“Ohio Supreme Court sides with workers’ comp fraud”

“The employer fired Onderko for his ‘deceptive’ attempt to obtain workers’ compensation benefits for a non-work-related injury. He injured his knee while pumping gas on his way home from work, and falsely tried to claim that the gas-pump injury was an exacerbation of an earlier work injury.” In a decision with only one dissent, the Ohio Supreme Court has now held that the genuineness of the injury was irrelevant to his ability to sue for being fired over it: “It no longer matters whether the workers’ compensation injury underlying a retaliation claim is legitimate or illegitimate, or the employee filing such a claim is truthful or a perpetrator of a fraud.” [Jon Hyman]


  • The holding is not quite as depressing as it appears.. Many states have similar cases staring that the claim surrounding the retaliation issue may ultimately prove unsuccessful, as often medical evidence determines good faith causation questions. The holding is that he has a prima facie case, and ultimately the employer can probably point to a handbook/policy based good faith, non retalitory basis for terming him. I realize that will cost the employer more money

  • This reminds me of the “Brussels sprout” worker’s comp. case, affirmed by the Alaska Supreme Court, http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ak-supreme-court/1009331.html where it appears that a pipeline worker at the company cafeteria swallowed whole Brussels sprouts and needed emergency surgery due to a complete bowel obstruction.

    The court ruled that it was a work related injury and that the employee was entitled to worker’s comp. coverage.