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State ex rel. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Industrial Commission of Ohio

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

June 25, 2019

State ex rel. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Relator,
v.
Industrial Commission of Ohio et al., Respondents.

          IN MANDAMUS

         On brief:

          Dawson & Associates, LLC, Shane M. Dawson, and Jared L. Buker, for relator.

         On brief:

          Dave Yost, Attorney General, and Natalie J. Tackett, for respondent Industrial Commission of Ohio.

          DECISION

          BROWN, J.

         {¶ 1} Relator, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has filed an original action requesting this court issue a writ of mandamus ordering respondent, Industrial Commission of Ohio ("commission") to: (1) vacate its order denying relator's request to suspend the claim of respondent, Bradley Dillon ("claimant"), pursuant to R.C. 4123.651(C), (2) vacate its order in which the commission refused to exercise its continuing jurisdiction over the above order, and (3) order the commission to suspend claimant's claim.

         {¶ 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 of this court who issued the appended decision, including findings of facts and conclusions of law. In that decision, the magistrate recommended this court deny relator's request for a writ of mandamus on the basis the commission did not abuse its discretion in finding relator's medical release was not substantially similar to that provided by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation; the magistrate further concluded the commission did not abuse its discretion in refusing to exercise its continuing jurisdiction over the matter. No objections have been filed to that decision.

         {¶ 3} Pursuant to this court's independent review, we adopt the magistrate's decision as our own, including the findings of fact and conclusions of law contained therein, with the exception of the language in the magistrate's conclusions of law regarding assumptions arising from the fact claimant was not represented by counsel. In accordance with the magistrate's recommendation, relator's request for a writ of mandamus is denied.

         Writ of mandamus denied.

          BRUNNER and NELSON, JJ., concur.

         APPENDIX

         Rendered on March 13, 2019

         IN MANDAMUS

         MAGISTRATE'S DECISION

          STEPHANIE BISCA MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         {¶ 4} Relator, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has filed this original action requesting this court issue a writ of mandamus ordering respondent Industrial Commission of Ohio ("commission") to (1) vacate its order denying relator's request to suspend the claim of respondent Bradley Dillon ("claimant") pursuant to R.C. 4123.651(C), (2) to vacate its order wherein the commission refused to exercise continuing jurisdiction over the aforementioned order, and (3) order the commission to suspend claimant's claim.

         Findings of Fact:

         {¶ 5} 1. According to claimant, he sustained a work-related injury on June 9, 2016 while working for relator. Claimant asserts that, while reinstalling a ceiling tile, a small piece of insulation fell into his left eye.

         {¶ 6} 2. On March 16, 2017, relator sent a letter to claimant requesting he sign enclosed medical authorization forms and provide the names and addresses of any medical providers who had examined him since January 2004. Specifically, that request provides:

The law firm of Dawson & Myers, LLC represents the above-designated employer in all matters relating to the workers' compensation claim referenced above. Enclosed are medical authorizations which we ask you sign and return to us, authorizing us to obtain complete copies of the records from Groveport Occupational Health, Eye Specialists, Inc., Dr. Daryl Kaswinkel, M.D., and Diley Ridge Medical Center. Also, we are including an Identification of Medical Providers form, and we ask that you provide us with the names and addresses of any physicians, chiropractors, hospitals, clinics, therapists or other medical providers who have examined and/or treated you for the period January 1, 2004, through the present for any issues involving your eyes. Finally, enclosed are blank authorizations which we ask you to sign and date only.
Please return the releases and provider disclosure forms by March 30, 2017. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

(Emphasis sic.)

         Relator provided the following release for claimant to sign and return:

This will authorize you to permit Dawson & Myers, LLC or its duly authorized representative, to examine and make copies of my case records, inpatient and outpatient hospital or clinic medical records, any medical records relating to counseling, treatments and surgeries which you have rendered to me, at any time, including, but not limited to, emergency room records, histories, health history questionnaires, findings, nurses notes, rehabilitation records, x-ray films, x-ray readings and diagnosis, office notes, progress notes, reports, all diagnostic tests results and reports, all correspondence between physicians or attorneys or any other records in your custody or control.
The authorization to release medical information shall remain in effect for one year. However, I understand that I have the right to revoke this authorization at any time by providing written notice of such revocation to the employer or employer's representative. My decision to revoke this authorization will be effective, except in the case that any provider referenced above has relied on my authorization and release of information.
I understand the providers) referenced above may not make my completing and signing this authorization a condition of my treatment.
I understand the parties I am authorizing the release of information to are exempt from the federal privacy requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) as they administer workers' compensation programs. Information disclosed pursuant to this authorization may be redisclosed by them and may no longer be protected by the federal privacy ...

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