Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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The Supreme Court answered a case certified to it by the Twelfth District Court of Appeals in this medical malpractice case, holding that, for purposes of Ohio Rev. Code 2317.43(A), a statement expressing apology is “a statement that expresses a feeling of regret for an unanticipated outcome of the patient’s medical care and may include an acknowledgment that the patient’s medical care fell below the standard of care.” Under the statute, statements expressing apology are inadmissible as evidence of an admission of liability or as evidence of an admission against interest. The trial court in this case excluded the statements of a medical doctor, concluding that the statements were an “attempt at commiseration” and were therefore inadmissible under the apology statute. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 2317.43(A) is unambiguous and that the doctor’s statements were correctly excluded. View "Stewart v. Vivian" on Justia Law

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Appellants in this case were Dr. Abubakar Atiq Durrani and several medical providers and hospitals. Plaintiffs in the underlying cases were more than fifty of Dr. Durrani’s former patients. Judge Robert Ruehlman of the Court of Common Pleas of Hamilton County was one of the twelve judges to whom the cases were originally assigned. Plaintiffs in the Durrani cases filed with Administrative Judge Robert Winkler a motion to transfer and consolidate the cases to the docket of Judge Ruehlman. Judge Ruehlman signed and entered the proposed consolidation order that Plaintiffs had submitted and sua sponte began signing entries of reassignment transferring the cases to his docket. Appellants filed a complaint for extraordinary relief seeking a writ of prohibition and writ of mandamus. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint. The Supreme Court reversed and issued a writ of mandamus and a writ of prohibition, holding (1) Appellants lacked an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law and had a clear legal right to have each underlying case returned to the judge to whom the case was originally assigned; and (2) Judge Ruehlman patently and unambiguously lacked the authority to order the consolidation of the underlying malpractice cases. View "State ex rel. Durrani v. Ruehlman" on Justia Law

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In 2010, Plaintiffs filed a complaint in state court alleging medical malpractice and derivative claims against Defendants for medical care Plaintiffs received in 2008. Plaintiffs dismissed their claims without prejudice and, in 2012, filed a qui tam action in federal district court. In 2013, Plaintiffs moved for leave to file an amended complaint adding state law medical-malpractice claims. The federal district court denied leave and granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss. In 2013, Plaintiffs filed a complaint in state court alleging state malpractice claims. The trial court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss the case, concluding that Plaintiffs failed to state a claim because both the statute of limitations and the statute of repose applicable to Plaintiffs’ claims had expired. The trial court further determined that 28 U.S.C. 1367(d), the federal tolling statute, applies only to protect claims while pending in federal court, and because Plaintiffs’ motion to amend the complaint to add the malpractice claims was denied, the state claims were never pending and were not protected. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that once a claim has vested, the statute of repose can no longer operate to bar litigation. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the trial court appropriately dismissed the case because neither the saving statute nor the tolling statute applied in this case. View "Antoon v. Cleveland Clinic Foundation" on Justia Law