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State ex rel. Campbell v. Industrial Commission of Ohio

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

September 19, 2013

State of Ohio ex rel. Norman G. Campbell, Relator,
v.
Industrial Commission of Ohio and Bill Wilbur & Sons Plumbing Co., Respondents.

Philip J. Fulton Law Office, and Chelsea J. Fulton, for relator.

Michael DeWine, Attorney General, and Sandra E. Pinkerton, for respondent Industrial Commission of Ohio.

DECISION

SADLER, J.

IN MANDAMUS ON OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE'S DECISION

(¶ 1} In this original action, relator, Norman G. Campbell, requests a writ of mandamus ordering respondent, Industrial Commission of Ohio ("commission"), to vacate its order that denied him an increase in his percentage of permanent partial disability ("PPD") compensation and to enter an order finding that he is entitled to such an increase.

(¶ 2} Pursuant to Civ.R. 53 and Loc.R. 13(M) of the Tenth District Court of Appeals, this matter was referred to a magistrate who issued a decision, including findings of fact and conclusions of law, which is appended hereto. The magistrate concluded the commission did not abuse its discretion in denying relator's application for an increase in his percentage of PPD. Accordingly, the magistrate recommended that this court deny the requested writ of mandamus.

I. RELATOR'S OBJECTIONS

(¶ 3} Relator has filed the following four objections to the magistrate's decision:

[I.] The magistrate erred by determining that newly allowed conditions do not constitute new and changed circumstances if located within the same body part as other conditions already allowed.
[II.] The magistrate erred by reweighing the evidence.
[III.] The magistrate's decision failed to address relator's arguments regarding State ex rel. Mitchell v. Robbins & Meyers, Inc., 6 Ohio St.3d 481, 483-484, 453 N.E.2d 721 (1983).
[IV.] The magistrate erred by analyzing the AMA5 guides incorrectly.

II. DISCUSSION

(¶ 4} No objections have been filed to the magistrate's findings of fact. After an independent review of the same, we adopt those findings of fact as our own.

A. First Objection

(¶ 5} In his first objection, relator contends the magistrate erred in concluding newly allowed conditions do not constitute new and changed circumstances if located within the same body part as other conditions already allowed. A review of the magistrate's decision reveals the magistrate did not render such a broad conclusion. Rather, the magistrate concluded that, because relator's new conditions involved the same body part, the commission, in its discretion, could determine there had been no change in relator's percentage of PPD. In doing so, the magistrate was distinguishing the facts presented herein from those at issue in State ex rel Grim v. Indus. Comm., 10th Dist No. 07AP-761, 2008-Ohio-1800, the case relied upon by relator.

(¶ 6} Accordingly, we overrule relator's first objection to the magistrate's decision.

B. Second Objection

(¶ 7} In his second objection, relator contends the magistrate erred by reweighing the evidence as an independent factfinder. Contrary to relator's position, the magistrate did not reweigh the evidence but, instead, provided an explanation of how the commission could have reached the conclusions it did based on the evidence presented. What relator submits is a reweighing of the evidence, we find to be an explanation of why relator's position lacks merit.

(¶ 8} Accordingly, we overrule relator's second objection to the magistrate's decision.

C. Third Objection

(¶ 9} In his third objection, relator contends the magistrate failed to address his arguments based on State ex rel. Mitchell v. Robbins & Myers, Inc., 6 Ohio St.3d 481 (1983), which requires the commission to state the evidence upon which it relied to reach its conclusions. Though not specifically citing Mitchell, the magistrate's decision sufficiently explains why the commission's decision satisfactorily complies with Mitc ...


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