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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
Colville v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2015-00711Negligence. Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody and control of defendant at the Pickaway Correctional Institution brought an action alleging negligence. On February 27, 2015, around noon, plaintiff returned to his housing unit from the chow hall and slipped on an accumulation of snow and ice on the stairway, fell to the landing, and slipped a second time as a result of the ice that had formed on the landing. The magistrate found that the landing had not been salted during the month of plaintiff's fall. However, the magistrate also found that plaintiff failed to prove that defendant had actual or constructive notice that the stairway posed an unreasonable risk of harm to plaintiff due to the accumulated ice and snow. Plaintiff did not offer any evidence that defendant was aware of the ice and snow and neither did he inform anyone. It was established that it snowed several days prior to plaintiff's accident, followed by a pattern of warm weather causing the snow to melt. The water then froze on the stairway and landing of the entryway to plaintiff's dorm. The magistrate found that the ice and snow accumulation on the stairway and landing did not exist for such length of time to support a finding that defendant had constructive notice of the condition. Finally, the magistrate found that the proximate cause of plaintiff's fall on the stairway was his own failure to take reasonable care for his own safety because he was aware of the open and obvious condition. Accordingly, the magistrate recommended judgment in defendant's favor.Peterson  10/20/2016 11/30/2016 2016-Ohio-7954
Brooks v. Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2012-06181Inmate; bifurcated; damages; negligence. After a trial on the issue of damages, the magistrate recommended that plaintiff be awarded $6,500 in damages for past pain and suffering. The magistrate determined that plaintiff's injuries were temporary and resolved within weeks following an incident with another inmate. Further, there was a lack of evidence to substantiate plaintiff's claims of chronic, severe pain. Judgment recommended in favor of plaintiff.Peterson  10/12/2016 11/18/2016 2016-Ohio-7810
Welser v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2015-00329Negligence. Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody and control of defendant, brought an action which arose out of an accident he suffered when his left index finger was severed by a perforator in the Ohio Penal Industries print shop at one of defendant's correctional institutions. Upon reviewing the evidence presented at trial, the magistrate found that the perforator had been in use for many years and had some flaws and caused some inconvenience to operators, but it was periodically serviced, was safe to operate, and no one had been injured on it before. The day of the accident, plaintiff determined that the perforator had a mechanical problem and took it upon himself to resolve the issue. He used a wrench to remove the bolts that held the perforator's gear box in place. Ultimately, when plaintiff was unable to resolve the issue, he turned the perforator back on. When he went to turn it off with his right hand, he failed to pay attention to the left hand and inadvertently suck his left index finger in the gears, severing his finger.The magistrate found that the perforator was safe to operate and but for plaintiff's actions, the gear box was shielded by a safety cover that was bolted down to the machine's frame. Plaintiff did not establish that there were any problems with the machine, and in any case, failed to inform a staff member on duty. As such, plaintiff failed to exercise reasonable care for his own safety. Plaintiff also asserted that the staff knew or should have known that inmates operating the perforator were in the practice of removing the cover from the gear box. However, the evidence demonstrated that the removal of the cover was not such a common practice that defendant's agents should have been on notice. Accordingly, the magistrate granted judgment in defendant's favor.Van Schoyck  9/23/2016 10/17/2016 2016-Ohio-7352
Hughes v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2015-00679Negligence. Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody and control of defendant, brought an action alleging that he was injured from wearing handcuffs that were too small for his wrists. He also alleged that defendant was negligent in delaying or otherwise providing inadequate medical care for his injuries. The magistrate found that defendant did not breach its duty of reasonable care to plaintiff. When the handcuffs were applied to plaintiff, they fit appropriately. Although plaintiff testified that indentations formed in his skin as the day went on, some temporary indentations in the wrist commonly occur when one wears handcuffs for a long period of time. To the extent that plaintiff alleged defendant was negligent in delaying or otherwise providing inadequate medical care, he did not show any unreasonable delay in the medical care and treatment plaintiff received. Consequently, the magistrate recommended judgment in defendant's favor.Van Schoyck  9/20/2016 10/17/2016 2016-Ohio-7353
Ceglia v. Youngstown State Univ. 2013-00454Age discrimination; R.C. 4112.02; bifurcated; liability. The magistrate determined that plaintiff stated a prima facie case of age discrimination. Further, defendant met its burden to produce evidence of a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its rejection of plaintiff, as plaintiff was not the best at paperwork, and his students were not prepared for a subsequent class. Plaintiff failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant's failure to hire him for an open position was based upon his age. Judgment recommended in favor of defendant.Shaver  9/20/2016 10/6/2016 2016-Ohio-7235
Mezey v. Ohio Dev. Servs. Agency 2015-00110Promissory estoppel; wrongful termination in violation of public policy. The magistrate determined that plaintiff failed to prove that defendant's director terminated her position because her attorney sent him a letter demanding an appointment to a full-time position as the evidence showed that the job audit of the Film Office, which reviewed plaintiff's position, began before the initial demand letter arrived at defendant. Further, plaintiff could not reasonably rely on a promise made by a person who lacks the statutory authority to make that promise. Judgment recommended in favor of defendant.Renick  9/20/2016 10/6/2016 2016-Ohio-7236
Stadtler v. Ohio Dept. of Transp. 2016-00377-ADNegligence. Plaintiff filed a complaint against defendant alleging defendant negligently maintained a light pole on I-77 S. The light pole fell on top of plaintiff's van, completely caving in the rear left side of the van's roof and was deemed unrepairable. The clerk found that plaintiff did not provide any evidence by which the court could infer that defendant had actual or constructive notice that the light pole in question was faulty. Consequently, the clerk ruled in defendant's favor.Reed  9/16/2016 11/8/2016 2016-Ohio-7664
Stadtler v. Ohio Dept. of Transp. 2016-00378-ADNegligence. Plaintiff filed a complaint against defendant alleging defendant negligently maintained a light pole on I-77 S. Plaintiff stated that the light pole fell on top of his van and as a result of the accident, plaintiff alleged he suffered headaches, stiffness, and severe pain in his neck and lower back. Plaintiff sought damages in the amount of $10,000 including pain and suffering and had received $1,000 from his insurance policy. The clerk found that plaintiff did not provide any evidence by which the court could infer that defendant had actual or constructive notice that the light pole in question was faulty. Consequently, the clerk ruled in defendant's favor.Reed  9/16/2016 11/8/2016 2016-Ohio-7665
Yurkowski v. Univ. of Cincinnati 2007-04311Wrongful death; loss of consortium. Decedent's wife and two children brought wrongful death and loss of consortium claims, alleging that University of Cincinnati (UC) was negligent in decedent's discharge from its hospital. Decedent eventually committed suicide. The only question before the court was whether the UC doctor's decision to release the decedent from the hospital fell below the applicable standard of care. The court found the testimony of UC's experts more persuasive than plaintiffs' expert. Specifically, the evidence demonstrated that UC's doctor performed a suicide assessment prior to decedent's release and weighed the risks of discharging him during his last inpatient stay at the hospital. The doctor also had a long history and relationship with the decedent, was aware of his tendencies, and used his knowledge to properly evaluated whether or not to allow the decedent's discharge. Moreover, even if the UC doctor breached his duty, the court found that plaintiffs failed to establish proximate cause by a preponderance of the evidence. Plaintiffs' own expert testified that he was not able to identify the proximate cause of decedent's death. Consequently, the court rendered judgment in defendant's favor.McGrath  9/12/2016 10/17/2016 2016-Ohio-7351
Williams v. Univ. of Akron 2016-00199-ADCourt found that plaintiff, an invitee at a University of Akron men's basketball game, failed to demonstrate that defendant did not exercise ordinary care with respect to the seat plaintiff was injured in during the November 16, 2015 game. The court agreed with defendant that the University of Akron had no notice of any defects, either through an outside company's inspection of the arena, visual inspection by defendant's staff, or patron feedback, with regard to the seat in which plaintiff was allegedly injured. Judgment in favor of defendant.Reed  8/18/2016 10/5/2016 2016-Ohio-7209
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