In State ex rel. KPGW Holding Co., L.L.C. v Indus. Comm., 2012-Ohio-5035 the Tenth Appellate District of the Court of Appeals held that mandamus relief was not available when a party had failed to appeal an order of the Industrial Commission. This was an unusual case as the claimant had filed two claims requesting that each be allowed for bilateral carpal syndrome. The first claim was denied by a District Hearing Officer. Seven months later the claimant filed a claim for the same medical condition and that claim was allowed by a District Hearing Officer. The employer did not appeal this order.
The employer sought mandamus relief to request that the Industrial Commission be ordered to exercise continuing jurisdiction as the employer contended that the second claim was barred by res judicata. In order to be entitled to mandamus relief a party must establish that there is not an adequate remedy in law. Here, the employer had the opportunity to appeal the allowance of the second claim and did not do so. The court held that mandamus relief cannot be provided when the employer had “…an adequate administrative remedy” which was this appeal.
This case shows that all orders of the Industrial Commission and Bureau of Workers’ Compensation must always be closely scrutinized. When in doubt, I suggest that one seek legal counsel and avoid any unexpected results.