You may be aware of the Ohio Supreme Court’s two decisions this week which upheld the General Assembly’s attempted restriction of an injured worker’s ability to bring suit for an employer intentional tort. The upshot of these decisions is that the General Assembly’s statute–Ohio Revised Code Section 2745.01–is constitutional. The question left largely unanswered by the opinions, though, is “What is the status of the law going forward?”
For starters, it is clear that workers injured due to the removal of an equipment safety guard are not only able to bring a case, but they are entitled to a presumption that their employer deliberately caused the injuries. Beyond that, the question of what “deliberate intent” means is unsettled–but we can make an excellent argument that it does not mean the mental desire to injure an employee. Based on the General Assembly’s decision to attach the presimption of intent to injuries connected to a guard removal–a physical, not mental exercise–then an employee may still argue for a case where he or she can demonstrate so-called “deliberate intent” through physical actions.
All of this is not to say that the Ohio Supreme Court did injured workers any favors in either decision. In fact, the road going forward is more difficult in many ways. Any injured worker who may have an employer intentional tort claim needs experienced, knowledgable, and successfull attorneys to navigate the complex area of the law. The personal injury attorneys at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. have handled hundreds of these cases. Please contact us for a free consultation regarding any injury you received at work.