Case Law Summary - 2015: October – December
Insurance Contract Dispute
Sarrough v. Budzar, 2015-Ohio-3674 (8th Dist.)
- The estate of Hanan Saah brought suit against Peerless insurance alleging that Peerless had breached its insurance contract with decedent Hanan Saah by failing to pay underinsured motorist benefits due under an automobile insurance policy Peerless had issued Saah following her involvement in a series of motor vehicle accidents.
- On February 20, 2011, Saah had been traveling on Interstate 90 when several other cars lost handling in the snow, forcing Saah to evade, lose control, and slide on the snow. Saah came to a stop facing the median and straddling the left and center lanes. She was then struck 5-10 seconds later by a Nissan X-Terra.
- The parties disagree as to whether the sequence of events giving rise to the claim constituted one “accident” or two “accidents” for purposes of determining Peerless’ liability limits for underinsured motorist coverage under the policy.
- The court concluded that it was reasonable to conclude that it was either one accident or two accidents. Therefore, because either of these interpretations were reasonable interpretations of the ambiguous, undefined language Peerless chose to include in the policy, the ambiguity must be construed against Peerless and in favor of the insured.
Howell v. Ohio Univ. Police Dept., 2014-Ohio-5941.
- Plaintiff was driving under the influence, stopped and detained by Ohio University Police. While she was being handcuffed, her thumb was fractured.
- Plaintiff was able to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the officer failed to use ordinary care when handcuffing her.
- The fact that Plaintiff was driving under the influence of alcohol did not affect her credibility because the hospital records and physician testimony substantiated the nature of her injury and claim.
A-M.R. v. Columbus City School District, 2015-Ohio-3781 (10th Dist.).
- On May 16, 2012, O.R. was a fifth-grader in the Columbus City School District at the Shady Lane building. O.R. was leaving the classroom when she opened the classroom door and a gust of wind blew the door back at her. O.R. reached out to stop the door with her upraised hand, and when this occurred a large pane of glass sliced her wrist, causing damage to tendons and embedding glass fragments in her wounds.
- The trial court ruled for the school district stating that the Plaintiff failed to present evidence that the pane of glass was defective.
- The court of appeals reversed and remanded the decision stating the trial court failed to consider deposition testimony of the student regarding the type of glass that wounded the student.
Accidents Motor Vehicle 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