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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
Sheppard v. Ohio Bd. of Regents 2015-01053Motion to dismiss; Civ.R. 12(B)(6); employment discrimination; R.C. 4112.02(A); defamation; negligent supervision; intentional infliction of emotional distress; sexual harassment. The court determined that plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence to support an inference of discriminatory intent based on race and gender. Further, plaintiff's complaint failed to support a prima facie case of discrimination because plaintiff did not suffer an adverse employment action - she was not an employee of defendant nor did she have a pending application for employment with defendant. Plaintiff's claim of defamation was barred by the one-year statute of limitations. Defendant's motion to dismiss was granted.McGrath  5/24/2016 6/17/2016 2016-Ohio-3477
Keny v. Ohio State Univ. 2013-00711Summary judgment; Civ.R. 56(B); life insurance; employee benefit; collateral estoppel; breach of contract; negligence; economic loss doctrine. The court found that plaintiffs' claims were barred by collateral estoppel because it was necessary for the common pleas court and court of appeals to first determine that the beneficiary designation did not exist before it could conclude that Anthem did not breach its contract. Additionally, plaintiffs' negligence claims were barred by the economic loss doctrine. Summary judgment granted in favor of defendant. Crawford  5/12/2016 6/17/2016 2016-Ohio-3475
Thomas v. Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2014-00731Inmate; assault; battery; negligence; excessive use of force. The magistrate determined that any force used by defendant's employees on plaintiff was privileged and not excessive. Further, there was no medical records or testimony from medical professionals to substantiate plaintiff's alleged injuries. The magistrate found that plaintiff failed to prove a claim for assault, battery, or negligence based upon his allegations of excessive force. Judgment recommended in favor of defendant.Van Schoyck  5/12/2016 6/17/2016 2016-Ohio-3476
Smith v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2013-00534Negligence. Plaintiff brought this action for negligence arising out of allegations that, while he was an inmate in the custody and control of defendant, his hand was injured by a corrections officer (CO) and he did not receive timely medical care. The issues of damages and liability were bifurcated. After reviewing the evidence presented at trial, the magistrate adduced that the CO did use force against plaintiff. Next, the magistrate noted that because video evidence did not establish the exact details of what happened, determining the facts required careful consideration and weighing of plaintiff's and the CO's testimony. In that regard, plaintiff offered a more persuasive, direct, and consistent account of what occurred than the CO, whose testimony came across as somewhat evasive or defensive at times. However, plaintiff did not present enough evidence about his claim that defendant failed to provide him with medical treatment until ten days after the incident. Consequently, the magistrate held that plaintiff proved his negligence claim by a preponderance of the evidence as to the CO's use of force, but did not establish any negligence relative to his claim of delayed or untimely medical care.Van Schoyck  4/22/2016 5/25/2016 2016-Ohio-3149
Nnazor v. Cent. State Univ. 2015-00202Breach of contract. Plaintiff asserted that defendant breached his contract of employment when it unilaterally reduced his salary. Specifically, he alleged that he was never informed that if he were no longer a dean, his salary as a tenured professor would be reduced. Defendant argued that plaintiff failed to state a claim for breach of contract. Upon review the court found that plaintiff's employment as a professor was governed by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the policies of which governed his salary. Plaintiff acknowledged that he knew that the CBA would govern his position as a professor when he resigned from the dean position. Consequently, plaintiff failed to identify any contractual provision that defendant breached and as a result, judgment rendered in defendant's favor.McGrath  4/20/2016 5/25/2016 2016-Ohio-3151
Patel v. Univ. of Toledo 2015-00228Breach of contract; unjust enrichment/promissory estoppel; tort claims; breach of fiduciary duty; negligent misrepresentation; fraud; negligence. Plaintiff alleged various claims arising from her enrollment in defendant's Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of nursing program (BSN-DNP). During this time, the BSN-DNP program was pending accreditation by the national accrediting organization for college nursing programs. Defendant contended that plaintiff's rights as a student in the program were contractual in nature and that the contract did not support any of her claims. The court held that plaintiff failed to prove her breach of contract claim, because she was aware that defendant's BSN-DNP program was not accredited and she did not allege that the terms of defendant's handbook, catalog, or other guideline suggested that the program had been accredited before she enrolled or that it would be accredited before she graduated. Because plaintiff's relationship with defendant was contractual and all of her tort claims arose from the same court of events, she could not sustain those claims. Moreover, the relationship between plaintiff and defendant regarding the accreditation status was purely contractual and no fiduciary relationship existed. Next, plaintiff's unjust enrichment/promissory estoppel and negligent representation claims failed because defendant's agent, even if he made promises or comments to plaintiff that the program would be accredited prior to her graduation, had no authority to do so and plaintiff could not have justifiably relied on those comments. Moreover, her fraud claim failed because she did not offer any proof of fraudulent intent on the part of defendant's agent. Lastly, her negligence claim failed because she could not demonstrate tangible harm to herself though she sought to recover economic loss. In sum, the court found that there were no genuine issues of material fact and granted defendant's motion for summary judgmentMcGrath  4/15/2016 5/25/2016 2016-Ohio-3153
Pla v. Cleveland State Univ. 2014-00918Age Discrimination. Considering all the facts and circumstantial evidence, the court found that the evidence presented by plaintiff and defendant was equally balanced. While the court found that defendant's agent's stated reasons may not have been actual reason for his decision to terminate plaintiff. However, it noted that the court was not tasked with determining what was appropriate or reasonable. As such, though plaintiff established that the reasons offered for her termination were likely false, based on the evidence, defendant's agent's decision to terminate plaintiff was not the unlawful result of discriminatory intent. Consequently, plaintiff failed to meet her burden of demonstrating by a preponderance of the evidence that she was terminated by defendant because of her age.Crawford  4/12/2016 5/25/2016 2016-Ohio-3150
Mack v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2014-00317Inmate; bifurcated; negligence; notice. The magistrate determined that ODRC had no notice, constructive or actual, from which it knew or should have known that an attack by another inmate on plaintiff was impending. Further, the Correction Officer's response to the attack was reasonable and plaintiff failed to show that the responders to the attack breached their duty of care toward plaintiff. Judgment recommended in favor of defendant.Van Schoyck  3/24/2016 5/9/2016 2016-Ohio-2877
Great W. Cas. Co. v. Ohio Bur. of Workers' Comp. 2013-00205Reversed; remanded; summary judgment; Civ.R. 56(C); unjust enrichment; quasi-contract; indemnity; statutory credit/reimbursement. The court determined that Great West in good faith paid benefits to injured worker while the proper situs for workers' compensation coverage was being determined, and Great West should not be forced to pay a portion of the commission's now acknowledged debt to injured worker merely because it was unclear immediately following the injury who would be responsible for compensating him. Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment was granted on its unjust enrichment claim in the amount of $22,758.80.McGrath  3/21/2016 5/9/2016 2016-Ohio-2876
Hand v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2011-07192Negligence; Civ.R. 53(D)(3)(b)(1), objections to a magistrate's decision. Plaintiff filed objections to a magistrate's decision recommending judgment in defendant's favor. The court found ample evidence that defendant was aware of ongoing clutch issues with the tractor, which caused the tractor to jerk forward, rocking the driver back in his seat. Plaintiff's particular injury, a broken hip, might not have been expected by defendant, but it was reasonably foreseeable that the jerking motion could cause the driver to lose control, resulting in an accident and injury. In failing to properly repair the clutch, the court found that defendant violated its duty of ordinary and reasonable care to plaintiff. Consequently, the court sustained plaintiff's first, second, third, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth objections. The court overruled plaintiff's fourth objection because plaintiff mischaracterized the magistrate's finding related to the proximate cause of his injury. Lastly, the court overruled plaintiff's fifth objection because the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor did not apply to the situation. In sum, the court found that the magistrate properly determined the factual issues and modified the magistrate's decision and recommendation consistent with its decision.McGrath  3/11/2016 5/5/2016 2016-Ohio-2850
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