This Note begins by examining the complex history behind workers' compensation subrogation rights in the state of Ohio. This historical timeline flows from the period when statutory subrogation was non-existent in Ohio, to the first version of a subrogation statute in 1993, and finally to the broadened and revised statute in 1995. A detailed examination of the Supreme Court of Ohio's decision in Holeton v. Crouse Cartage Company follows the historical overview and focuses on the unconstitutionality of Ohio Revised Code section 4123.931. Additionally, the popular competing views gleaned from both the dissent in Holeton and the Bureau of Workers' Compensation's Motion for Reconsideration are discussed to demonstrate the wide scope of disagreement this decision has created in Ohio. In portraying both sides of the various subrogation arguments, this note asserts that the decision reached in Holeton was correct. Having set the stage, the discussion turns to the various controversies the Holeton decision has generated in Ohio and those it will generate in the future. This discussion focuses on whether the temporary revival of the 1993 subrogation statute 2 is an appropriate course of action. Additionally, the possible refund of all subrogation payments received by the Bureau as a result of the improper and unconstitutional application of the 1995 statute is also discussed. Finally, this Note provides insight as to what the General Assembly should consider while drafting a new subrogation statute. This Note asserts that the 1993 statute should not be considered revived, and that the Bureau of Workers' Compensation should be enjoined from asserting any subrogation rights under the 1995 statute. Therefore, the refund of all subrogation payments unconstitutionally received by the Bureau of Workers' Compensation through section 4123.931 is warranted.
Note, Why the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Must Refund Fifty Million Dollars in Subrogation Payments: A Detailed Look into the State of Subrogation in Ohio after Holeton v. Crouse Cartage Company, 50 Clev. St. L. Rev. 73 (2002-2003)