State ex rel. Meeks v. Ohio Brass Co.

Decision Date25 April 1984
Docket NumberNo. 83-671,83-671
Citation10 OBR 482,10 Ohio St.3d 147,462 N.E.2d 389
Parties, 10 O.B.R. 482 MEEKS, Appellant, v. OHIO BRASS COMPANY, Appellee, et al.
CourtOhio Supreme Court

Relator-appellant, Gerald A. Meeks, was injured in 1976 while in the course and scope of his employment with respondent Ohio Brass Company. Relator's workers' compensation claim was allowed for "lumbosacral strain superimposed upon previous low back condition." In September 1979 relator filed an application for determination of percentage of permanent partial disability with respondent-appellee, Industrial Commission of Ohio. This application was granted on August 11, 1980, based upon the commission's determination that relator had a permanent partial disability of thirteen percent. This determination was not appealed.

On October 2, 1980 relator filed an application seeking an increase in permanent partial disability benefits. This application was supported by the report of Dr. Joseph A. Ridgeway, who concluded that the relator had a permanent partial disability of thirty percent. Dr. Ridgeway's report conflicted, however, with the report of Dr. R.C. Stastny, who examined relator at the request of the Ohio Brass Co. and concluded that relator " * * * exhibits no perceptible disability in regards to his back." The matter was heard before a district hearing officer of the commission, who issued an order that granted relator an increase in permanent partial disability to fifteen percent. Relator filed an application for reconsideration of that order, and, at the request of the commission, relator was examined by Dr. D.D. Kackley, who reported:

"On the bases of orthopedic evaluation today, this patient has some slight loss of low back reserve and he experiences some intermittent myospasm on occasions. However he is carrying out full normal work activity without significant difficulty. At this time there is no medical evidence to support an increase in PPI beyond the 15% he has already been awarded. This would be based upon total loss of low back reserve accounting for approximately 40% impairment and with the 15% figure being a fair estimate of his present impairment."

After a hearing before a staff hearing officer of the commission, the district hearing officer's order--setting relator's permanent partial disability level at fifteen percent--was affirmed and the application for reconsideration was denied.

Relator then brought this action in mandamus in the Court of Appeals for Franklin County. The complaint alleged that the commission's order was an abuse of discretion, and sought the issuance of a writ to compel the commission to vacate its order and to enter a new order finding relator to have a permanent partial disability of thirty percent.

Michael J. Muldoon, Columbus, for appellant.

Anthony J. Celebrezze, Jr., Atty. Gen., and Bradley J. Finn, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

PER CURIAM.

When the factual findings of the Industrial Commission are supported by some evidence in the record, this court will not disturb those findings. State ex rel. Rossetti v. Indus. Comm. (1983), 5 Ohio St.3d 230, 232, 450 N.E.2d 1151; State ex rel. Allerton v. Indus. Comm. (1982), 69 Ohio St.2d 396, 397, 433 N.E.2d 159 ; State ex rel. G.F. Business Equip., Inc. v. Indus. Comm. (1981), 66 Ohio St.2d 446, 447, 423 N.E.2d 99 .

Relator-appellant asserts that there was no evidence before the commission upon which it could have based its determination that he had a fifteen percent permanent partial disability. It is appellant's contention that the report of Dr. Kackley cannot be relied upon by the commission, because it addresses only the question of appellant's physical impairment and not his disability.

Appellant is correct in noting that the terms "impairment" and "disability," as applied by the Industrial Commission, are not synonymous. The Medical Examination Manual issued by the commission defines the terms, on pages 1 and 2, as follows:

" 'Impairment' is a medical term measuring the amount of the claimant's anatomical and/or mental loss of function as a result of the allowed injury/occupational disease. The examining physician evaluates impairment.

" 'Disability' is a legal term indicating the effect that the medical impairment has on the claimant's ability to work. Disability is determined by the Industrial Commission and its hearing officers."

In medical reports, however, these terms are not always used with precision. Dr. Kackley's report in the instant case is phrased in terms of "impairment," but it is apparent that his conclusions were based upon considerations relevant to a determination of disability. Dr. Kackley noted in his report that appellant was "carrying out full normal work activity without significant difficulty." He also stated that there was "no medical evidence to support an increase in PPI beyond the 15% he has already been awarded." This statement logically can refer only to appellant's previous award of permanent partial disability.

Though Dr. Kackley used imprecise terminology in his report, it is apparent that he expressed an opinion as to appellant's disability; and his report is sufficient evidence to support the commission's determination in this case.

Accordingly, the judgment of the court of appeals is affirmed.

Judgment affirmed.

FRANK D. CELEBREZZE, C.J., and WILLIAM B. BROWN, SWEENEY, LOCHER, HOLMES and JAMES P. CELEBREZZE, JJ., concur.

CLIFFORD F. BROWN, J., concurs separately.

CLIFFORD F. BROWN, Justice, concurring.

I concur in the judgment of this court and the analysis of the facts which results in affirmance of the court of appeals' denial of a writ...

To continue reading

Request your trial
37 cases
  • State ex rel. Rouch v. Eagle Tool & Mach. Co., 85-1608
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court
    • September 23, 1986
    ...the extent to which the claimant is thereby disabled. This court recognized these differing roles in Meeks v. Ohio Brass Co. (1984), 10 Ohio St.3d 147, 148-149, 462 N.E.2d 389, where the definitions of impairment and disability are set forth as " ' "Impairment" is a medical term measuring t......
  • State, ex rel. Elliott v. Industrial Com'n of Ohio
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court
    • August 20, 1986
    ...of impairment which is a concern separate and distinct from the issue of disability. See, generally, State, ex rel. Meeks, v. Ohio Brass. Co. (1984), 10 Ohio St.3d 147, 148, 462 N.E.2d 389. To conclude, R.C. 4123.519 expressly indicates that this court may not act as an appellate body with ......
  • State ex rel. Noll v. Industrial Com'n of Ohio
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court
    • January 24, 1991
    ...440; State, ex rel. Hudson, v. Indus. Comm. (1984), 12 Ohio St.3d 169, 12 OBR 237, 465 N.E.2d 1289; and Meeks v. Ohio Brass Co. (1984), 10 Ohio St.3d 147, 10 OBR 482, 462 N.E.2d 389. However, a meaningful review can be accomplished only if the commission prepares orders on a case-by-case ba......
  • State ex rel. Jeffrey v. Industrial Com'n of Ohio
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court
    • August 13, 1986
    ...of his opinion as to "disability," i.e., that appellant "could return to his former job activities." See Meeks v. Ohio Brass Co. (1984), 10 Ohio St.3d 147, 148-149, 462 N.E.2d 389; and State, ex rel. Dallas, v. Indus. Comm. (1984), 11 Ohio St.3d 193, 464 N.E.2d 567. Both Drs. Friedman and F......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT