State ex rel. Hutt v. Frick-Gallagher Mfg. Co.

Decision Date20 June 1984
Docket NumberNo. 83-1531,FRICK-GALLAGHER,83-1531
Citation464 N.E.2d 1005,11 OBR 497,11 Ohio St.3d 184
Parties, 11 O.B.R. 497 The STATE ex rel. HUTT, Appellant, v.MFG. CO.; Industrial Commission of Ohio, Appellee.
CourtOhio Supreme Court

Appellant filed an action in mandamus in the Court of Appeals for Franklin County alleging that the commission's order constituted an abuse of discretion and requesting that the commission be ordered to find appellant permanently and totally disabled. The court of appeals denied the writ.

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

Appellant, Willard D. Hutt, was injured in the scope and course of his employment on September 20, 1971. His workers' compensation claim was allowed for "sprain of the lumbosacral joint; strain of the paravertebral lumbar muscles; aggravation of pre-existing degenerative condition of the spine."

On March 7, 1975 appellant quit work at the age of sixty-five, stating that he did so because he "hurt to [sic ] much, and didn't think * * * [he] could do a good job." He has received the maximum amount of temporary total disability compensation allowable. On January 21, 1982 appellant filed a motion with the Industrial Commission ("commission"), appellee, requesting that he be declared permanently and totally disabled.

Appellant was examined by Dr. D.D. Kackley, an orthopedic specialist, on February 18, 1982. Dr. Kackley reported that "this patient is totally impaired and is not capable of any part of his previous type of work activity." The medical reports of Dr. Patrick C. Trimble and Dr. Ben R. Wiltberger were submitted by appellant. Both Trimble and Wiltberger felt appellant was permanently and totally disabled. The motion was heard on July 27, 1982. The commission thereafter issued an order which stated in pertinent part:

" * * * [T]he Commission * * * find[s] that the claimant is not permanently and totally disabled; that therefore the Application is denied. The finding and award is based on the following medical reports: Dr. Blackburn, Dr. McCloud, Dr. Turner and Dr. Kackley * * *." (Emphasis added.)

Dr. J.H. Blackburn examined appellant on March 28, 1978. In his report he concluded that appellant had "no more than a 10% impairment based on * * * this claim." Dr. Blackburn did not address the issue of disability nor did he address the question of whether appellant was capable of returning to his former position.

Dr. W.J. McCloud examined appellant on September 4, 1979. In his report he concluded that appellant did "have loss of lumbar and reserve function that may be related in part to aggravation of a pre-existing degenerative condition in his spine." Dr. McCloud did not address the issue of permanent total disability.

Dr. Robert Turner examined appellant on April 11, 1980. In his report he stated that there was "no question that * * * [appellant] is permanently and totally impaired." Dr. Kackley, as noted above, reported that appellant was not capable of returning to his former position.

Michael J. Muldoon, Columbus, for appellant.

Anthony J. Celebrezze, Jr., Atty. Gen., Lee M. Smith and James E. Davidson, Asst. Attys. Gen., for appellee.

PER CURIAM.

This case presents facts which are strikingly similar to those found in the case of State, ex rel. Mitchell, v. Robbins & Myers, Inc. (1983), 6 Ohio St.3d 481, 453 N.E.2d 721. In the instant case, as in that case, the reasoning forwarded by the commission in its order denying the claim and the reasoning now advanced upon appeal are markedly different. The order in the instant case simply stated that "the claimant is not permanently and totally disabled." The commission now argues that appellant is not permanently and totally disabled as the result of the allowed conditions, even though he may well be permanently and totally disabled as the result of previously existing conditions. "[T]his court has recognized that ' * * * there must be a causal connection between an injury arising out of and in the course of a worker's employment and his harm or disability * * *[,]' Gilbert v. Midland-Ross (1981), 67 Ohio St.2d 267, 270 [423 N.E.2d 847, 21 O.O.3d 168] * * * " (id. at 482, 453 N.E.2d 721). The commission's order, however, does not state the reason for denying compensation was that appellant's disability was not causally related to his injury. Instead it states that appellant does not suffer from permanent total disability. Following the rule established in Mitchell, this unqualified conclusion will not be embellished but rather will be construed "in a single fashion." Id. at 483, 453 N.E.2d 721.

Mitchell also requires that the commission "specifically state which evidence and only that evidence which has been relied upon to reach their conclusion, * * *." Id. at 483-484, 453 N.E.2d 721. Inasmuch as the commission mentioned four specific medical reports, it may be assumed that this requirement...

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26 cases
  • State, ex rel. Elliott v. Industrial Com'n of Ohio
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court
    • August 20, 1986
    ...determination regarding permanent total disability must address the claimant's ability to work. State, ex rel. Hutt, v. Frick-Gallagher Mfg. Co. (1984), 11 Ohio St.3d 184, 185, 464 N.E.2d 1005. The phrase "ability to work" may in some cases mean more than simply the physical ability to perf......
  • State ex rel. Jeffrey v. Industrial Com'n of Ohio
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court
    • August 13, 1986
    ...orders must state which evidence the commission relied upon in reaching its conclusion. See State, ex rel. Hutt, v. Frick-Gallagher Mfg. Co. (1984), 11 Ohio St.3d 184, 185, 464 N.E.2d 1005 (the commission's mentioning of medical reports of four doctors meets the Mitchell requirement); State......
  • State ex rel. Kroger Co. v. Industrial Commission of Ohio
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court
    • January 7, 1998
    ...v. Indus. Comm. (1984), 15 Ohio St.3d 87, 89, 15 OBR 188, 190, 472 N.E.2d 718, 720; State ex rel. Hutt v. Frick-Gallagher Mfg. Co. (1984), 11 Ohio St.3d 184, 185, 11 OBR 497, 498, 464 N.E.2d 1005, 1006. Thus, even if the questionnaire were removed from evidentiary consideration, the commiss......
  • [State ex rel. Smoot v. [Kbo], Inc.
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Appeals
    • June 12, 2014
    ...remunerative employment. {¶ 26} Relator cites several cases in support of his argument. Those cases include State ex rel. Hutt v. Frick-Gallagher Mfg. Co., 11 Ohio St.3d 184 (1984), State ex rel. Haddix v. Indus. Comm., 70 Ohio St.3d 59 (1994), State ex rel. Pierce v. Indus. Comm., 77 Ohio ......
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