Monast Law Office -February 2020

Workers’ COMPanion


FEBRUARY 2020 | 614-334-4649 | 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Bldg 2, Suite 2117, Upper Arlington, OH 43220-2913


Around Valentine’s Day, I can’t help but recall the time I had a close encounter with a unique sort of heart. When I was in sixth grade, my teacher moonlighted butchering cattle. One morning, I stumbled into the classroom half-asleep and went to the drinking fountain in the back. With my eyes closed, I took a long, refreshing drink. When I opened my eyes, I realized I was .3 inches away from a huge beef heart in the sink! To say I was startled would be putting it mildly. My teacher had brought the heart in for show-and-tell. I don’t remember if it was actually close to Valentine’s Day, but I remember feeling a bit creeped out when he cut open the heart and ran his fingers through the ventricles. This wasn’t the only time I foundmyself up close and personal with unexpected animal parts. As a child, my dad spent his summers on his uncle’s farm, where he developed interesting tastes in beef. In high school, I’d come downstairs to find a huge beef tongue, calf brains, or some other gross thing sitting on the counter. Back when I worked at the Bureau, a gal I worked with had her own unique palate. She’d get chitlins from a nearby farmers market. Chitlins are the lower intestines of a pig, and boy did they smell like the lower intestines of a pig! I never tried them, but she loved them. With food, I think I’m adventurous to an extent (It’s obvious from looking at me, I’mnot missingmany meals!). I like sushi, but I draw the line at sea urchin—and snails. To be honest, I really enjoy cooking. I think it’s relaxing—plus, I know exactly what’s inside! I had to learn how to fend for myself in the kitchen at an early age. My dad was on the road a lot, working traveling sales, and my mother worked at Macy’s. I generally came home before my parents did, so, even in elementary school, I had to fix my own meals, usually egg sandwiches or mac and cheese. When my mom was “Food has a way of connecting us with the people we love.”

Two ofmy sons learning to cook pancakes and bacon on a scout tripwith a couple friends

home, she was a master in the kitchen, as she grew up feeding lots of farm hands. I remember sitting at the counter and watching her whip together great meals without a recipe. This sparked my interest in cooking. In Boy Scouts, of course, you cook what you bring with you and learn as you go. (For example, don’t try to cook pasta by dumping it into cold water.) By the time I was in college and law school, I had very little money and cooked my own meals. I discovered Kroger had what they laughingly called “stuffed clams”for two dollars a half dozen. I ate so much spaghetti, I could barely look at it for a couple years afterward! Later I took occasional cooking classes just for fun and learned it’s OK to improvise ingredients. All of my sons know how to cook, which is something I’m very proud of. I know it’s also something their wives are very grateful for. Food has a way of connecting us with the people we love. For example, my brother is quite persnickety about his fudge. It’s based on our mother’s recipe, and he’s adamant about getting the fudge out of the mixing bowl and into the pan just the way our mother did it. Meanwhile, when I make chili, I make it mild enough for my wife to enjoy before jacking the spice in my own bowl up to eleven. Amy doesn’t like to cook, but she loves my chili and is happy to clean the kitchen when I cook dinner (and vice versa, of course). This good balance is part of the reason Amy is my true valentine this and every year.

Whatever’s on your Valentine’s Day menu, be it beef hearts or homemade fudge, I hope you have a great meal with the one you love!

–Jim Monast

1 614-334-4649




We’ve all heard the silly statement before: “The moon is made of cheese!” Although we may not fall for it as adults, when we were children, our eyes twinkled with possibility as we gazed up at the full moon and wondered if it really could be made of cheese. While science says no, it’s still an entertaining phrase that holds a valuable lesson for adults and children alike. The motif first appeared in folklore during the High Middle Ages as a proverb invented by a French rabbi. The full phrase is actually “The moon is made of green cheese,” and serves to warn against the dangers of credulity, or the willingness to believe in things that aren’t based on reasonable proof or knowledge.

attacked by the humans. The wolf escaped, and in his fury, he attempted to kill the fox. To save himself, the fox promised the wolf that he’d show him the location of an abundant food supply. That night, under the light of a full moon, the fox led the wolf to a well and pointed to the reflection of the full moon on the water’s surface deep in the well, claiming it was cheese. The hungry wolf jumped into the well to eat the cheese, forever trapping himself. Thus, the fox successfully escaped the wolf’s wrath. As with any ancient proverb, variations of the story have developed over time, but its message has remained the same: Don’t believe everything you’re told. In today’s world of oversaturated information and advice, this is a valuable tip to follow, no matter what age you are.

The simplest version of the phrase’s origin tells of a cunning fox that advised a starving wolf to search for food among humans. The wolf listened, and he was

I n the northern third of Ohio, where the winters are typically nasty and cold —Who am I kidding? It’s Ohio! The winters are cold and nasty everywhere! — young James Hengsteler finished high school at Indian Lake, started working at Glacier Daido Metal in Bellefontaine in 1996 at age 20, and married his sweetheart, Kris, a few months later. Daido is the world’s largest manufacturer of several types of bearings, including nearly a third of all automobile engine bearings and half of large ship bearings as of 2018. James started through a temp agency as a general laborer and stacker. After a few short months, Daido hired him in-house as a machine operator and setup man. He inspected parts for quality control and used his computer training to run various machines. He ultimately became a team leader, supervising 3–4 employees. At the ripe old age of 30, after production was completed on his shift, James looked for additional jobs that needed done. Finding a cabinet that needed painting, he bent over to put paint on the roller when he felt a pop and immediate pain in his left lower back and down his left leg. He crawled on all fours to a nearby chair and called his supervisor. He couldn’t

get out of the chair and was taken to the nearby Mary Rutan emergency room. Two days later, a corporate health doctor ordered an immediate MRI and consulted with a neurosurgeon. The doctor determined that leakage of disc material into the spine inflamed James’ nerves. Rather than operate immediately on the disc herniation, two neurosurgeons recommended epidural steroid injections. James called us because we had helped Kris’ sister, Debbie, with an injury.

Over the next couple years, James had ongoing injections followed by an intradiscal

electrothermal therapy (IDET) procedure in late summer 2008. With IDET, doctors insert a catheter around the inside of the disc and heat it to about 194 degrees F to kill the nerve fibers and seal any small tears. Ultimately, this didn’t work. James had seven more back surgeries, including a lumbar fusion with an interbody cage, and ultimately a spinal cord stimulator implant. He tried rehab four times, hoping to return to some work, but to no avail. You all know how hard injuries can be on a marriage. Some don’t make it. But Kris was with James every step of the way, through all the times their hopes were dashed when they thought a surgery might fix things and then realized it didn’t. During the seemingly endless doctor and therapy visits, the fights for treatment, and numerous hearings, Kris was always there too. I have a full file drawer for James’ eight folders. His claim costs are nearly $700,000. Happily, by filing for and getting permanent total disability for James, he, Kris, and their family at least have the financial burden lifted as they continue their journey through life together.



I n May 2012, Alfredo Pacheco suffered injuries to his ankle and foot while working for Aluminum Company of America in Ohio. Pacheco filed for workers’compensation and was awarded total temporary disability for 10 months. When his doctor released him on light duty, the

A light-duty job offered by the employer must meet certain requirements set by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC):

1. Provide a written offer that clearly identifies the position, describes the required duties, and specifies the physical demands of the job. This means the employer cannot promise to find something suitable once the injured worker returned to work. The job must be clear before the employee returns to work. 2. Offer suitable employment within“reasonable proximity” of the injured worker’s residence. Basically, the worker cannot be required to drive a long distance to another location for light-duty work. 3. Make the offer “in good faith.” Light-duty work must be legitimate work. It’s the last requirement that caused the Ohio Supreme Court to side with Alfredo Pacheco. In January 2019, the court ruled that light-duty work consisting of sitting in the cafeteria and doing nothing violated the BWC’s good faith requirement. The court agreed with Pacheco’s claim that being put in plain view of other workers in the cafeteria was a form of punishment and could have been perceived as a warning to other employees against filing for workers’ comp. Most employers will act in good faith, offering injured workers legitimate light-duty work when possible. However, this isn’t always the case. If you’re offered light- duty work that doesn’t seem like a real job, call 614-334-4649 immediately. Let an experienced workers’ comp attorney look over your case and determine if you’re being treated in good faith.

aluminum plant offered himwork he could performwhile sedentary. However, this“work”ultimately consisted of Pacheco sitting in the cafeteria in plain view of other employees with almost nothing to do. Did Pacheco’s assignment qualify as light-duty work? Due to the limitations caused by their injuries, many workers cannot return to the jobs they held before. However, if a workers’comp doctor determines that an injured worker can return to work, they can be released to light duty. When this happens, the doctor will provide the employer with a list of the injured worker’s restrictions. It’s expected that the employer makes a reasonable attempt to meet those restrictions so the worker can return to gainful employment. SUDOKU

Make date night simple with this easy shrimp scampi recipe. EASY SHRIMP SCAMPI NIBBLES WITH NUG

Inspired by The Blond Cook


• • • • •

4 tbsp butter 4 tbsp olive oil

• • • •

1/2 cup dry white wine 1/4 cup lemon juice 8 oz cooked linguine

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup parsley

1/2 tsp oregano


1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 2. Add shrimp and oregano, stirring frequently until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. 3. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and bring the mixture to a boil. 4. Stir in remaining butter and olive oil and cook until butter is melted. 5. Add cooked shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 6. In a serving bowl, top cooked linguine with shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve.




Phone: 614-334-4649 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Bldg 2, Suite 2117 Upper Arlington, OH 43220-2913


Monday–Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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What’s on the Menu?

A Cheesy Myth About the Moon

Client Story: James Hengsteler

Is My Light-Duty Work a Real Job?

Easy Shrimp Scampi

Should You Be Worried About Digital Dementia?


Everyone forgets things. It’s not unusual to have trouble remembering the name of someone you’ve just met or recalling the face of a classmate you haven’t seen

“In theory, having a device to store phone numbers, dates, maps and directions, and other information like that frees you up to focus on bigger and theoretically more important things,”Tony Bradley wrote in Forbes.

in 20 years. But it’s less normal — and a lot more inconvenient — to become chronically absent-minded. If you find yourself struggling to remember the minutiae of daily life, which page of a book you left off on, or when it’s time to pick your kids up from soccer practice, digital dementia could be to blame. The term“digital dementia”was coined in 2012 by German neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer, who studies how our addiction to technology is impacting our brains. According to, Spitzer found that “overuse of digital technology is resulting in the breakdown of cognitive abilities in a way that is more commonly seen in people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness.”Because of the shared symptoms, Spitzer called the affliction digital dementia.

“If you just use your device as a memory crutch, though, and you don’t take advantage of the opportunity to put your brain to work on other things, you aren’t exercising your brain, and it will atrophy.” Psychology Today blamed digital dementia in part on the mental strategies encouraged by video games. According to one study, gaming encourages the “response” strategy of following the same rote movements, while nongamers tend to use the “spatial” strategy of relying on landmarks when they navigate, which is better for mental sharpness.

Whatever the root cause, we can take steps to fight digital dementia. As Dr. Carolyn Brockington told, the best strategies involve stepping away from screens and relying on brainpower. The next time you’re considering picking up your smartphone, try reading a book, playing a musical instrument, hitting the gym, or learning a new language instead.

In the years since, speculation has abounded about the causes of digital dementia and how people can fight it. A 2017 Forbes article theorized that the problem isn’t just time spent with screens but how much we rely on our smartphones to feed us once-memorized information.


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