The Avalanche Begins.

On November 20, 2012, the high court released three decisions from my “Burning the Midnight Oil” post list. Here they are, with the issue and short answer.  I’ll blog more fully on them in the upcoming days.

Angel L. Horvath et. al. v. David Ish et. al. #2011-1089.

This case involves the interpretation of sports and recreational activity rules codified in R.C. 4149, Ohio’s ski safety statute.

Case Syllabus

Skiers assume the ordinary risks of skiing, which include collisions with other skiers, and cannot recover for an injury unless it can be shown that the other skier’s actions were reckless or intentional.

6-1 Opinion by Justice Stratton, with Justice Pfeifer concurring in part and dissenting in part. Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-5333

Larry Hewitt v. The L.E. Myers Co. et al., 2011-2013

The issue in this employer intentional tort case is what constitutes the deliberate removal of an equipment safety guard, thus creating a rebuttable presumption of intent to injure under R.C. 2745.01 (C).

Case syllabus:

As used in R.C. 2745.01(C), “equipment safety guard” means a device designed to shield the operator from exposure to or injury by a dangerous aspect of the equipment, and the “deliberate removal” of an equipment safety guard occurs when an employer makes a deliberate decision to lift, push aside, take off, or otherwise eliminate that guard.

6-1 decision written by Justice Stratton, but Justice McGee Brown and Chief Justice O’Connor concurred in judgment only,  and Justice Pfeifer dissented. Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-5317.

Michael L. Hawsman v. City of Cuyahoga Falls, 2011-1588.

(note—in keeping with rule change regarding names of minors, case is now captioned M.H.v. Cuyahoga Falls)

The issue in the case is whether the exception to sovereign immunity codified at R.C. 2744.02(B)(4) applies to a diving board accident at the city’s indoor natatorium.

Court’s holding:

In its motion for summary judgment the city did not establish its right to immunity under R.C. 2744.02(A)(1), “because under R.C. 2744.02(B)(4), a political subdivision can be held liable for injury caused by the negligence of its employees that occurred within the grounds of buildings used in performing a governmental function applies.”

Unanimous decision by Justice Pfeifer.  Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-5336.  No syllabus.

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