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Court of Appeals to Decide Constitutionality of R.C. 4123.512

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In 2006, the General Assembly amended numerous sections of the workers’ compensation statute pursuant to Senate Bill 7.  Among the amendments was an amendment to R.C. 4123.512(D), which pertains to court appeals and provides “the claimant may not dismiss the complaint without the employer’s consent if the employer is the party that filed the notice of appeal….”  This provision has not been challenged since the amendments became effective nearly 9 years ago.  On July 12, 2013, Shannon Ferguson filed a declaratory judgment action against the State of Ohio in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, challenging the constitutionality of R.C. 4123.512(D), in a case captioned Ferguson v. State of Ohio.  On December 31, 2014, the common pleas court granted the declaratory judgment, finding the statute unconstitutional as a violation of due process, equal protection, and separation of powers.  The State appealed the case to the 8th District Court of Appeals.  The appeal has been fully briefed, and after oral argument, will become decisional.  Regardless of the outcome in the court of appeals, there is a substantial likelihood this case will be decided by the Ohio Supreme Court because of its constitutional implications.  Moreover, this is a very important case to employers and claimants alike.  If you have any questions about the Ferguson case, please contact us through our website at www.bugbeelawyers.com.

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