Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident allegedly caused by a high-speed police chase. Appellant filed a negligence action against certain police officers, alleging that the officers engaged in a high-speed case of a suspect that ended when Barnhart’s vehicle struck Plaintiff’s vehicle, killing the suspect and seriously injuring Plaintiff. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the officers, concluding (1) as a matter of law, a police officer who pursues a suspect is not the proximate cause of injuries to a third party unless the officer’s conduct is extreme and outrageous; and (2) under this standard, no reasonable juror could conclude that the officers’ actions were the proximate cause of the accident. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, albeit on different grounds, holding (1) the no-proximate-cause standard applied by the court of appeals in this case is contrary to the express dictates of Ohio Rev. Code 2744.03(A)(6)(b), which provides that law enforcement officers are immune from liability unless they act maliciously, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner; and (2) applying the correct standard set forth in section 2744.03(A)(6)(b), the officers could not be held liable for damages as a result of their actions. View "Argabrite v. Neer" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Jill Stevenson failed to stop at a stop sign at an intersection and collided with Gary Bibler. A police officer determined that the stop sign was significantly obstructed from a distance as a driver approached it. Bibler and his wife, Yvonne Bibler, filed a complaint alleging that Stevenson was negligent for failing to stop and that the City of Findlay was negligent for failing to ensure that the stop sign was visible. The trial court dismissed Findlay from the case, concluding that the City was entitled to statutory political subdivision immunity and that an exception to immunity did not apply in this case. The Biblers and Stevenson subsequently settled, and the Biblers appealed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Findlay. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the City was not immune pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 2744.02(B)(3) and was potentially amenable to liability. Remanded. View "Bibler v. Stevenson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Ross Linert sustained severe injuries when Adrien Foutz, an intoxicated driver, struck Ross’s vehicle from behind, triggering a fuel-fed fire. At the time of the accident, Ross, a veteran police officer, was on patrol in a 2005 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (CVPI) manufactured by Ford Motor Company. Ross and his wife, Brenda Linert, sued Foutz. The Linerts subsequently added product liability and malice claims against Ford. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Ford on all of the Linerts’ claims. The Linerts appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on Ohio Rev. Code 2307.76(A)(2), Ohio’s statute governing manufacturers’ postmarked duty to warn consumers of risks associated with a product that are not discovered until after the product has been sold. The appellate court ordered a new trial on the Linerts’ postmarketing failure-to-warn claim, concluding that the there was sufficient evidence to warrant a jury instruction on the Linerts’ postmarketing failure-to-warn claim. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the trial court properly refused to instruct on a postmarketing duty to warn in this case. View "Linert v. Foutz" on Justia Law

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Jessica Simpkins and her father, Gene Simpkins, (together, Appellants) sued Grace Brethren Church of Delaware, Ohio for negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of Brian Williams, a senior pastor at Sunbury Grace Brethren Church who forced oral and vaginal intercourse with Simpkins, then a fifteen-year-old parishioner. The jury found that Simpkins was entitled to $3,651,378 in compensatory damages, which included past and future economic damages and past and future noneconomic damages. The trial court applied the cap in Ohio Rev. Code 2315.18(B)(2) to reduce Simpkins’s noneconomic damages from $3.5 million to $350,000. The court of appeals rejected Appellants’ constitutional challenges to section 2315.18(B)(2) as well as their argument that Simpkins’s noneconomic damages arose out of two occurrences for purposes of applying the damage caps. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) section 2315.18(B) is constitutional as applied to the facts in this case; and (2) this case involved a single “occurrence” for purposes of applying the damage caps. View "Simpkins v. Grace Brethren Church of Delaware, Ohio" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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In 1998, Appellee was sentenced to thirteen years in prison on various drug and weapons charges. The district court granted Appellee’s writ of habeas corpus and ordered the state to release Appellee or grant him a new trial within a certain time. The state did not retry Appellee, and the charges against him were dismissed with prejudice. Thereafter, Appellee filed a complaint seeking a determination that he was a wrongfully imprisoned individual. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the state. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and remanded with instructions to apply Mansaray v. State. On remand, the court of appeals again reversed the grant of summary judgment to the state, ruling that Appellee had satisfied all five elements of Ohio Rev. Code 2743.48(A). The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Appellee failed to satisfy all five elements of section 2743.48(A). View "James v. State" on Justia Law

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Darlene Burnham brought a personal injury action against the Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Health System (collectively, Clinic). During discovery, Burnham requested certain documents that the Clinic alleged were not discoverable because they were shielded by the attorney-client privilege. Burnham filed a motion to compel discovery. The trial court granted the motion to compel. The Clinic appealed, arguing that the documents were protected by the attorney-client privilege and were not discoverable. The court of appeals dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, concluding that there was no final, appealable order to review because the Clinic had failed to establish that there would be prejudice resulting from disclosure of the documents. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) a discovery order compelling the production of documents allegedly protected by the attorney-client privilege is a final, appealable order subject to immediate review because such an order causes harm and prejudice that cannot be meaningfully remedied by a later appeal; and (2) because the Clinic has plausibly alleged that the attorney-client privilege would be breached by disclosure of the requested materials, the order compelling the disclosure is a final, appealable order. View "Burnham v. Cleveland Clinic" on Justia Law

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Respondents filed a lawsuit against Petitioners, asserting a claim for negligent misidentification. Petitioners filed motions for judgment on the pleadings or, alternatively, to certify questions of state law to the Supreme Court asserting that a claim of negligent misidentification sounds in defamation, and, under the one-year statute of limitations for defamation, Respondents’ claim was time-barred. The federal district court certified three questions of law to the Ohio Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held (1) a plaintiff does not have a cause of action in tort for negligent misidentification, and it would contravene public policy to allow such a claim; and (2) because no cause of action for negligent misidentification exists in Ohio, the certified questions are moot. View "Foley v. University of Dayton" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Plaintiffs brought a tort action against the City of Cleveland and some of its employees (collectively, Relators). Relators filed a motion to dismiss based on political-subdivision immunity. The trial court denied the motion. The court of appeals reversed, holding the trial court erred in not granting the motion. On remand, the trial court dismissed Plaintiffs’ claims without prejudice. Relators filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus. The court of appeals denied the writ, concluding that it had not mandated a dismissal with prejudice and that Relators possessed adequate remedies in the ordinary course of law. The Supreme Court (1) reversed in part because the court of appeals found the City and its employees in their official capacities were immune, and therefore, the court of appeals should have issued a writ ordering the trial court to dismiss those counts with prejudice; and (2) affirmed as to the claims that were originally dismissed on grounds of failing to state a claim with regard to immunity of the employees in their individual capacities.View "State ex rel. Cleveland v. Astrab" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury