Worker's aptitude for learning, supervisory experience derail benefits
State ex rel. Brunner v. P A C E, Inc., No. 11AP-891 (Ohio Ct. App. 12/18/12).
The Ohio Court of Appeals denied permanent total disability benefits to a 77-year-old worker who sustained injuries in a fall.
What it means:
In Ohio, age alone cannot be a basis for granting PTD benefits.
Summary: A 77-year-old worker sustained a work-related injury when he tripped over a drain pipe and fell face forward onto a driveway. He sought permanent total disability benefits, asserting that he was not employable due to his advanced age and other physical limitations. The Ohio Court of Appeals held that he was not entitled to PTD benefits because he was capable of sedentary work.
The worker did not challenge a finding that he was physically capable of performing sedentary work with no overhead work. The court said that the Industrial Commission recognized that the worker was of an advanced age and that his age supported a finding of disability. However, age alone could not be a basis for awarding PTD benefits.
The commission identified a number of positive nonmedical factors that lessened the effect of age. The worker had a high school education and the ability to read, write, and perform basic math. The commission found that he had an aptitude for learning as demonstrated by his ability to obtain a certificate in insurance sales. The worker's work history was also a positive factor because he demonstrated the ability to work independently and to exercise judgment. He also had some supervisory experience as a dairy farmer. The court noted that he was working well into his 70s. The court agreed with the commission's finding that the worker's past employment experience created skills that were transferable to sedentary work.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
March 25, 2013
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