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Employer loses WC claim when it fails to call witness

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Linda Pounds, a resident assistant at Whetstone Gardens & Care Center, injured her back while changing a patient’s bed linens. Once she filed a workers’ comp claim, that’s about the only thing Pounds and the center agreed on.

According to Pounds, she left work immediately after getting hurt and filled out workers’ comp paperwork. However, the center claimed she became verbally abusive with the patient and then voluntarily resigned from her position. If Pounds resigned, she would not be entitled to workers’ comp benefits.

The Ohio Industrial Commission sided with the employer and denied Pounds’ application for benefits. She appealed to the Ohio Court of Appeals, which noticed something missing. The center had not put its manager on the stand even though he allegedly heard Pounds’ “tirade” at the patient.

The court ruled “no testimony, no tirade” and ordered the Industrial Commission to pay her benefits.

Always document circumstances surrounding an employee’s termination. Get statements as soon as possible from all witnesses and supervisors.

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