The State ex rel. Stallion Oilfield Construction, LLC, Relator,
Industrial Commission of Ohio et al., Respondents.
MANDAMUS ON OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE'S DECISION
Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, and Corrine S. Carman, for
Yost, Attorney General, and Eric J. Tarbox, for respondent
Industrial Commission of Ohio.
Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, Richard L. Magill,
and Robert J. Foley, for respondent Roger W. Hutchison.
1} Relator, Stallion Oilfield Construction, LLC,
("Stallion") brings this original action seeking a
writ of mandamus ordering respondent Industrial Commission of
Ohio ("commission") to vacate its March 2, 2018
corrected order granting respondent Roger W. Hutchinson's
request for temporary total disability ("TTD").
Pursuant to the following analysis, we overrule
Stallion's objections and adopt the magistrate's
March 26, 2019 decision in its entirety and deny the
requested writ of mandamus.
2} Stallion employed Hutchinson. At the time of his
hire, he acknowledged receipt of Stallion's Employee
Handbook Drug and Alcohol Policy ("handbook") via a
signed document dated January 16, 2014. The handbook included
the following relevant sections:
7.1 The Company reserves the right to test any employee * * *
for drugs and alcohol * * *. Acceptance of testing is a
mandatory condition of employment. * * *.
7.2 Refusal to cooperate in testing is a violation of this
policy and will result in termination of employment. * * *.
7.3 Employees are tested in the following situations, unless
prohibited by state law:
Post-accident - Employees are subject to
drug and alcohol testing when the Company reasonably believes
they may have caused or contributed to an accident resulting
in damage to Company equipment, or injury to a person, or
when an incident in which they were involved, though not
resulting in such damage or injury, created a high potential
for such damage or injury, as defined in the HSE Incident
Reporting and Investigation Procedures' definition of
• Random - All employees are subject to random drug
testing. * * *.
• The tests are unannounced, spread throughout the year,
and the selection of employees is made by a scientifically
• Periodic - Employees may be subject to periodic drug
testing when the testing is scheduled and announced in
11.1 Any employee * * * who engages in conduct in
violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary
action up to, and including termination.
• Employees - if the results of a drug test are
positive, the employee is terminated[.] * * *.
(Emphasis sic.) (App'x C of the Handbook at 8-11.) The
handbook's definition section describes a positive test
for drugs as follows:
Test positive for drugs - to take a drug
test that results in a concentration of amphetamines,
barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids, cocaine,
methadone, opiates, phencyclidine, or propoxyphene, which
exceeds the cutoff levels established by the government or
other reasonable standards. These are subject to change by
the U.S. government or applicable state law. Listed below are
the more common names and drugs of the same family:
Opiates * * * Morphine, Codeine; Screen Level 2000(ng/ml);
Confirm Level 2000 (ng/ml)
(Emphasis sic.) (App'x C of the Handbook at 13.)
3} On March 19, 2017, Hutchinson suffered an
accidental back injury while in the course of his employment
with Stallion. His physician released him to return to work
with restrictions. Before returning to work, Hutchinson
applied for and received workers' compensation benefits
for back strain. Hutchinson subsequently returned to Stallion
in a light-duty capacity. On April 18, 2017, Stallion
submitted Hutchinson to a random drug test. Hutchinson was
said to have tested "positive" for morphine,
codeine, and opiates but no concentrations of each were
provided in that result. Stallion terminated Hutchinson's
employment on April 28, 2017 because of his drug screen.
4} Thereafter, Hutchinson filed a motion asking that
his claim be additionally allowed for "intervertebral
disc disorder with myelopathy" and subsequently filed an
application for TTD compensation. (May 3, 2017 Mot.) Stallion
opposed, arguing that utchinson had ...