Summary

Sue practices employment law focusing on workers’ compensation and OSHA law and procedure. She represents self-insured and state-funded employers during all stages of their workers’ compensation matters, including claims investigation and management, administrative hearings, litigation, appeals on mandamus before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Ohio, and settlement. 

In addition to several years in private practice, Sue worked as an Assistant Ohio Attorney General in the Workers’ Compensation Section.

Sue regularly writes and presents on workers’ compensation and OSHA topics. Her programs are presented at safety council meetings, continuing education seminars, and internal client education and training events.

Awards

  • Mission Speaker, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, 2022

  • Graduate, Leadership Columbus, Class of 2021

  • Rising Star, Ohio Super Lawyers, (Workers' Compensation: Employer/Insurance), 2019

  • Ohio Women's Bar Foundation Leadership Institute, Class of 2016-2017

Education

  • Ohio Northern University College of Law (2004)
  • The Pennsylvania State University (2001)

    B.A., Psychology

Admissions

  • State - Ohio
  • Federal - U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Notable Matters

COVID-19 Management Counseling
Helped clients understand their legal obligations under new labor and employment laws passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Drafted work-from-home, leave, and reopening policies; advised on mass layoff obligations, terminations, furloughs, unemployment issues, and alternative work arrangements; and recommended best practices for essential workers, safe reopening, employee testing and health assessments, employee travel, and face covering requirements.

Workers’ Compensation Settlement Defense
Represented a medical center in defending a workers’ compensation settlement that was challenged by an employee, who, despite agreeing to the settlement, argued that the settlement amount was insufficient to cover their interests for the reimbursement of medical costs. Defended this settlement in front of the Ohio Industrial Commission, which is the adjudicating body of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, allowing the medical center to leave its fully negotiated settlement agreement intact.

Testimony Before The Ohio Senate
Testified before the Ohio Senate on behalf of the National Federation of Independent Businesses regarding House Bill 308, which impacts workers’ compensation benefits for first responders diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder due to their employment.

Corporate Employment Reorganization
Implemented a corporate reorganization for a privately owned retailer operating in numerous states. This involved merging approximately 13 corporations out of existence and establishing one consolidated entity to employ all Ohio employees. Work was completed in five business days due to the impending close of the client’s fiscal year.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty Under Workers' Compensation
Defended a client against a claim of breach of fiduciary duty under Ohio workers' compensation laws governing self-insured employers. Secured a favorable settlement and avoided re-opening workers' compensation claims against the client.

Protection of BWC Funds
Pursued injunctive relief against the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) on behalf of several national and state trade associations to prevent the OBM from using up to $2 billion in Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation funds for state purposes. Secured memorandum of understanding on behalf of the associations prohibiting the OBM from raiding the funds and preventing other state agencies from taking similar action in the future.

Cost Control on Workers' Comp Claims
Used both aggressive and strategic techniques to help a new client with multiple derailed claims get their claims costs under control. For example, fighting to have only the necessary treatment allowed and unrelated conditions denied, we successfully argued that an injured worker had reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) to terminate compensation. Out of options, the injured worker ultimately settled her claim.

Temporary Total Compensation Termination
Successfully terminated temporary total compensation causing an overpayment of almost $20,000 through the use of external surveillance and social media.

Reduction of School District's Liability
Worked with the Ohio Attorney General's Office to reduce a school district's liability for a common pleas court settlement to zero dollars. The school district paid nothing to have the case dismissed with prejudice and did not suffer any effect on its premiums as a result.

Case Dismissal
Persuaded several Ohio courts to dismiss cases on the merits through Motions for Summary judgment for reasons such as failure to attend depositions, failure to respond to timely response to discovery, and failure to exhaust administrative options.

Protection of Ohio Employer Rights
Advise employer organizations on the potential impact of House and Senate bills, as well as rule-changes proposed by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation and Industrial Commission of Ohio. This involves consulting with the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation on behalf of employer organizations to draft and revise rules that protect the rights of Ohio employers.

BWC Adjudicating Committee
Successfully argued cases before the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation's Adjudicating Committee on independent contractor issues, re-rates due to gross misrepresentation, and improper application of BWC rules.

Ohio Senate Advocacy
Participated in Senate meetings and provided information to various statewide employers' organizations regarding recent legislation.

Speeches and Publications

  • Speaker, "Drug Testing and the Workers’ Compensation System,” Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, August 2022
  • Speaker, “Got Remote Employees? Best Practices to Avoid remote workers’ compensation injuries," Greater Cincinnati Human Resources Association, July 2022
  • Panelist, “Alphabet Soup: ADA, FMLA and Workers’ Compensation,” April 2022
  • Author, "Rebuttable Presumption," The Human Resource People, January 2022
  • Speaker, "Defending Employers Against Workers' Compensation Claims," OMLA November 2021
  • Speaker, "Navigating the FMLA and ADA in Ohio Workers' Compensation Claims," Ohio Manufacturers Association, October 2021
  • Author, "Reducing Workers' Compensation and OSHA Liability During COVID-19 and Beyond," American Health Law Association Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law, July 2021
  • Speaker, "Navigating FMLA, ADA and OSHA in Ohio Workers' Compensation Claims," Ohio Safety Congress & Expo, March 2021
  • Speaker, "Impact of COVID on Hospitals as Employers," Ohio Society of Health Care Human Resources Administrators Fall Conference, October 2020
  • Speaker, "BWC fraud: What to know and how to avoid it," Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce - Coffee & Commerce, September 2018

Professional Affiliations

  • Ohio State Bar Association

    Board Appointed Professional Ethics Committee, 2022-present
    Workers’ Compensation Committee, 2004-2019
    Board Appointed Arbitrator Regarding Fee Disputes, 2009-2017
    Leadership Academy Certification, 2006

  • Ohio Women's Bar Association

    Trustee, 2017

  • Supreme Court of Ohio Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program

    Mentor, 2009-present

  • Central Ohio Self-Insurers Association

    Member, 2007-present

  • Bureau of Workers' Compensation

    Member, Rules Advisory Taskforce, 2014-present

  • BWC Ohio Safety Congress

    Chair, Workforce Diversity Committee,2015-2017

  • Columbus Legal Aid Society

    Volunteer, 2011-2017

Community Involvement

  • Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America

    Volunteer, 2010-present
    Board Member, 2018-2020