. A hearing aid would not be satisfactory to use in a noisy environment."

Appellee Industrial Commission of Ohio eventually allowed the claim as an occupational disease. In 1980, claimant was examined by commission specialist Dr. Richard H. Wehr, who reported that claimant "states that he is not doctoring at the present time, because of the 3 or 4 people that he has been to have all told him that nothing more can be done." The report's later illegibility makes it impossible to tell whether Wehr characterized claimant's loss as reversible or irreversible. He concluded by assessing a fifteen percent permanent partial impairment.

In 1981, claimant moved to reactivate his claim, seeking, among other things, temporary total disability compensation from May 1, 1980 to September 1, 1981. Claimant's C85A claim reactivation form was completed by Dr. Nicholas B. Pavlatos, who listed past and future treatment as periodic office calls for "examination, injections and medication" and certified claimant as temporarily and totally disabled over the above period.

Protracted litigation on other matters delayed the C85A's consideration until 1987. Several medical reports were submitted in the interim. Dr. Pavlatos' October 7, 1985 narrative documented that claimant's condition did not respond to treatment and had essentially remained unchanged. He noted that "[h]e was last seen and examined by me on November 23, 1982 at which time he was advised that I was unable to prescribe anything different and was unable to help with his deafness."

Claimant was also examined by Drs. Arthur Gardikes and William Licklider. The latter found claimant's hearing loss to be "permanent and I know of no medication that will reverse this hearing loss." Dr. Gardikes found that claimant could not return to his old job and that "his hearing loss is permanent and especially in comparison to the previous audiograms, he has not demonstrated any gain of his hearing."

A district hearing officer denied temporary total disability compensation, finding that claimant's condition was permanent. The decision was affirmed administratively. Claimant filed a complaint in mandamus in the Court of Appeals for Franklin County, alleging that the commission abused its discretion in denying temporary total disability compensation. The appellate court returned the cause to the commission for further consideration and amended order.

Soon thereafter, the employer solicited a statement from Dr. Saunders that read in its entirety:

"In response to your letter of May 13, 1991, concerning Claster Adams, it is my opinion that the patient's hearing loss was permanent at the time I examined him in June, 1978."

The commission again denied temporary total disability compensation, writing:

"The claimant's request for the payment of temporary total compensation for the period 5/1/80 to the present time is denied. The Staff Hearing Officers find that the claimant's condition has been a permanent one since June, 1978. The Staff Hearing Officers further find that there is no evidence of new and changed circumstances in the claimant's condition since that time. This order is based on the medical reports of Dr. Saunders."

Claimant again sought a writ of mandamus from the appellate court. Finding "some evidence" of permanency, the court of appeals denied the writ.

This cause is now before this court upon an appeal as of right.

Michael J. Muldoon, Hilliard, for appellant.

Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease and Anne C. Griffin, Columbus, for appellee Teledyne Ohiocast.

Lee Fisher, Atty. Gen., and Jetta Mencer, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee Indus. Com'n.

PER CURIAM.

Claimant contends that so long as he cannot return to his former position of employment--an allegation that the parties do not seriously dispute--he is entitled to temporary total disability compensation, regardless of the durational character of his condition. He alternatively claims that permanency, if relevant, is unsubstantiated. For the reasons to follow, w...

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4 cases
  • State ex rel. Roadway Express, Inc. v. Indus. Com'n of Ohio
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court
    • August 5, 1998
    ...State ex rel. Ramirez v. Indus. Comm. (1982), 69 Ohio St.2d 630, 23 O.O.3d 518, 433 N.E.2d 586; State ex rel. Adams v. Teledyne Ohiocast (1994), 71 Ohio St.3d 182, 184, 642 N.E.2d 1093, 1095. Eaton I not only vanquished the commission's former practice of continuing TTD pending disposition ......
  • State ex rel. McMaster Carr Supply Company v. Industrial Commission of Ohio, 2009 Ohio 4832 (Ohio App. 9/10/2009)
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Appeals
    • September 10, 2009
    ...of `permanency' as used in [State ex rel. Ramirez v. Indus. Comm. (1982), 69 Ohio St.2d 630] premature. State ex rel. Adams v. Teledyne Ohiocast (1994), 71 Ohio St.3d 182, 185, citing State ex rel. Kaska v. Indus. Comm., 63 Ohio St.3d 743, 1992-Ohio-7. Accordingly, "`[p]ermanency * * * may ......
  • Frank Cervone v. Dayton Technologies
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Appeals
    • May 8, 1998
    ... ... State Insurance Fund. This narrow rule is consistent with the ... at ... 241. The Felty court cited State ex rel. Roope ... v. Indus. Comm. (1982), 2 Ohio St.3d 97 ... rel. Adams v. Teledyne Ohiocast (1994), 71 Ohio St.3d ... 182; ... ...
  • State v. Morgan
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court
    • December 14, 1994

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