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Court of Appeals Finds Discharge Due to Positive Drug Test May Not Terminate TTD Compensation

In State ex rel. Cordell v. Pallet Co., Inc., 2014-Ohio-5561, the 10th District Court of Appeals addressed whether a discharge resulting from a post-injury drug test disqualified a claimant from temporary total disability (TTD) compensation.  In this case, the claimant tested positive for marijuana and morphine following a tow motor accident on a loading dock.  The positive drug test constituted a violation of the employer’s drug free work policy.  Although the employer argued the Louisiana-Pacific doctrine disqualified the claimant from TTD compensation, the court of appeals disagreed on two bases.  First, the court found a valid Louisiana-Pacific termination does not preclude TTD compensation if the claimant remains disabled at the time of termination.  Second, the court found pre-injury work rule infractions, which are closely connected to the injury itself, do not preclude TTD compensation under State ex rel. Gross v. Indus. Comm. 115 Ohio St.3d 249, 2007-Ohio-4916.  Click here to read the court’s full decision.

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