State ex rel. Anderson v. Industrial Commission of Ohio, 79-1122

Decision Date14 May 1980
Docket NumberNo. 79-1122,79-1122
Citation404 N.E.2d 153,62 Ohio St.2d 166,16 O.O.3d 199
Parties, 16 O.O.3d 199 The STATE ex rel. ANDERSON, Appellant, v. INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF OHIO, Appellee, et al.
CourtOhio Supreme Court

On November 22, 1972, appellant, Rowena Anderson, sustained an injury in the course of and arising out of her employment with ITT Thompson Industries, Inc. Her claim for workers' compensation was allowed for a herniated lumbar disc. She received compensation for temporary total disability until November 13, 1977, and, since that time, has continued to receive compensation for temporary partial disability.

Appellant was examined at the commission's request by Dr. Maria U. Ryan, on October 14, 1975, and by Dr. J. John Bock, on November 5, 1975. Dr. Ryan recommended that the commission continue the 50 percent temporary partial disability for another two to three months and then re-examine and re-evaluate appellant. Dr. Bock determined that appellant was 20-25 percent permanent partially disabled. While Dr. Bock referred to appellant's "psychological problems that tend to exaggerate * * * (her) subjective complaints," his and Dr. Ryan's examinations were limited to the spinal injury.

On March 4, 1976, appellant filed a motion with the Industrial Commission asking that she be found permanently and totally disabled. Then, on June 30, 1976, she filed a motion with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation asking that a psychiatric disability also be recognized under her claim. In support of this motion she filed medical reports from Dr. Beryl M. Oser, her attending physician, and Dr. Evan J. Halas, a psychiatrist. Dr. Oser concluded that appellant is permanently and totally disabled due to her back injury. Dr. Halas, examining appellant on August 11, 1976, found that due to her November 22, 1972, industrial injury she had developed a "traumatic neurosis," resulting in a moderate psychiatric disability, but combined with her orthopedic disability, he felt that she could "safely be considered as totally and permanently disabled as to sustained, gainful employment."

The commission then referred appellant to Dr. Robert R. Kessler, an orthopedist, and Dr. Richard Villarreal, a psychiatrist. Dr. Kessler, examining appellant on April 20, 1976, estimated a 50 percent permanent partial disability from her back injury, but that combined with her neurosis she was, in fact, permanently and totally disabled. Dr. Villarreal, examining her on February 26, 1977, found a direct and casual relationship between appellant's anxiety and depression and her November 22, 1972, industrial injury. It was his opinion that she had a 25-30 percent psychiatric disability "above and beyond any physical disability benefits that have been granted her." Dr. Villarreal expressed no opinion as to whether the combined effect of the back and psychiatric injuries rendered appellant permanently and totally disabled.

On April 27, 1977, appellant's claim was allowed for "depressive neurosis with anxiety." On March 21, 1978, however, the commission issued an order finding that appellant was not permanently and totally disabled. On January 12, 1979, she filed a complaint in mandamus in the Court of Appeals for Franklin County. That court denied the writ on June 19, 1979, relying principally upon a report from Dr. J. Quinn Dorgan, Jr., who became appellan...

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