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Not all of the Supreme Court Justices appreciate the theory of voluntary abandonment of employment in defending workers’ compensation cases

Jacobs v. Industrial Commission of Ohio, 139 Ohio St.3d 86, 2014-Ohio-1560

The Ohio Supreme Court decided on April 15, 2014 that “when a claimant is discharged because of actions that were initiated by the claimant and that were not related to the industrial injury, a voluntary separation from employment has occurred that breaks the casual relationship between the industrial injury and the loss of earnings.” However, Justice O’Neill wrote a scathing dissenting decision calling into question the defense of voluntary abandonment of employment in workers’ compensation cases. We have the feeling this defense will be chipped away at over time. As always, proper documentation and proper record keeping will always help minimize risks of future claims.

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