Was the Commission's Exercise of Continuing Jurisdiction a Mistake of Law or a Mistake of Fact ?
In State ex rel. Gobich v. Indus. Comm. (2004), 103 Ohio St.3d 585, 2004 Ohio 5990, 817 N.E.2d 398, the court held that the commission had improperly exercised continuing jurisdiction when it vacated an SHO's order awarding PTD compensation by pronouncing that the SHO's order is based upon "clear mistakes of law."
In Gobich, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation ("bureau") had moved for a commission reconsideration of the SHO's order.
In Gobich, the court found that the bureau's complaint with the SHO's award of PTD was an evidentiary one:
The bureau produced evidence that it believed established a capacity for sustained remunerative employment, and the SHO found otherwise. Royal, however, has specifically stated that a legitimate disagreement as to evidentiary interpretation does not mean that one of them was mistaken and does not, at a minimum, establish that an error was clear. Id., 95 Ohio St.3d at 100, 766 N.E.2d 135.
It is also unclear whether the reason for continuing jurisdiction is a mistake of law or a mistake of fact. While the commission claimed the former, it cited no misapplication of the law. to the contrary, it referred only to an omission of fact. Royal, moreover, has categorized evidentiary disputes as factual. This is significant because Nicholls, Foster, and Royal are uncompromising in their demand that the basis for continuing jurisdiction be clearly articulated. the Commission's current justification is ambiguous. Id. at P17-18.
In Gobich, at P15, the court states:
The presence of one of these prerequisites must be clearly articulated in any commission order seeking to exercise reconsideration jurisdiction. Nicholls; State ex rel Foster v. Indus. Comm. (1999), 85 Ohio St.3d 320, 1999 Ohio 461, 707 N.E.2d 1122. This means that the prerequisite must be both identified and explained. Id. It is not enough to say, for example, that there has been a clear error of law. the order must also state what that error is. Nicholls, 81 Ohio St.3d at 459, 692 N.E.2d 188; Foster at 322, 707 N.E.2d 1122. This ensures that the party opposing reconsideration can prepare a meaningful defense to the assertion that continuing jurisdiction is warranted. Royal, 95 Ohio St.3d at 100, 766 N.E.2d 135. It also permits a reviewing court to determine whether continuing jurisdiction was properly invoked. Id. at 99-100, 766 N.E.2d 135.