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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
Humphrey v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2015-00606Inmate; negligence; medical negligence; trial. The magistrate determined that plaintiff's claim for medical malpractice failed because he failed to present expert medical testimony establishing the standard of care, breach of standard of care, or that any alleged delays in medical treatment violated the standard of care. Finally, even if plaintiff's complaint was for ordinary negligence, there was no evidence that any non-medical staff at SOCF breached any duty of care owed to plaintiff and there was no evidence that Dr. Ahmed's orders were improperly performed. Judgment recommended in favor of defendant.Peterson  7/27/2016 8/5/2016 2016-Ohio-5261
Burnett v. Ohio Dept. of Transp. 2012-01937Plaintiff brought an action for negligence alleging that while he was operating a tractor-trailer, a metal skid shoe broke off the bottom of a snow plow truck operated by defendant's employee, and, as a result, plaintiff sustained injuries when his tractor-trailer ran over the object. Upon review of the evidence presented at trial, the magistrate found that it was more probably than not that defendant's negligence proximately caused plaintiff to suffer an injury at the L4/L5 level of his spine. As a result of that injury, plaintiff suffered significant pain in his lower back that radiated into his left leg; underwent surgery and other medical treatment for which he incurred some expenses out-of-pocket; and incurred lost wages while off work from approximately February 23, 2010 to October 16, 2010 or 34 weeks in total. However, plaintiff did not establish that a causal relationship existed between defendant's negligence and any ailments he experienced after October 16, 2010. Consequently, the magistrate calculated plaintiff's damages as follows: (1) lost wages in the amount of $35,345.04, representing 34 weeks of lost work; (2) out-of-pocket medical expenses in the amount of $2,489.97, representing medical expenses incurred by plaintiff through October 2010; (3) past pain and suffering in the amount of $35,000; and, (4) the $25 filing fee plaintiff paid to commence this action. Lastly, the magistrate offset plaintiff's recovery by the amount of the settlement in his BWC claim ($40,000) and by the amount of the short-term disability income he received in 2010 ($10,939.20), for a total reduction of $50,939.20.Van Schoyck  7/27/2016 8/24/2016 2016-Ohio-5501
Waters v. Ohio State Univ. 2015-00457Civ.R. 12(C); defamation; slander per se; false light invasion of privacy. The court determined that qualified privilege applied to the Title IX Investigation Report, the press releases cited by plaintiff, and Dr. Drake's comments as cited by plaintiff. The court also found that plaintiff was a limited-purpose public figure. Further, the court concluded that a qualified privilege applied and served as a defense to plaintiff's allegation of false light invasion of privacy. Defendant was entitled to judgment on the pleadings with regard to all of plaintiff's claims.McGrath  7/19/2016 8/5/2016 2016-Ohio-5260
Lill v. Ohio State Univ. 2015-00387Breach of contract; conversion. Plaintiff was hired by defendant in 2008 as an associated professor, a tenure track position, in defendant's Department of Pathology in the College of Medicine. Plaintiff began the tenure review process in the summer of 2011. The department chair, college dean, Provost, University President, and the Board of Trustees were all against a tenure decision for plaintiff. Plaintiff appealed the tenure denial to the Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility (CAFR). After consideration, the CAFR found reasonable adequate grounds indicating that plaintiff's tenure evaluation was improper and thereby referred plaintiff's appeal to the University Faculty Hearing Committee. The Committee agreed with the CAFR's findings, and reported its findings to the university's then-Provost and the University's then-President. The Provost received the Committee's findings; disagreed with them; and confirmed his original finding that plaintiff's tenure should be denied, effectively resulting in plaintiff's termination. It is the steps, or lack thereof, taken by the Provost after the Committee issued its findings and recommendations that gave rise to plaintiff's claim for breach of contract and her related conversion claim. Prior to trial, the parties stipulated that plaintiff's employment contract consisted of her offer letter and various faculty incorporated rules, and the 2006 Department of Pathology AP&T Document. Upon review, the court found that the faculty rules did not grant the Provost authority to disregard the Committee's findings and not grant a new, fair and impartial evaluation. While "new, fair and impartial" were not defined, there was no evidence that the definition of these three terms were anything different from their common meaning. As the terms were not clear and unambiguous, the court found that defendant's failure to provide her with her contractual right to a new, fair and impartial evaluation constituted a breach of plaintiff's employment contract. However, the court agreed with defendant in that because of the unusual nature of the case, damages could not be proved with reasonable certainty at that juncture. Once the promised evaluation was held, the court could then determine an appropriate damage amount. Lastly, plaintiff claimed that when her employment with defendant university ended, it failed to return to her equipment she possessed and used in her research. The court found that the property in question was either owned by the sponsor or defendant, not by the plaintiff. The only way plaintiff could have a right to possess the equipment was to have the sponsor or defendant give her permission to take control of the property, which plaintiff did not obtain. As such, the court denied plaintiff's conversion claim.Crawford  7/12/2016 8/24/2016 2016-Ohio-5502
Bentkowski v. Ohio Lottery Comm. 2014-00651Retaliation; R.C. 411.02; trial. The court determined that plaintiff did not establish that his actions during his employment at the Ohio Lottery Commission were protected activity. Even if the court construed plaintiff's actions protected activity, he failed to establish that his alleged opposition was the but-for cause of his termination, as plaintiff's own complaint and affidavit stated that the reason for his termination was the bad media coverage regarding his reporting of crimes committed against him. Judgment rendered in favor of defendant.McGrath  6/22/2016 8/3/2016 2016-Ohio-5222
Boyd v. Univ. of Toledo Med. Ctr. 2014-00186Personal immunity. Plaintiff claimed that he had a brain shunt surgically implanted in his head shortly after his birth. Throughout his life, he experienced issues related to the shunt malfunctioning, which required frequent and ongoing medical treatment. One such issue occurred in summer of 2012, when plaintiff began experiencing severe headaches. A CT was performed and plaintiff alleged that Dr. Elsamaloty, defendant's employee, inaccurately read the CT. Later, the alleged misdiagnosis resulted in plaintiff suffering hemorrhaging, seizures, cardiac and respiratory arrests, all causing permanent injuries. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that Dr. Elsamaloty, was entitled to personal immunity, pursuant to R.C. 9.86, because he was defendant's employee and working within the course and scope of his employment at the time he rendered medical care to plaintiff. The court noted that Dr. Elsamaloty was a full-time employee of the University of Toledo College of Medicine & Life Sciences and was working within the course and scope of his employment at the time he rendered care to plaintiff. Moreover, pursuant to the holding in Ries v. Ohio State Univ. Med. Ctr., 137 Ohio St.3d 151, 2013-Ohio-4545,  23, the court noted that it did not need determine whether Dr. Elsamaloty was engaged in teaching a medical student or resident at the time that he rendered medical care to plaintiff. Rather, the court only needed to determine whether his conduct was related to and promoted the state's interests. As such, the court found that based on an affidavit provided by defendant, Dr. Elsamaloty was engaged in conduct that furthered the interests of the University of Toledo at the time that he rendered care to plaintiff. Consequently, the court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment.McGrath  6/20/2016 8/3/2016 2016-Ohio-5225
Simmons v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2014-00860Negligence. Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody and control of defendant, brought an action for negligence alleging that a lighting fixture detached from the ceiling of his housing unit and fell on him, thereby causing injury. The issues of liability and damages were bifurcated and the case proceeded to trial on the issue of liability. Upon review of the evidence presented at trial, the magistrate determined that plaintiff did not demonstrate that defendant had actual notice that the lighting fixture would detach and fall from the ceiling. Indeed, no one who testified at trial was aware of lighting fixtures falling from the ceiling in the housing unit in question prior to the date of the accident. Plaintiff also failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant had constructive notice that the lighting fixture would detach from the ceiling and fall. There was no evidence that the fixture was improperly installed or designed. While the building may have been aging, no witnesses testified that any other fixture appeared loose or that there were other fixtures in plaintiff's dormitory that had fallen prior to the date of the accident. Though plaintiff argued that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor was applicable to the case, the magistrate found, however, that the fixture was not under the exclusive control of defendant. Instead, inmates would occasionally tamper with fixtures and the metal conduit piping to which the fixtures are attached in order to receive improved television signals. Consequently, the magistrate recommended judgment in defendant's favor.Peterson  6/20/2016 8/3/2016 2016-Ohio-5226
Howard v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2014-00950Negligence. Plaintiff was an inmate in defendant's custody and control. Plaintiff, a diabetic, who walked with the aid of a cane and had his arm in a sling, was walking to inmate health services (IHS) to get his blood checked. On his way to IHS, plaintiff slipped and fell on an accumulation of snow and ice in the walkway. The magistrate issued a judgment in plaintiff's favor and defendant filed objections. The court overruled defendant's first objection, because other than stating multiple times in its objections that there was no evidence that plaintiff was prevented from taking an alternative route to the infirmary, defendant did not provide any evidence contrary to plaintiff's testimony that inmates could only take one path to IHS. Furthermore, no snow removal was completed prior to the time plaintiff fell, and consequently, other routes available to plaintiff were likely snow covered. The court overruled defendant's second objection because the dangerous condition, which defendant had constructive notice of, was not simply an incline or decline in a path. Rather it was a bad spot that was "swampy" during wintertime and there was an accumulation of snow on the walk plaintiff was required to use. This posed an unreasonable risk to plaintiff because he ambulated with a cane, had his arm in a sling, and the court agreed with the magistrate that walking across an ice-covered depression posed an unreasonable risk of harm to plaintiff. Lastly, the court also overruled defendant's third objection. The court reviewed plaintiff's legal status and determined that the magistrate did not err in determining that plaintiff was not a traditional "invitee" and was not always free, as an invitee would be, to refrain from traversing the accumulation of ice and snow or assume the risk of doing so. Consequently, the court adopted the magistrate's prior decision and recommendation as its own.McGrath  6/10/2016 8/3/2016 2016-Ohio-5227
Edwards v. Ohio Dept. of Transp. 2014-00553Negligence; trespass; nuisance; statute of limitations; discretionary immunity; public duty; surface water; underground water; indirect trespass. All of defendant's objections were overruled. The court determined that the magistrate was correct in determining that there was an insufficient flow of water in plaintiffs' ditch and ODOT did not adequately maintain the ditch along SR 86 in front of plaintiffs' property. The court adopted the magistrate's decision and recommendation as its own, including findings of fact and conclusions of law. Judgment on the issue of liability was rendered in favor of plaintiffs.McGrath  6/10/2016 8/3/2016 2016-Ohio-5221
Ferrell v. Ohio State Hwy. Patrol 2015-01041Negligence; public duty; special relationship; Civ.R. 12(C); R.C. 2743.02. The court determined that public duty immunity applied to this case, and plaintiff failed to demonstrate that a special relationship existed between defendant and plaintiff. Specifically, the court found that plaintiff's first amended complaint disclosed no allegation that he had any contact with agents of OSHP until he was located by a trooper. Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings was granted.McGrath  6/1/2016 8/3/2016 2016-Ohio-5223
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