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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
Gorslene v. Dept. of Transp. 2016-00708JDNegligence; contributory negligence; bifurcated; liability. Plaintiff brought this negligence action after suffering injuries in an incident involving a state-owned vehicle operated by Defendant’s employee. Plaintiff’s wife also brought a loss of consortium claim. The issues of liability and damages were bifurcated. Defendant owned a vehicle parked on a road construction site where Plaintiff was working. Defendant’s employee tried to move the vehicle to another location near the site, and accidentally backed over Plaintiff, who was kneeling behind the vehicle refilling a box of chalk. The magistrate found that Defendant’s employee failed to exercise proper care under the circumstances. The magistrate concluded that, in a busy, fast-paced work environment, Defendant’s employee had a duty to ensure that nobody was behind the vehicle before backing out. Plaintiff’s behavior did not constitute contributory negligence, as Plaintiff was wearing safety gear, engaged in a normal work duty, and was working in plain sight several feet away from Defendant’s vehicle. The magistrate found Defendant liable for Plaintiff’s injuries.Van Schoyck  11/30/2018 12/10/2018 2018-Ohio-4953
Ventresco v. Ohio State Univ. Wexner Med. Ctr. 2017-00466JDNegligence; liability; duty; open and obvious; causation; comparative negligence; damages; parental consortium; magistrate. Plaintiff brought this negligence action after suffering injuries on Defendant’s premises. Plaintiff’s son also asserted a claim for the loss of parental consortium. Plaintiff suffered a puncture injury to her leg after tripping on a curb and landing on a metal bolt protruding from a mulched area in Defendant’s parking lot. The magistrate found that Defendant owed a duty of care to Plaintiff as an invitee. Plaintiff did not exceed the scope of her invitation by walking through a mulched area of the parking lot, because the area was obviously worn down by pedestrian use and Defendant’s employees walked through the mulched area. Defendant did not breach a duty of care to Plaintiff with respect to the curb, because the danger of the curb should have been open and obvious to the Plaintiff. However, Defendant did breach a duty of care with respect to the protruding bolt, because Defendant knew or should have known it presented a danger. Defendant’s breach of care was a proximate cause of Plaintiff’s injury. However, Plaintiff’s comparative negligence warranted a 50 percent reduction of any award for damages. The magistrate determined that Plaintiff was entitled to damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The magistrate also determined Plaintiff’s son was entitled to damages for the loss of parental consortium.Renick  11/30/2018 12/10/2018 2018-Ohio-4955
Krouse v. Ohio State Univ. 2018-00988PQCore Terms: Core Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; R.C. 149.43; grand jury; Crim.R. 6(E); FERPA, 34 CFR 99.3. Overview: Requester sought a grand jury subpoena, and documents submitted in response, from respondent university. Respondent claimed the records were excepted in their entirety by Crim.R. 6(E) and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The special master found that the terms of Crim.R. 6(E) do not bar witnesses from disclosing subpoenas they receive or documents filed in response. The special master further found that because the request was made by a person who knew the identity of the student to whom the records related, disclosure of the withheld education records was excepted by 34 CFR 99.3 Personally Identifiable Information, subsection (g). Neither party filed objections. Outcome: The court found no error of law or other defect on the face of the special master’s decision and adopted the report and recommendation as its own. McGrath  11/30/2018 12/14/2018 2018-Ohio-5013
Kanter v. Cleveland Hts. 2018-01092PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; R.C. 149.43; ambiguous; overly broad; embedded; moot. Overview: Requester sought all communications, schedules, logs and other documents shared between respondent City and a media organization regarding the requester over a period of five weeks. The City objected to the request as ambiguous and overly broad, but provided some information and invited revision. The special master found that the City provided responsive records to a specific request embedded within the request, and that the remainder of the request was properly denied as ambiguous and overly broad. Neither party filed objections. Outcome: The court found no error of law or other defect on the face of the special master’s decision and adopted the report and recommendation as its own.McGrath  11/30/2018 12/14/2018 2018-Ohio-5016
Mohr v. Colerain Twp. 2018-01032PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; R.C. 149.43; ambiguous; overly broad; personal; system; R.C. 1347; R.C. 145.27(A); nonexistent. Overview: Requester sought individual employee health insurance waiver payment records, and also records of employee internet and wi-fi use. Respondent asserted that 1) both requests were improperly ambiguous and overly broad, 2) documents responsive to the first request were non-records and were also excepted by R.C. Chapter 1347 and R.C. 145.27(A), and 3) no responsive records existed to the second request. The special master found that disclosure of an individual employee’s health insurance opt-in or waiver would not help to monitor the conduct of state government and would reveal little or nothing about the agency or its activities, and such documents thus did not serve as “records” of the office. The special master found that the opt-in/waiver documents were routine internal personnel information, the use of which would not adversely affect a person, and thus were excluded from the definition of “system” in R.C. 1347.01(F). The special master found that R.C. 145.27(A) applies only to records maintained by the public employees retirement board, and not to information maintained by an employing agency. The special master found no evidence that records responsive to the second request existed. The special master recommended that the court deny both claims for production of records.Clark  11/28/2018 12/14/2018 2018-Ohio-5015
White v. Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2018-00762PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; R.C. 149.43; attorney-client; privilege; reasonable period of time. Overview: Requester sought contents of communication that respondent had redacted on the basis of attorney-client privilege. The special master found that most of the withheld material was not subject to the attorney-client privilege. The special master found that requester’s premature filing of his claim five business days after making twenty-three separate public records requests did not permit respondent a reasonable period of time to respond. The special master recommended the court order respondent to disclose the withheld material found not subject to attorney-client privilege.Clark  11/26/2018 12/14/2018 2018-Ohio-5012
Acts 17:28 Ministries, Inc. v. Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2017-00355JDCivil procedure; magistrate; objections; Civ.R. 53; transcript. Plaintiffs brought this action for breach of contract after Defendant terminated a service contract. Following a bench trial, the magistrate found in favor of Defendant. Plaintiffs filed objections to the magistrate’s decision, pursuant to Civ.R. 53(D)(3)(b)(i). Plaintiffs’ objections challenged a factual finding by the magistrate. Civ.R. 53(D)(b)(iii) requires objections to a factual finding to be supported by a transcript or affidavit of evidence. The party filing objections must file the transcript or affidavit within 30 days of filing the objections, unless the court extends time in writing or there is other good cause. In this case, the court did not grant an extension of time to file a transcript or affidavit. Plaintiffs failed to file a transcript or affidavit within 30 days. Because Plaintiffs’ objections concerned factual findings by the magistrate and Plaintiffs did not file a transcript or affidavit, the court overruled the objections. Finding no error in the magistrate’s legal conclusions, the court adopted the magistrate’s decision.McGrath  11/14/2018 12/10/2018 2018-Ohio-4954
Ebersole v. Powell 2018-00478PQPublic Records: Requester sued respondent, alleging a denial of access to public records. A special master issued a report and recommendation, advising the court to deny requester’s claim for production of records and to find that respondent committed a violation of R.C. 14.943(B)(2) (duty of a public office or person responsible for a requested public record to provide information and invite revision of a request for records). Requester and respondent separately filed objections to the special master’s report and recommendation. The court overruled requester’s objections and sustained respondent’s objections. The court adopted in part, rejected in part, and modified in part the special master’s report and recommendation. The court also adopted, as modified, the special master’s report and recommendation.McGrath  11/13/2018 12/14/2018 2018-Ohio-5011
Narciso v. Powell Police Dept. 2018-01195PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; R.C. 149.43; incident report; investigatory; work product; uncharged; suspect; incorporated; safety; privacy; non-record; burden of proof; inextricably; intertwined. Overview: Requester sought a police investigative file. Police department provided a partial incident report and conceded the investigation had concluded, but asserted that all remaining records were “inextricably intertwined” with the identity of an uncharged suspect, and that some of the records would endanger the physical safety of crime victims or witnesses, or violate a constitutional right of privacy, or were non-records. The special master found that the department must release additional parts of the initial incident reports, including documents incorporated by reference. The special master found that the investigatory file contained specific items of information that if released would have a high probability of disclosing the identity of an uncharged suspect. The special master further found that Powell PD provided no evidence that disclosure of any record would endanger the life or physical safety of a crime victim or witness. The special master further found that social security numbers and images of genitals, breasts and underwear were subject to a Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy and may be redacted from the records. The special master further found that to the extent the contents of storage devices obtained in the investigation were not actually used to document the investigation, they were not “records” of the department and thus not subject to the Public Records Act. The special master further found that the department could redact information excepted by R.C. 149.43(A)(1)(dd) and R.C. 1306.23. Other than two particular records, the special master found that none of the excepted information was “inextricably intertwined” with the records in which they were contained. The special master found that the department had improperly sought to transfer its duty to redact only exempt information from its records onto the court. The special master recommended the court grant requester’s claim for production of records, subject to the specific redactions approved in the report. Neither party filed objections. Outcome: The court found no error of law or other defect on the face of the special master’s decision and adopted the report and recommendation as its own.McGrath  11/8/2018 12/14/2018 2018-Ohio-5017
Krouse v. Ohio State Univ. 2018-00988PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; R.C. 149.43; grand jury; Crim.R. 6(E); FERPA, 34 CFR 99.3. Overview: Requester sought copies of a grand jury subpoena, and documents submitted in response, from respondent university. Respondent claimed the records were excepted from disclosure by Crim.R. 6(E), and by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The special master found that the terms of Crim.R. 6(E) do not bar witnesses from disclosing subpoenas they receive or documents filed in response. The special master found that because the request was made by a person who knew the identity of the student to whom the records related, disclosure of the education records was excepted by 34 CFR 99.3, Personally Identifiable Information, subsection (g).Clark  11/5/2018 12/14/2018 2018-Ohio-5014
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