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State ex rel. Witt v. Industrial Commission of Ohio

Supreme Court of Ohio

May 2, 2018

The State ex rel. Witt, Appellant,
v.
Industrial Commission of Ohio et al., Appellees.

          Submitted February 27, 2018

          Appeal from the Court of Appeals for Franklin County, No. 15AP-804

          Law Office of Thomas Tootle and Thomas Tootle, for appellant.

          Michael DeWine, Attorney General, and Kevin J. Reis, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee Industrial Commission.

          Robert W. Bright, for appellee Christian Morris Construction, Inc.

          PER CURIAM.

         {¶ 1} This is an appeal from the denial of a writ of mandamus in a workers' compensation matter. Prior to filing his complaint for a writ of mandamus, appellant, Billy R. Witt Jr., appealed a decision of the Bureau of Workers' Compensation recalculating his full weekly wage ("FWW") and average weekly wage ("AWW"). Appellee Industrial Commission upheld the recalculation and instructed the bureau to determine how much Witt had previously been overpaid and to recoup that amount through reduction of his future benefits.

         {¶ 2} Witt then filed the above-mentioned complaint for a writ of mandamus in the Tenth District Court of Appeals, seeking to compel the commission to vacate its order retroactively adjusting his benefit rate. The court concluded that the bureau and the commission had had jurisdiction to correct the miscalculation in Witt's FWW and AWW and that the commission had not abused its discretion in upholding the bureau's adjustment of Witt's benefit rate. The court denied the writ of mandamus, and Witt appealed.

         {¶ 3} For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgment of the court of appeals.

         Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 4} On July 2, 1997, Witt was injured in a work-related motor-vehicle accident while employed by appellee Christian Morris Construction, Inc. His workers' compensation claim was initially allowed for a concussion, contusions and open wounds, and a sprained pelvis. The commission subsequently allowed additional medical conditions.

         {¶ 5} The bureau initially calculated Witt's FWW as $416.63 and his AWW as $365.86. As of January 14, 2014, based on those calculations, Witt had been paid compensation in the amount of $196, 163.98.

         {¶ 6} In January 2014, Witt applied for permanent-total-disability compensation. The commission granted the application and awarded compensation beginning November 19, 2013.

         {¶ 7} On March 2, 2015, the bureau notified Witt that it had recalculated his FWW and AWW after discovering that Witt's benefit rates had previously been incorrectly calculated. His FWW, originally set at $416.63, was now $422.81. His AWW was adjusted from $365.86 to $263.83. The bureau's order stated that any overpayment that had resulted from the ...


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