The high court’s decision December 21 in State ex rel. Lynch vs. Industrial Commission of Ohio upheld a March 1998 finding by Ohio’s Industrial Commission that Henry Lynch’s ongoing crack-cocaine enterprise constituted “sustained remunerative employment.”
The Industrial Commission terminated Lynch’s benefits, and an appeals court earlier this year upheld the termination of benefits.
Court records show that Lynch suffered an industrial accident injury in 1967. In 1997 he was indicted for possession, sale and distribution of crack that was earning him $300 to $500 per week, the court records state.
After pleading guilty, Lynch was incarcerated and Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation moved to terminate his permanent total disability compensation. The case eventually reached the state Supreme Court, where Lynch argued, among other points, that his activities cannot be considered sustained employment because they are illegal.
The Ohio Supreme Court disagreed and found that Lynch “cannot use the illegality of his pursuits as a shield,” and he “exchanged labor for pay on a sustained basis.”
The ruling upheld an appeals court decision on the matter.