Case Law Summary - 2015: April – June
Torts—Slip and Fall
Rayburn v. Delaware Cty. Agricultural Soc., 2015-Ohio-1903 (5th Dist.)
In slip a and fall action, arising from plaintiff's fall at junction of sidewalk and parking lot, summary judgment for defendant based on open and obvious doctrine was not error where plaintiff tripped on disintegrating concrete and crowd of people exiting nearby building did not constitute an attendant circumstance to negate the open and obvious doctrine.
Labor and Employment—Employer Intentional Tort Claims
Pixley v. Pro-Pak Industries, Inc.,142 Ohio St.3d 203, 2014-Ohio-5460.
- The Sixth District Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment for Pro-Pak industries in connection with Pixley’s intentional tort claim against Pro-Pak.
- Pixley sustained injuries when struck by a transfer car in the course and scope of his employment at Pro-Pak. Although the transfer cars are built with a safety mechanism which should have forced the car to shut off upon impacting Pixley, the car did not stop and only stopped when the operator shut it off manually.
- An employer intentional tort claim brought pursuant to R.C. 2745.01 requires proof of the employer’s deliberate intent to cause injury to an employee, but there is a rebuttable presumption that the employer acted with the intent to injure another if an injury directly results from the deliberate removal of an equipment safety guard.
- In this case, Pixley failed to prove that Pro-Pak deliberately removed or disabled the safety bumper on the transfer car that injured him, and therefore the trial court properly entered summary judgment in favor of Pro-Pak.
Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
- Joshua Cline and his three-year old brother Corey were riding in their cousin’s SUV when their cousin, Dustin Geitgey, hit a patch of black ice and lost control of the vehicle. ¶ 2. The SUV veered off the road and flipped onto the passenger’s side in a ditch.
- Although Mr. Geitgey was able to extract both children and his girlfriend, Katie, from the vehicle safely, another driver, Todd Stein, was driving along the same road at approximately 25 m.p.h. when his car hit the same patch of black ice. Stein lost control of his vehicle, and although Katie was able to pull Joshua out of the way, tragically Corey was struck and killed by Stein. (¶ 2).
- The Ninth District held that the trial court had erred in granting summary judgment to the defendants (dismissing the case) on Joshua’s claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress. The case was remanded to the lower court to allow Joshua to present evidence regarding his mental anguish from witnessing his brother’s death.
Willis v. Gall, 2015-Ohio-1696 (4th Dist.)
- An employee who was struck by a vehicle while performing duties for employer sued the driver and his employer’s automobile insurer, claiming negligence and seeking underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage as an insured employee.
- The employee had not been driving a vehicle, but had been in the process of feeding the wood chipper behind the vehicle when he was struck. The employer sought a declaration that the employee was not “occupying” a covered automobile as required for coverage.
- The Court of Common Pleas in Highland County issued a decision that the employee was "occupying" a covered automobile. The Fourth district affirmed, noting that “occupying” suggested some ambiguity and that it was part of the employee’s job to repeatedly enter and exit the truck.
Accidents Car & Truck Accidents: Auto, Truck, Bus, Motorcycle Accidents Bicycle/Racing
Claims Premises Liability:
Slip & Fall
and Safety Claims
Death Claims General Negligence
General Civil Litigation Pedestrian
Injuries/Accidents Animal Claims
and Dog Bites
Contract Disputes Appellate
Practice Mediation and