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Advocates Circle Firms

Arthur Law Firm Co., LPA.

 

Barkan Meizlish
Handelman Goodin DeRose
Wentz, LLP

 

Bordas & Bordas, PLLC

 

Brian, Zwick, Marchisio & Associates

 

Elk & Elk

 

Geiser, Bowman & McLafferty, LLC

 

The Gervelis Law Firm

 

Kisling Nestico & Redick

 

Kitrick, Lewis & Harris Co.,. LPA

 

Leizerman & Associates, LLC

 

Lamkin, Van Eman, Trimble & Dougherty, LLC

 

Meyer Wilson Co., LPA

 

Murray & Murray Co., LPA

 

Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy Co., LPA

 

O'Connor Acciani & Levy, LPA

 

Rittgers & Rittgers

 

Plevin & Gallucci Co., LPA

 

Rourke & Blumenthal

 

Slater & Zurz, LLP

 

Robert J. Wagoner, Co., LLC

 

Tzangas Plakas Mannos Ltd.

 

Young and McCarthy LLP

 


 

                       

 

OAJ BLOG CENTRAL

Drowsy Driving is a Serious Risk

Shared by Levy Law Offices 

www.levylawoffices.com/blog


Drowsy driving is a big problem on roadways in Ohio and throughout the United States. It's dangerous because it results in several different risky behaviors, including reduced attentiveness, slow reaction times and poor judgment. Sleepiness or fatigue on the road is caused by untreated sleep disorders, overwork, medications and alcohol. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2013, there were 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths caused by drowsy driving.

People who don't get enough sleep are most obviously affected by drowsy driving, but there are several other categories of individuals who are at high risk for engaging in the behavior. These include commercial drivers, shift workers and those who use medications. According to reports, 1 in 25 people reported falling asleep behind the wheel at least once in a 30-day period. People who got less than six hours of sleep per day or snored were more likely to experience drowsiness while driving.

Besides getting enough sleep, there are a few other things people can do to mitigate the risk of driving while drowsy. If a driver can't prevent him or herself from falling asleep, he or she should pull over and take a nap. The signs of sleepiness include frequent yawning and blinking, reduced short-term memory, missing an exit, drifting from a lane and hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road.

Victims of motor vehicle accidents that were caused by the drowsiness of a third party may have the right to compensation for their medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages and other pain and suffering. Receiving compensation often requires representation from an attorney who focuses on personal injury cases. A lawyer may be able to help a victim negotiate a settlement out of court or file a lawsuit and go to trial.


#MeToo includes #AllOfUs

Shared by NachtLaw PC 

www.nachtlaw.com/blog


The #MeToo movement started in 2017 with a group of actresses coming forward about the misdeeds of movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Most observers would agree that one of the most positive results has been that the long-existing issue of sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace against women is now high in the public consciousness. It's important to acknowledge, however, that women alone don't make up the victim population.

No one can say for certain how many men are in the same boat. Officials with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission who track complaints say many male victims don't file complaints out of uncertainty or fear. But one recent CNBC survey found that 10 percent of men have reported being victims of improper conduct. At the same time, the EEOC says nearly one in every five complaints received come from men.

What sexual harassment of men looks like

Because of the #MeToo movement and precedent set by earlier brave women, many have at least some idea of what sexual harassment in the workplace can look like. The picture is not quite as clear when it comes to men. When allegations surface, it's not pretty, as the following examples show.

  • A worker at a Virginia nuclear manufacturing facility tells how he was targeted by a male co-worker over three years, including one incident in which the co-worker unzipped his pants and thrust his crotch toward the victim's face as he took a drink of water from a fountain.
  • A male ironworker in Louisiana alleged he was targeted by his supervisor because he didn't live up to the boss's ideal of what it means to be a "rough ironworker." The boss purportedly called the worker "princess," and often made lewd comments and gestures to him.

By legal standards, those stories represent unacceptable behavior, and anyone who suspects they're a victim of possible harassment or discrimination should learn more about their rights and options.

Consulting experienced legal counsel is one way to do that. Other steps include:

  • Commit to speaking up. Bad conduct won't stop if the person responsible for it doesn't know it's offensive. By saying something, the offender is on notice and should be aware that further action is possible.
  • Learn and follow company procedures for handling such issues. Many employers have policies to fight harassment because they know they are required by law to maintain a work environment free of harassment. Follow them to the letter. If policy calls for you to report infractions to a supervisor and that person is the offender, report to his or her superior.
  • Bring in regulators. If following company policy doesn't yield results, check with an attorney about what avenues exist under federal laws and the laws of your state. In Michigan, this might involve reaching out to the Department of Civil Rights.
  • Consider filing suit. This can occur in federal court if the EEOC issues a notice of your right to sue. Your claim of injury doesn't have to be physical in nature. Emotional distress is injury, too

How to Prove an Injury Happened at Work

Shared by Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., L.P.A.

www.ohiodisabilitylaw.com/blog


Workers’ compensation benefits can be a lifeline for employees injured on the job, particularly if they are temporarily or permanently unable to return to work. Most employers offer some form of workers’ comp insurance, but getting access to the benefits you deserve involves a lengthy and at times complicated claims process. One of the most important things to prove when you file your claim is that the injury happened while you were on the job. Without this crucial point, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer will not have to pay you a dime.

Employers and their insurers are out to protect their bottom line, and this can cause them to dispute your account of what happened, especially if they think they can prove your injury did not occur at work. At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., L.P.A., we fight for the compensation our clients need and deserve for their workplace injuries. With that in mind, here are some tips for proving that your injury happened at work.

Evidence to Help Prove Your Injury Is Work-Related

Evidence will be a vital part of your workers’ compensation claim. There are several pieces of evidence you can gather immediately after your workplace accident. Here are some of the types of evidence you can use to prove that your injury was work-related:

  • Pictures of the scene and your injuries

  • Witness reports

  • Time reports showing that you were clocked in at the time of the accident

  • Maintenance reports of equipment involved in the accident

  • Documentation from your doctor

  • Any records of your or anyone else’s formal report of the accident to the employer

With this type of evidence in hand, you will be well on your way to proving that the accident occurred on the job. However, your employer and its workers’ compensation insurer may still try to undermine your account of what happened to avoid paying you the compensation you need. So it is crucial to have an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side to protect your rights throughout the process.

Defenses Your Employer Might Use to Say Your Injury Isn’t Work-Related

Many employers and insurance companies simply don’t want to shell out for your injuries. Your employer might decide to throw a great amount of energy and resources into discrediting you. Here are some of the defenses an employer or insurance company might try to use to say your injury wasn’t work-related:

  • You may have been present at the facility, but you were not working at the time.

  • You were using equipment in a mischievous or unauthorized way instead of following protocol.

  • You were drunk or on drugs at the time of the accident.

  • You waited too long to report the alleged accident.

  • Your injury was a pre-existing condition.

There are ways to combat these and other defenses, but you will need the evidence on your side. Employers and their insurers have a huge amount of resources at their disposal, and they will likely conduct their own investigation to try to discredit your account. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you put your evidence together into a strong case and fight back against bogus defenses from your employer.

What to Do If You Are Injured on the Job

Any time you are injured, your body’s fight-or-flight instinct is likely to kick in, and everything may seem like it’s in a haze. However, if you can remember to take these steps, you will have a better chance of successfully pursuing a workers’ compensation claim for your injuries:

  1. Call for help. Unless you work in a totally isolated environment, you should be able to get other employees on the scene to help you. Your coworkers can call 911 if you are unable to, and they will be able to serve as witnesses later.

  2. Call 911, if necessary. If your injuries are severe and you need to go to the emergency room, call 911. It is better to be safe than sorry, and if you leave serious injuries untreated when you need emergency medical attention, your situation will only get worse. If your workplace has a nurse or doctor on duty, you may go to them. Even if you don’t require emergency medical treatment, you should get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

  3. Gather evidence. If you are not immediately rushed to the hospital, you should start gathering evidence right away. Take pictures of your injuries and of any equipment involved, along with the rest of the scene. Ask your coworkers to record witness statements.

  4. Report the accident to your employer. You should formally report the accident to your employer as soon as possible. If you fail to do so, they might use that against you in arguing that the accident did not take place on the job.

  5. Follow all medical instructions.Be sure to attend all follow-up doctor’s appointments and follow their instructions, such as taking medication and limiting physical activity. This will show that you are taking your injury and your treatment seriously.

  6. Save all documentation and receipts. Keep all paperwork related to your injury, including medical bills, accident reports, etc. All this will be helpful in building your claim.


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The Scooter Trend - Convenient and Fun Until Someone Gets Hurt

Shared by 

www.rinehardtlawfirm.com/blog


If you live in or near Columbus, you’ve probably seen the newly installed electric scooters for rent.  Two competing companies, Bird and Lime (owned by Uber), expanded to central Ohio in mid-July introducing motorized scooters to Ohio State’s campus and several Columbus neighborhoods, including downtown. 

Bird Rides has an app that allows customers to locate and rent the scooters for $1.00 plus 15 cents per minute.  Lime will use the Uber app to locate and rent its scooters.  The scooters are picked up by company employees and charged at night.  They are not meant to be used after sunset.

Proponents tout the scooters as the next logical step in the transportation revolution, they are environmentally friendly, and make it easy to zip around the city or campus.  Opponents complain that the scooters are an annoying fad among hipsters and tourists, who weave in and out of traffic putting themselves and others at risk.

One thing is certain, accidents will happen.

Some of the most common accidents include:

  • Pedestrians tripping over parked scooters: Scooter users often leave the scooters lying around on pathways and sidewalks.  When left carelessly discarded, the scooter presents a tripping hazard.
  • Automobile or truck drivers hitting riders: The scooters travel at a speed of only 15 mph, making it extremely dangerous to ride one on the roadways with cars and trucks traveling at much higher rates of speed. In addition, the scooters are quite small and even less visible than motorcycles or bicycles. 
  • Riders striking a pedestrian on the sidewalk: To date, the scooters are permitted on sidewalks and other pathways presenting the opposite problem of being on the roadway. At speeds of up to 15 mph, scooter riders are traveling much faster than a pedestrian causing crashes and injuries. 
  • Scooter defects: Scooters have been known to malfunction and suddenly stop working causing rider ejection or falls. Also, if a rider brakes hard, the front wheel can lock up throwing the rider off the scooter.
  • Children riding the electric scooters and people riding tandem
  • Road hazards: Scooter riders may crash by hitting or swerving around potholes, road debris, gravel or uneven surfaces. Scooter riders may also crash trying to avoid pedestrians, dogs, other scooter riders or cars. Sometimes scooter riders crash after being chased by unleashed dogs.
  • Riding recklessly, while impaired, or intoxicated.

Until state and local legislatures catch up with the unique challenges presented by electric scooters, for now, there is no licensing, permitting or helmet requirements under Ohio law, and the scooters are permitted on both streets and sidewalks in Columbus.  Each city or township will make its own determination governing the operation of the scooters. 


When Employer's Go Too Far - Disability-Related Inquiries And Medical Examinations Under The Americans With Disabilities Act

Shared by Nilges Draher LLC

www.ohlaborlaw.com/blog


The Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") limits an employer's ability to make disability-related inquiries or require medical examinations. During employment, employers "shall not require a medical examination and shall not make inquiries of an employee as to whether such employee is an individual with a disability or as to the nature and severity of the disability, unless such examination or inquiry is shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity." Any employee can challenge a disability-related inquiry or medical examination that is not "job-related and consistent with business necessity."

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") has defined a "disability-related inquiry" as "a question (or series of questions) that is likely to elicit information about a disability." This may include asking an employee about the severity of a disability, asking an employee to provide medical documentation regarding a disability, asking about prior workers' compensation history, or asking about prescription medications, for example.

A "medical examination" is a "procedure or test that seeks information about an individual's physical or mental impairments or health." A number of factors should be considered when assessing whether a medical examination is improper under the ADA. These include whether the test is administered and/or interpreted by a health care professional, whether the test is designed to reveal an impairment or physical or mental health, whether the text is normally given in a medical setting, and whether medical equipment is used, for example.

In general, a disability-related inquiry or medical examination of an employee may be "job-related and consistent with business necessity" when an employer "has a reasonable belief, based on objective evidence, that: (1) an employee's ability to perform essential job functions will be impaired by a medical condition; or (2) an employee will pose a direct threat due to a medical condition." The 6th Circuit has held that this entails "dual requirements that there be evidence sufficient for a reasonable person to doubt whether an employee is capable of performing the job, and that any examination be limited to determining an employee's ability to perform essential job functions."

Individuals who have suffered from workplace injuries can be particularly vulnerable to these types of inquiries or examinations. Pursuant to the EEOC, employers are permitted to ask questions or require examinations that are limited to the specific workplace injury and its impact on the employee only when necessary for the employer to determine the employee's eligibility for workers' compensation benefits.

Nilges Draher recently defeated an employer's motion for summary judgment on this very issue. In Angel v. Bilfinger Weston, Inc. an Ohio federal court found there to be a genuine issue of material fact as to whether an employer was allowed to require an employee to submit to a medical examination, after the employer had previously required the employee to attend various doctors' appointments after a workplace injury. This is an unprecedented decision in the 6th Circuit.


Couple Granted $1.36 Million after Hospital Negligence Verdict

Shared by Tittle & Perlmuter

tittlelawfirm.com/blog


Lindsey Setzer was just 23 years old when she went to St. Clare Hospital due to a urinary tract infection (UTI) and ongoing pain on her right side. Setzer and her husband, Michael, were 14 weeks pregnant and had already nicknamed their unborn child “Baby Setzer”.

When she arrived at the hospital, she informed the nurses of her kidney stone history and proceeded to have an ultrasound performed which revealed several more had formed. Her heart rate was above 140 beats per minute (BMP) and she was suffering from fever and nausea when the doctor released her without any antibiotics or prescription.

The next day, Setzer woke up with a severe fever and rapid heartbeat that led to her trip to the emergency room at Mercy Hospital. While in the emergency room, doctors diagnosed her with sepsis caused by the untreated UTI and began immediate treatment. Her diagnosis meant she would spend seven days in the intensive care unit (ICU) and would fully recover, but the same could not be said for “Baby Setzer”.

Searching for Justice

In 2016, Lindsey and Michael reached a confidential settlement against the doctor who treated her, Dr. Joseph Herrmann, but decided to file a second lawsuit against the hospital itself in 2018.

In search of justice, The Setzer’s and their lawyers began preparing for what would be a five-day, intensive trial in St. Louis, Missouri. Six years after Setzer’s traumatizing experience, justice was served and 9 out of 12 jurors found the hospital to be negligent. The jury determined that Setzer’s unborn child did not survive due to the hospital approving the discharge of a pregnant woman suffering from both kidney stones and a UTI as well as high fevers and nausea.

Kidney stones are known to have the ability to affect a fetus and complicate birth. If an expecting mother has consistent UTI’s and other symptoms of kidney stones, it’s important to see a doctor right away in order to avoid premature labor. Because the hospital voluntarily released Setzer with these symptoms, it led to the eventual loss of her fetus due to complications from her untreated condition.

As a result of Setzer’s overwhelming sense of loss for her child, she went on to become an obstetrics nurse for Mercy Hospital. She takes pride in helping expecting women stay healthy and informed and hopes to ensure her situation doesn’t happen to anyone else.


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Attorney Encourages Abuse Victims of Former OSU Doctor to Come Forward

Shared by Smith Law Office

www.sestriallaw.com/blog


Attorney Scott Elliot Smith of Smith Law Officeis representing victims of Dr. Richard Strauss, the physician formerly employed by Ohio State University who is alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct of male students during medical exams and procedures.

"Many students who were abused by Dr. Strauss weren't sure what to do about it," said Smith, who is currently representing some of Strauss's victims. "They may have felt ashamed or embarrassed, or at the time were afraid of the consequences if they reported the abuse. But they deserve to know their rights and they should know their legal options."

Strauss worked for the university from 1978 to 1998, serving as doctor for many of the school's sports teams, and also saw patients at the school's health centers.

In April, the school announced an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by Strauss, noting the state attorney general had hired an independent investigator to review the allegations.

Multiple students have already come forward with claims of sexual misconduct by Strauss, describing sexual abuse, fondling and other inappropriate touching. Many did report Strauss' behavior to coaches and administrators at Ohio State at the time, but no action was taken, Smith said. Strauss took his own life in 2005.

Smith stressed that any victims who come forward can expect privacy and confidentiality. "We are fully aware of how difficult these conversations can be," he said. "We protect the identity of victims from public disclosure. Our main interest is in helping them get justice."


Ohio is Missing its #MeToo Moment

Shared by Florence Murray of Murray Murray & Murray Co. LPA

www.murrayandmurray.com/blog


American culture has changed.

Victims of sexual assault are starting to have a voice against those who caused them harm.

Laws are changing so there is no safe harbor for those who would harm others and its time for Ohio to be part of this change.

Ohio’s current law not only empowers those who would do harm to others but also strip victims of their sacred constitutional rights. Ohio can help victims of sexual assault receive help in their recovery through Ohio House Bill 20.

Jessica Simpkins was a 15-year old member of Sunbury Grace Brethren Church in Sunbury, Ohio.

During a counseling session in March 2008, the Church’s Senior Pastor, Brian Williams, asked the teenager to perform oral sex. When she refused, Williams forced her. Simpkins then attempted to leave the office. Williams blocked the door, pushed her to the floor, and raped her.

Williams had a history of sexual misconduct with minors and young women while at another church. Despite this knowledge, Williams was promoted to the Senior Pastor position at Sunbury.

Simpkins sued, alleging that the Delaware Church’s negligent hiring practices resulted in the serial rapes. During the trial, two women testified that while they were teenagers, Williams had inappropriately touched them and made sexual comments to them. Witnesses testified that Delaware Church elders kept the prior misconduct “quiet to protect our brother.”

The jury awarded Simpkins $3.65 million in damages. But because Simpkins was a teenager with no work history, the jury could only award $151,378.85 for economic damages, such as lost wages.

The remaining $3.5 million consisted of “noneconomic” damages, like pain and suffering, which should be the jury’s decision.

However, under Ohio’s 2005 tort reform law, O.R.C. § 2,315.18, noneconomic damages for personal injury claims are capped at $350,000 per occurrence where there is no permanent physical deformity or disability.

The legislature passed this law to prevent “runaway juries” from making “inflated damage awards.” These so-called “runaway juries” are a crucial check on our democracy.

Thomas Jefferson said, “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” Our founding fathers called them “our smallest form of government.”

It seems absurd then to put restraints on the very thing our nation’s founders set forth to protect our citizens.

Ohio House Bill 20, which seeks to exempt victims of sexual or physical assault from the noneconomic damage caps, is stuck in limbo and has yet to receive any consideration in committee.

This inaction is not surprising and needs to change. The impact of noneconomic damage caps falls disproportionately on people who can’t fight back.

Valuable members of our society such as children, unborn babies, the elderly and stay-at-home moms are only able to receive awards under “non-economic” harms.

The bulk of their recovery is through compensation for “noneconomic” pain and suffering they have endured—which is currently capped. These caps place an arbitrary, one- size-fits-all value on life.

Simpkins has received little actual compensation for two rapes that will impact the rest of her life. In stripping her of her constitutional 7th amendment rights, we’ve also stripped her ability to be made whole.

As defenders of the constitution, the General Assembly must restore peoples’ sacred right to a trial by jury, so that we can continue to protect our most vulnerable citizens. Ohio House Bill 20 will start this changed.

We must not miss our #MeToo moment. 


Kentucky Jury Verdict in Campbell County - Trip and Fall While Shopping

Shared by Charlie M. Rittgers of Rittgers & Rittgers, Attorneys at Law

www.rittgers.com/blog


On July 30, 2016, Plaintiff Kirk Allyson, a 49-year-old male entered Defendant Dunham's sporting goods store In Alexandria, Kentucky, to purchase some dumbbell weights for his son who was a member of the Pendleton County football team. Dunham's Athleisure Corporation owned and operated the store located at 6805 Alexandria Pike in Alexandria, Kentucky.

Not being able to find the weights he was looking for, Plaintiff Allyson asked assistant manager Mike Welch to show him where the weights were located. Mr. Welch obliged and took the plaintiff to the exercise area. When the plaintiff asked how the weights were priced, Mr. Welch immediately directed the plaintiff's attention to some dumbbells located on a top shelf. As the dumbbells on the top shelf were above eye level, Kirk stepped back to get a better view, and as he did, he fell over a barbell rack which had been placed in the middle of the floor close to the shelving. The plaintiff did not see the barbell rack prior to falling over it as Mr. Welch directed his attention towards the dumbbells on the adjacent shelves. As a result of the fall, the plaintiff suffered injuries to his right knee, right arm, and a full thickness tear to his right rotator cuff which required surgery. 

Plaintiff Allyson was an over the road truck driver and was unable to fully perform his job duties until he had surgery to repair the rotator cuff tear.

The Jury in Campbell County Circuit Court found that Defendant Dunham's Athleisure Corporation was 85% responsible for the injuries to Plaintiff Allyson and found that Plaintiff Allyson was 15% at fault for his injuries. the Jury found that Defendant Dunham's failed to exercise ordinary care to maintain and keep its premises in a reasonably safe condition for the use of its patrons AND that such failure was a substantial factor in bringing about the incident in question and Plaintiff, Allyson's claimed injuries.

On January 30th, 2018, the Jury in Campbell County, Kentucky awarded Plaintiff Allyson $52,125.18 for past medical expenses, $9,549.04 for past lost wages, $90,000.00 for past mental and physical pain and suffering and $40,000.00 for future mental and physical pain and suffering. The award totaled $191,674.22 and was reduced by 15% for Plaintiff Allyson's portion of fault. 


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Fore! Ouch! Golf Course Liability 

Shared by John Sauter, Esq.

https://johnsauter.atavist.com/fore


According to Golf Digest, nearly 40,000 people are treated at emergency rooms across the United States for golf-related injuries each year, with most of the injuries the result of being struck by an errant golf ball or club head. 

Indeed, hitting a golf ball at a high rate of speed involves the very real possibility that the ball will take flight in an unintended direction, causing serious injury. 

But if you are struck by a golf ball while on a golf course, it may be difficult to win a lawsuit if you are struck by an errant shot.  This is because of the well-recognized assumption of the risk doctrine, which can serve as a complete bar injury claims. 

The Ohio Supreme Court, in the case of Marchetti v. Kalish, defined the assumption of the risk doctrine in the context of sporting events when it stated “where individuals engage in recreational or sports activities, they assume the ordinary risks of the activity and cannot recover for any injury unless it can be shown that the other participant’s actions were either ‘reckless’ or ‘intentional.’” 

In order for the assumption of the risk doctrine to apply, a court must find that (1) the danger is ordinary to the activity, (2) it is common knowledge that the danger exists, and (3) the injury occurs as a result of the danger during the course of the activity.

As a result, the doctrine of assumption of the risk serves to sever any duty that a fellow participant or owner of a stadium, arena, ball field or practice facility might owe to a participant engaged in a recreational or sporting activity. In accordance with Marchetti, a plaintiff will only be successful when the injury-causing participant or recreational provider engages in conduct that is either reckless or intentionally harmful. In other words, unless the injury-causing participant’s conduct is reckless or intentionally harmful (or outside the scope of anticipated injuries), the person that is injured has assumed the risk of injury through their participation in the athletic contest.

An example of intentionally harmful conduct would be a person deliberately striking a golf ball in the direction of another golfer with the intent to cause a harmful contact.

Reckless conduct, on the other hand, was defined by the Marchetti court as conduct where one “does or fails to do an act” knowing that “an unreasonable risk of harm to another” golfer is likely to occur.

An example of reckless behavior on the golf course can be found in Maxwell v. Rowe, 1998 WL 663228, in which the court stated that if a golfer did not look to the direction in which he or she were to hit the ball.  Similarly, if a golfer looked and saw a person or persons within his or her range and still proceeded with the shot, that golfer would also engage in reckless behavior.

A number of Ohio court decisions interpreting assumption of the risk in athletic activities have denied recovery to an injured golfer or spectator:

  • Alexander v. Tullis, 2006 WL 763088, stated that a poor golf shot that ended up striking a fellow golfer in the head did not rise to the level of recklessness and therefore recovery was denied. 
  • Barnhill v. Tipple stated that a golfer does not owe a duty to yell “Fore!” when the golfer did not know of someone in the ball’s path. 
  • Rogers v. Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co., 153 Ohio St. 513 (1950) held that a participant assumes the ordinary risks of injury when participating in athletic contests. 
  • Gauvrea v. Brentwood Golf Course, 1980 Ohio App. LEXIS 11510, held that a golfer has no duty to yell “Fore!” when an individual was not in the intended path of the ball. 
  • Biggin v. Stark, 1994 Ohio App. LEXIS 3747 denied recovery to a golfer struck in the mouth with a clubhead, holding that the fellow golfer’s act of striking the ball did not rise to reckless behavior. 
  • Bundshur v. Naffah, 147 Ohio App.3d 105 denied recovery to a driving range patron who was struck in the mouth with a ball that ricocheted off a steel fence support, finding that such an injury was within the scope of the risk a driving range patron assumes.
  • Armstrong v. Lakes Golf & Country Club, Inc., 2018-Ohio-1018 held that a country club member who fell into an irrigation box could not prevail in his claim for injuries because the open box adjoining a flower bed was an open and obvious hazard that the club member had an obligation to avoid.

However, golfers who have been struck by golf carts have been successful in court.

In the case of Coblentz v. Peters, 2005 Ohio App. LEXIS 1073, the court held that a golfer who was run over by a golf cart was able to recover for his injuries because being struck by a golf cart is not a foreseeable and customary part or risk of golfing. The Court stated that being hit by a ball or club head was within the ordinary risks of the game, but being struck by a golf cart was not.  The plaintiff was therefore able to receive monetary compensation for his injuries. Most recently, in Forman v. Kreps, 2016-Ohio-1604, another golfer run over by a golf cart was able to prevail when the court stated that being run over by a golf cart is not a foreseeable risk of golfing, because while a participant may have reason to believe that he or she may be struck by a golf ball while golfing, the participant does not have reason to believe that he or she will be struck by a golf cart.


How to Handle Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

Shared by The Friedmann Firm

www.thefriedmannfirm.com/blog


Employers that discriminate against people with physical or mental disabilities break the law. Holding them accountable yields benefits for the individuals subjected to unfair and harmful treatment.

Unfortunately, identifying and stopping disability discrimination in the workplace can be difficult. Anyone in Ohio who experiences or witnesses discriminatory behavior based on physical or mental capabilities should seek advice from an Ohio disability discrimination lawyer. Failing to follow the proper procedures for documenting, reporting, and seeking remedies for discrimination can result in no corrective action being taken, and potential loss of legal claims.

Know the Law on Disability Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers, supervisors, managers, and co-workers to treat all employees and job applicants who have disabilities fairly and respectfully. The law covers many aspects of seeking and holding a job. The Ohio-based disability discrimination attorneys with The Friedmann Firm have posted this list of frequently asked questions regarding the ADA. Topics addressed include:

  • Protections offered by the ADA, especially regarding reasonable accommodations;
  • Knowing whether you are protected by the ADA as a “qualified individual”;
  • The definition of disability discrimination;
  • The definition of disability under the ADA;
  • The definition of and examples of reasonable accommodations;
  • Whether an employer can require medical exams for job seekers and employees; and
  • Whether managers and supervisors can ask questions about a suspected disability or known disability. 

 

Recognizing Discriminatory Behavior

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the ADA. On its website, the commission makes it clear that the law prohibits unfair or unequal treatment when it comes to “hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.” The ADA also makes it illegal for any person in a workplace to harass someone who is disabled, if the harassment is based on the individual’s disability.

Perhaps the most-important employment protection the ADA provides is the one that requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for workers’ disabilities. When an accommodation is refused for a discriminatory reason and the employer cannot show that granting the accommodation would cause an “undue burden,” the employer may be violating the law.

How To Request A Reasonable Accommodation

An employee is typically responsible for asking for a reasonable accommodation for a disability.  Because of this, speaking with a compassionate disability discrimination lawyer can be a valuable first step. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to offer an opinion on what steps to take.

Generally, the process of requesting a reasonable accommodation for a disability is as follows:  

 

  1. Speak with your manager or supervisor about the need for a reasonable accommodation.   Ask he or she what you need to provide to request a reasonable accommodation.  If this conversation is in-person, ALWAYS follow it with an email and keep a copy of that email. 
  2. If you don’t receive an adequate response, contact Human Resources.  Alternatively, you can go to Human Resources as your first step. 
  3. After you have a conversation about what you need to provide to request a reasonable accommodation, be sure to provide medical documentation from your doctor to prove that you actually need a reasonable accommodation.  If possible, have your doctor review your job description and explain why you need a reasonable accommodation. 
  4. A conversation between you and the employer will likely take place, in which you will be told whether or not your reasonable accommodation can be provided.  If the employer says it cannot provide it, it must prove that doing so would be an “undue burden.”  This typically means too expensive, time consuming, or a waste of resources. 
  5. Lastly, consulting with an Ohio disability attorney throughout this process is vital to ensuring you ask for a reasonable accommodation in the right way.   We can also provide advice as to whether a reasonable accommodation is truly an “undue burden” on an employer. 

Newest Bike Laws Protecting Ohio Cyclists

Shared by Knabe Law Firm Co., LPA

www.klfohio.com/blog


Progress is being made regarding laws that protect us as cyclists.

3 FOOT PASSING LAW:  Ohio’s three-foot minimum safe distance passing requirement, ORC §   4511.27  http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4511.27 (A) (1) became effective March 21, 2017.

DEAD RED EXCEPTION: The “dead red” exception permits a cyclist to stop, then safely enter an intersection on “dead red” - occurring when a red light malfunctions or fails to trip to green because of failing to detect a bicycle’s presence, ORC §4511.132 (A) (1) (2) (3) became effective March 21, 2017. http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4511.132


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Ohio Liability Law: Who is Liable for Dangerous Products?

Shared by Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA.

blog.lewlaw.com/blog


Liability law in Ohio allows people injured by a dangerous product to pursue legal action for their injuries.  But determining who may be held liable for dangerous products and the damages they cause is not always simple.

Vehicles, appliances, tools, and other consumer products may cause injuries for a variety of reasons. Pursuing legal action against the correct parties ensures that your case proceeds as expeditiously as possible, while also protecting your rights and your claims.  Holding all parties responsible also increases the likelihood that you will be able to collect the full and fair value of your claim. 

Below are explanations of the most common defendants in claims involving dangerous products.

Liability Law: Manufacturers

When a manufacturer creates a product that is defective, either in design or in manufacture, then the manufacturer will typically be held liable for damages their product cau0sed.  Product liability cases most often involve lawsuits against manufacturers.  Because greedy businesses continue to release unsafe and defective products, product liability lawsuits are the injured consumer’s primary avenue for justice.

Liability Law: Suppliers

In certain circumstances, a supplier of the product may be held liable in the Ohio courts, either in lieu of or alongside of the manufacturer.  The Ohio Revised Code sets forth the many particular instances when a supplier may be subject to a product liability lawsuit.  Some examples include when a manufacturer has become insolvent, when the supplier created or furnished the product design, and many other instances. 

Knowing when to pursue a supplier in a product liability claim requires legal knowledge and analysis.  That is why retaining an experienced product liability lawyer is recommended for all product related injuries.

Negligence Law: Third Party Maintenance and Assembly

In many cases of product injuries, the product in question was not defective but rather dangerous as the result of third party errors.  Retailers and wholesalers frequently offer assembly and installation services. If these services are rendered negligently, the subject product may become unsafe.

Similarly, when third parties perform maintenance, such as on a motor vehicle or an appliance, failure to take reasonable care may actually make an otherwise safe product unsafe.  When third parties negligently perform these duties for consumers, they may be held liable.

What to Do After a Product Related Injury

Because it can be difficult to know who is responsible when a dangerous product causes injuries, contact an attorney as soon as possible.  In product related claims, preserving evidence, retaining experts, investigating the incident, and pursuing action against all responsible parties may be the only way for you to receive justice.


Construction Season Safety

Shared by Nager, Romaine and Schneiberg 

www.nrsinjurylaw.com/blog


Ohio is said to have three seasons; Winter, Fall and Construction. All joking aside, the warmer temperatures mean construction is in full swing. From road construction to building construction and everything in between, construction safety should be of highest priority.

Roadside Construction Safety

It is imperative that drivers adhere to posted construction speed limits and watch for construction workers and orange barrels. Every year, preventable tragedies occur due to driver distraction or negligence. Not only can a careless mistake cost the life (or quality of life) of a roadside construction worker, but it will forever change the course of life of the negligent driver.

Take extra caution on the roads and give yourself plenty of time to account for construction delays. Do your part to drive aware, and ALWAYS follow construction traffic patterns and safe speed limits.

Building Construction and Fall Safety

Every year the leading cause of construction fatalities is fall deaths. Falls account for more than 38% of the annual commercial and residential construction deaths. Fall fatalities have doubled in residential construction since 2011. The CDC reports that small businesses with 10 or fewer employees account for 61% of the residential fall deaths.

It is critical that construction job site safety practices are in place and followed to the letter. Fall arrest systems and proper training can save at least 300 lives each year. If you see something dangerous in your work environment alert a superior immediately and be the voice needed to prevent the next tragedy.

Trench and Underground Collapse Prevention

Tragically, local headlines last season highlight the very importance of this matter. From the heartbreaking Mentor trench collapse that took the life of a 28 year old, to a laundry list of near close calls – Proper collapse prevention is a corner that simply cannot be cut. Time and again OSHA fines and warnings just are not enough.

Every single trade worker has the right to be safe on his or her job site; this includes proper training and safety equipment. Taking the extra time to secure a trench or underground work space is paramount. 


Ohio's Laws Should Protect the Victims of Sexual Assault and Abuse, Not the Sexual Predators!

Shared by Rourke & Blumenthal

www.randbllp.com/blog


It may come as a shock that Ohio law protects companies and other organizations that negligently hire and retain perpetrators of sexual violence over the rights or their victims. Passed under the guise of so called “tort reform”, Ohio Revised Code § 2315.18(B) limits the amount of damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, fear, and mental anguish that can be recovered by victims of sexual violence to the greater of $250,000 or three times the injured party’s economic damages (medical expenses and lost wages). This means that organizations and individuals responsible for sexual violence are able to utilize RC § 2315.18(B) to reduce the amount of damages awarded to their victims by the careful decisions of impartial Ohio jurors.

To see the unfairness and inadequacy of RC § 2315.18(B), one need only look to the facts of the 2016 Ohio Supreme Court case upholding the constitutionality of the statute as applied to a teenage rape survivor. Jessica Simpkins, a fifteen-year-old girl, was raped by a youth pastor with a history of sexual misconduct known to his employer. In spite of his history, the rapist’s employer put him in a position of power over adolescent boys and girls. After hearing the case and coming to understand the impact of the rape on Ms. Simpkins’ life and future, an Ohio jury found her to be entitled to $3,651,378.85 in damages. However, the organization that negligently retained the rapist was able to use RC § 2315.18(B) to reduce her damages to a fractional $350,000 in addition to her medical expenses.

Of the many galling aspects of this unfair law is that the most vulnerable and weakest of the victims receive the least amount of compensation. A small child or an elderly nursing home resident typically has no wage loss claim. Their medical expenses also may be minimal. As a result, children and elderly victims of sexual violence and abuse will almost always receive the lowest of awards. In other words, those who deserve the most protection receive the least protection under this unfair law.

Unfortunately, efforts by State Representatives to undo some of the unfairness of RC § 2315.18(B) have stalled. On February 1, 2017, members of the 132nd General Assembly introduced House Bill 20 which would have prohibited application of RC § 2315.18(B) to reduce noneconomic damages in cases involving sexual violence. After being referred to the House Committee for Governmental Accountability and Oversight on February 8, 2017, the bill has still not received consideration by the Committee.

If you agree that Ohio’s cap on noneconomic damages is unfair, we urge you to contact your Ohio House representativeand ask for change.

For more information about House Bill 20 and commentary on the application of RC § 2315.18(B) to cases involving sexual violence, follow these links:

Cleveland Plain Dealer article by Kristin Boggs and Albert Lin

Columbus Dispatch article by Jim Siegel

Track the Bill


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About the Blog
OAJ Blog Central showcases informative blog posts from law firms and trial attorneys throughout Ohio. 

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Recent Posts:
Drowsy Driving is a Serious Risk
• #MeToo includes #AllOfUs
How to Prove an Injury Happened at Work

• The Scooter Trend - Convenient and Fun Until Someone Gets Hurt
• When Employer's Go Too Far - Disability-Related Inquiries And Medical Examinations Under The Americans With Disabilities Act

Keywords: Drowsy DrivingWork InjuryBird ScooterEmployers, ADAHospital, Medical NegligenceAbuse, Investigation#MeTooSlip and FallGolf LiabilityDisability Discrimination, WorkplaceBike LawsProduct LiabilityConstructionTort Reform, House Bill 20, Sexual Assault

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