SIEEB Decision Cannot Be Appealed to Common Pleas
Baltimore Ravens, Inc. v. Self-Insuring Employers Evaluation Bd. (3/27/02), 94 Ohio St.3d 449.
Issue: Can Self-Insuring Employers Evaluation Board orders be appealed under R.C. 119.12?
Background: The Self-Insuring Employers Evaluation Board (SIEEB) heard five self-insured complaints filed against the Baltimore Ravens (when they were known as the Cleveland Browns). The SIEEB found that the Baltimore Ravens had “consistently refused to pay workers’ compensation awards, acting in a manner inconsistent with its legal obligations.” As a result, the SIEEB fined the Baltimore Ravens a total of $50,000 ($10,000 for each complaint).
The Baltimore Ravens appealed the SIEEB decision to the Common Pleas Court of Franklin County, pursuant to R.C. 119.12. The SIEEB moved to dismiss, claiming that R.C. 119.12 does not apply to its decisions. Common Pleas denied the SIEEB motion to dismiss, found that R.C. 119.12 applies to decisions of the SIEEB, and entered judgment in favor of the Baltimore Ravens. The Court of Appeals affirmed.
Decision: The Supreme Court reverses (6-1).
The Supreme Court finds that the SIEEB is part of the BWC. As part of the BWC, the SIEEB is included in the R.C. 119.12 exemption of BWC adjudication decisions from the provisions of R.C. 119.12. Therefore, the Common Pleas Court lacked jurisdiction.
Editor’s Comment: The Court indicates that mandamus provides the proper method for a self-insuring employer to challenge a SIEEB decision.