State ex rel. Smith v. Indus. Comm’nAnnotate this Case
George Smith suffered an injury while working for Ohio State University. The Industrial Commission of Ohio allowed Smith’s claim for bilateral inguinal hernia. Tragically, Smith suffered brain damage resulting from postoperative complications from surgery to repair the hernia, leaving him in a persistent vegetative state. A doctor later concluded that Smith had bilateral vision and hearing loss caused by the loss of brain function. Smith sought additional scheduled awards for the loss of vision and hearing. However, no test could be performed to determine whether Smith suffered an actual loss of sight or hearing, and the medical evidence showed that Smith was unable to process sights and sounds because of damage to his brain, not because of any injury to his eyes or ears. The Industrial Commission denied Smith’s request for additional compensation based on the lack of any objective testing showing vision or hearing loss. The Supreme Court affirmed the Commission’s denial of Smith’s claim, holding that the evidence supported a finding that Smith suffered from a loss of brain-stem function, a loss that has not been included in the schedule for compensation set forth in Ohio Rev. Code 4123.57.