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Supreme Court Finds Loss of Use of a Finger Requires Medical Opinion on Impairment or Extent of Loss

In Varney v. Indus. Comm., 2014-Ohio-5510, the Supreme Court addressed the standard for determining loss of use of a finger under R.C. 4123.57.  Below, the court of appeals found the Commission abused its discretion in denying the claimant a loss of use award because there was evidence the claimant lost the use of two-thirds of his finger.  The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals because the statute does not provide for loss of the finger based on a numerical measure of the loss of use.  Under the statute, awards for loss of use can be made based on the loss of specific phalanges of the finger.  The Court held that in the absence of a statutory numerical measure for the loss of a finger, the proper standard for measuring loss is a physician’s opinion on impairment or extent of loss.  Click here to review the Court’s full opinion.

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