Before further litigation proceedings can take place in the court system, the party must exhaust all administrative remedies first. This means going through the entire Hearing process at the administrative level which is explained in our earlier blog of February 25, 2015. Failing to do this will result in any further proceedings pursued in court to be dismissed. There are a few different types of appeals/actions that can be instituted after the administrative process has been exhausted:
1. Common Pleas Court Appeals
These types of appeals are usually for what are known as “right to participate” issues and are governed by Ohio Revised Code 4123.512. Generally, these issues concern an initial allowance of a claim or any additional conditions sought to be added in the claim as a result of the injury. Appeals of this sort can be brought by either the injured worker or the employer. Trials may be held before a judge or jury. However, if a trial does take place it is of particular interest to note that the parties to the action are prohibited from mentioning what happened or what the result was at the administrative level, i.e. at the Industrial Commission hearings. If an injured worker succeeds in his or her appeal at the Common Pleas Court then they will have the right to participate in the workers’ compensation system for the conditions that were addressed at the trial. On the other hand, if an employer succeeds in their appeal, it will have the effect of denying the injured worker the right to participate in the workers’ compensation system for the conditions addressed or for the workplace injury altogether. After a decision has been rendered by the Common Pleas Court, a party has the ability to appeal that decision to the Court of Appeals where the Common Pleas Court is located.
2. Mandamus Actions
This type of action is filed when the contested issue concerns the award of monetary damages. All mandamus issues are filed with the 10th District Court of Appeals in Columbus, Ohio, regardless of where the case is located in the state. If the case originates in the 10th District Court of Appeals, an appeal to the Supreme Court of Ohio is called an appeal of right. A mandamus issue does not necessarily have to originate in the 10th District Court of Appeals, however. If it begins in the Common Pleas Court in the county where the claim started then the appeal of right is to the Court of Appeals which could result in a discretionary appeal to the Supreme Court of Ohio.