News

  The Cuyahoga River was used as a trade route for thousands of years by the American Indians, who referred to it as the “Ka-ih-ogh-ha” or crooked river.

Notable Cases

Franklin C.P. No. 14 CV 005498 (July 31, 2015)

Plaintiff allegedly suffered a severe spinal cord injury after an eleven-year old child struck her with a go-kart during a race with other children on a private backyard go-kart track.  Plaintiff was standing near the edge of the track taking pictures of the children when this one child driver lost control.  Plaintiff filed suit against the couple who invited plaintiff to the event, the child, the child’s parents, the track owners, and several companies which were alleged to have been involved in the track design or construction.

Adam E. Carr successfully argued that this go-kart race was a recreational activity and thus, the plaintiff’s claim was barred by the doctrine of primary assumption of risk under Gentry v. Craycraft, 101 Ohio St. 3d 141, 2004-Ohio-379, 802 N.E.2d 1116.  At common law, a plaintiff’s assumption of the risk stood as an absolute bar to his recovery.  Anderson v. Ceccardi, 6 Ohio St. 3d 110, 451 N.E.2d 780 (1983).  With the enactment of former R.C. 2315.19, Ohio’s original comparative negligence statute, the defense of implied assumption of risk merged with the defense of contributory negligence.  Anderson at syllabus.  However, primary assumption of risk did not merge with contributory negligence.  Gallagher v. Cleveland Browns Football Co., 74 Ohio St. 3d 427, 431, 659 N.E.2d 1232 (1996).  Primary assumption of risk arises where the defendant owes no duty to the plaintiff.  It is a defense of extraordinary strength and it acts as a complete bar to a plaintiff’s recovery.  Gallagher at 431.

11th Dist. No. 2012-T-0096, 2013-Ohio-5817

Plaintiff had been transported to a local hospital following a near-drowning diving accident.  He alleged that substandard medical care rendered him a quadriplegic/tetraplegic.  Some of the medical defendants asserted a third-party complaint for contribution and indemnity against the property owners for the original injury, based on an alleged defect in the condition of the property.

Adam E. Carr successfully moved for a Civ. R. 12(B)(6) dismissal in the trial court and successfully defended the appeal.  No case has been found in American legal history in which a medical malpractice defendant was permitted to assert such a claim against the original tortfeasor.  The treating doctor “takes his victim as he finds him,” and is responsible for the consequences of his or her own malpractice, if any.  The treating doctor is not responsible for the original injury, but only to the extent, if any, that his substandard care made the injury worse.  This fundamental principle of tort law was affirmed.

N.D.Ohio No. 4:11-cv-01174

Adam E. Carr successfully defended a pre-teen girl and her parents in federal court. Our clients had been accused of bullying at school and cyberbullying on the internet. The plaintiff filed suit against our clients, plus ten other children, their parents, and the school district. The allegations against our clients were dismissed with prejudice during discovery, with no payment by our clients or their insurer.

The plaintiff and her mother appeared on the Dr. Phil show (aired twice) and 48 Hours. None of the defendants were interviewed on either program. Despite this, our client prevailed in court.

100 Ohio St. 3d 302, 2003-Ohio-5888, 798 N.E.2d 1077

Adam E. Carr represented the successful insurers in two of the companion cases to Westfield Ins. Co. v. Galatis, 100 Ohio St.3d 216, 2003-Ohio-5849, 799 N.E. 2d 179.  The Supreme Court of Ohio adopted one of Adam E. Carr’s arguments on insurance policy interpretation.  It was Galatis that ended the Scott-Pontzer phenomenon, which had driven some leading insurers out of the Ohio insurance market.

Appellate Cases

  • Williams v. Alvarez, 6th Dist. No. WM-17-001, 2017-Ohio-8208 (injury to social guest)
  • Ochall v. McNamer, 10th Dist. No. 15 AP-772, 2016-Ohio-8493 (quadriplegic after go-kart accident)
  • Carter v. Forestview Terrace, 8th Dist. No. 103165, 2016-Ohio-5229 (injury to residential tenant)
  • Schaefer v. Musil, 9th Dist. No. 27109, 2014-Ohio-1504 (definition of occurrence)
  • DeMarco v. Allstate, 8th Dist. No. 100192, 2014-Ohio-933 (insurer work product privilege in bad faith case)
  • Barker v. Emergency Professional Serv., Inc. 11th Dist. No. 2012-T-0096, 2013-Ohio-5817; 11th Dist. Nos. 2012-T-0097 & 2013-T-0026, 2013-Ohio-5818; 11th Dist. No. 2012-T-0098, 2013-Ohio-5819; in related appeal, 11th Dist. No. 2013-T-0018, 2014-Ohio-1368 (quadriplegic after diving accident)
  • Fuline v. Green, 9th Dist. No. 26586, 2013-Ohio-2171, on prior appeal, 9th Dist. Nos. 25704 & 25936, 2012-Ohio-2749 (attorney fee award)
  • Dixon v. O’Brien, 7th Dist. No. 12 MA 19, 2013-Ohio-1429, on prior appeal, 7th Dist. No. 09 MA 123, 2011-3399 (motion for new trial; special rules for appeal in magistrate trial)
  • Kish v Scrocco, 7th Dist. No. 11 MA 197, 2013-Ohio-899 (wrongful death premises case)
  • Harris-Coker v. Abraham, 9th Dist. No. 26053, 2012-Ohio-4135 (negligence per se in premises case)
  • Shankle v. Egner, 5th Dist. Nos. 2011 CA 00121 and 2011 CA 00143, 2012-Ohio-2027 (default judgment and service of process)
  • Jaronovic v. Iacofano, 11th Dist. App. No. 2011-L-070, 2012-Ohio-1581 (premises case)
  • Suggs v. Looby, 5th Dist. No. 2011 CA 00023, 2011-Ohio-4533 (motion for new trial)
  • Hartzell v. Breneman, 7th Dist. No. 10 MA 67, 2011-Ohio-2472 (physician-patient privilege)

Trial Court Cases

Summit C.P. No. CV-2016-04-1842

Adam E. Carr defended a laundromat alleged to have caused serious injury to a nine-year-old girl and her father. They were sitting outside, in front of the laundromat, waiting for their laundry to dry. An unlicensed minivan driver lost control while parking, struck them both, and pushed them through a plate glass window. The girl sustained compound fractures of both legs and a severely lacerated Achilles tendon. She was hospitalized for five days and bedridden for several weeks. After four surgeries, she still had some permanent loss of use of the tendon, and extensive permanent scarring on both legs. Her father sustained transverse process fractures of three vertebrae and a concussion. He was immobilized in the hospital for three days. He missed approximately eight weeks of work as a plasterer and he continued to experience ongoing back pain while working. The girl’s six-year-old brother witnessed the accident and received counseling afterward.

Two years earlier, another motorist had backed into the building, breaking the same window. An architect with expertise in parking lot design testified that the laundromat could have prevented this second accident through placement of bollards and wheel stops in front of the building, moving the customer waiting area to a safer place, and other safety measures. The architect noted that bollards were used at other locations on the property, but not right in front of the customer entrance.

The plaintiffs presented $172,549.50 in medical bills and lost wages. They requested the jury to award $1,150,000 in damages. The emotional distress claim of the six-year-old brother was dismissed during trial following a motion for a directed verdict. The laundromat was assessed a net verdict of $388,147.27.

Lorain C.P. No. 15 CV 186185 (June 21, 2016)

$14,000 jury verdict for plaintiff involved in significant motor vehicle accident.  Plaintiff’s vehicle was totaled and defendant’s vehicle sustained $26,000 in property damage.  Plaintiff’s injuries consisted of neck pain and bulging discs.  Plaintiff’s treatment lasted multiple years and included physical therapy.  Liability was not in dispute.

Cuyahoga C.P. CV-14-832847

Eric K. Grinnell successfully argued to overturn the foreclosure and sheriff’s sale of his client’s home due to insufficient service of process.

Ashtabula C.P. No. 2016 CV 0859 (January 12, 2018)

$10,000 total jury verdict for plaintiff involved in motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff Michael Boch was riding a motorcycle and was rear ended by defendant Demas. Plaintiff argued that the injury aggravated his carpal tunnel syndrome and necessitated surgery. Plaintiff also had soft tissue injuries to his neck and low back, which necessitated treatment from ER and chiropractor. Plaintiff also had follow-up treatment after his surgery. Total medical specials were $16,745.00. Verdict was $8,000 for plaintiff Michael Boch’s personal injury claim and $2,000 for loss of consortium claim for plaintiff Robin Boch. Eric K. Grinnell represented defendant Demas.  Defendant Demas’ insurer offered her liability limits prior to suit, which were advanced by Co-defendant Progressive Insurance Company.  The total verdict came in less than the limits that were offered and advanced.

  • Long v. Oliver, et al, Cuyahoga C.P. No. CV-17-890475 (August 23, 2018) (summary judgment granted on residential slip and fall)
  • Hanni v. Allstate, Mahoning C.P. 16 CV 1906 (Feb. 2, 2017) (delay in payment not bad faith)
  • Stefou v. Hill, Cuyahoga C.P. No. CV-16-857365 (Jan. 10, 2017) (scope of insurance coverage challenged by different insurer)
  • Shelton v. Encompass, Summit C.P. CV 2015-11-5304 (Aug. 1, 2016) (value dispute not bad faith)
  • Carson v. Cavoulas, Mahoning C.P. No. 13 CV 1927 (Sept. 30, 2014) (right-of-way case)
  • Keough v. Trissel, Stark C.P. No. 2013CV02594 (May 22, 2014) (no punitive damages from alcohol consumption without evidence of impairment)
  • Nalbach v. Sharp, Trumbull C.P. No. 2012 CV 1098 (Nov. 19, 2013) (restrictive definition of insured challenged by different auto insurer)
  • Kizer v. Allstate, Lucas C.P. No. CI2010 05653 (June 24, 2011) (no insurable interest in vehicle)
  • Bossier v. Bridgewater Place, Summit C.P. CV 2010-11-7713 (June 15, 2011) (injunction ordering homeowner to remove fence which violated deed restrictions)

Lectures

Mr. Carr has given the following recent lectures:

  • Amazingly Important Claim Handling Questions, National Insurance Fraud Seminar, National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators (Indianapolis, IN, October 2018)
  • Understanding Hearsay, National Business Institute (Youngstown, OH, June 2018)
  • Claim File Do’s and Don’ts, Ohio Joint Insurance Fraud Seminar (Columbus, OH, March 2017)
  • A Parent’s Grief Journey, Akron Children’s Hospital (Akron, OH, December 2016.)
  • Challenging A Personal Injury Damages Award, Clear Law Institute (online seminar, July 14, 2016)
  • Reservation of Rights and the Duty to Defend, Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (Cleveland, OH, March 2016)
  • Litigation 101, Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (Cleveland, OH, August 2015)
  • The Rules of Evidence: A Practical Toolkit, National Business Institute (Youngstown, OH, April 2015)

Eric K. Grinnell has given the following recent lectures:

  • Damages in Personal Injury, National Business Institute (Akron, OH , December 20, 2018)
  • Insurance Coverage Litigation Boot Camp, National Business Institute (Independence, OH, December 6, 2018)
  • Personal Injury 101, National Business Institute (Cleveland, OH, September 28, 2018)
  • Damages in Personal Injury, National Business Institute (Akron, OH, November 3, 2017)