Attorney Steven D. Maas
Steven D. Maas worked in the steel mills when he was a young man — and it was there where he decided that he wanted to become a lawyer who would help working people.
Atty. Maas worked for Republic Steel and Copperweld Steel over the course of six summers to help finance his undergraduate and law school educations. He came to realize the need for workers to have quality legal representation when they’re hurt on the job.
“Working with the people there, I realized that I thought I could do a good job representing them,” Atty. Maas recalls. “And I knew right away that I wanted to do workers’ comp, too.”
He’s remained true to his initial goal, concentrating his practice on workers’ compensation law from the time he got his J.D. in 1980. He’d gotten his undergraduate degree, a B.S. in economics from Ashland College, in 1977, and then enrolled at Wake Forest University School of Law in North Carolina. After graduating there, he worked at a firm in Charleston, W. Va., where he represented injured workers.
After a time, he decided that he wanted to return home to Ohio and became admitted here in 1982, focusing on workers’ compensation cases.
His long experience in this legal area, combined with his practical workplace knowledge when he worked in the mills, provide a deep comprehension of what it takes to achieve results for his clients.
“I think I have a good understanding of the mechanisms of how these injuries happen,” he says. “And I think I have a good understanding of the people I’m working with and representing.”
He has achieved numerous significant results for his clients over the years, including several that resulted in awards that have topped $1 million.
In one case, an X-ray technician who developed breast cancer from repeated exposure in a dental office got her medical costs covered along with loss-of-use benefits. In another case, a woman who suffered a serious back injury at a nursing home was awarded total disability. He also represented the widow of a man who was badly burned and later died following an explosion. She was granted death benefits and loss-of-use benefits. Several of his clients who developed chronic regional pain syndrome received more than $1 million plus permanent total disability.
In addition, Atty. Maas’s efforts on behalf of clients have changed Ohio law in ways that benefit large numbers of working people.
In one of them, Village v. General Motors, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in his client’s favor and established the new principle that claimants need not be restricted to having to show that injuries result from a single incident but that they can be gradually developing.
In another, Fisher v. Mayfield, the Ohio Supreme Court found that injuries sustained by a teacher at a school prior to school hours can warrant disability benefits. In this case, the client came to school early to collect money for a flower fund for a colleague who had lost a parent, and then slipped and suffered an injury. Maas successfully argued that the woman’s efforts were intended to benefit the school system and promote camaraderie, and the Court agreed, establishing a new standard that off-hour injuries need not be strictly excluded from coverage.
In addition to his legal practice, Atty. Maas serves as an Acting Judge in the Newton Falls Municipal Court, contributing about six weeks per year to hearing mostly misdemeanor cases.
Atty. Maas is active in bar organizations and also has contributed to the Diabetes Association over the years by participating in fund-raising bicycle rides. He enjoys water skiing and restoring old cars, but his primary passion is the operation of the 250-acre farm that is his home near Newton Falls.