Articles Posted in Ohio Supreme Court

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Law Firm filed a verified petition for a writ of mandamus to compel Housing Authority to provide copies of all records that documented any and all instances of lead poisoning in the last fifteen years in any dwelling owned or operated by Housing Authority. The court of appeals (1) granted Law Firm's motion for summary judgment regarding the request for lead-poisoning documents and ordered Housing Authority to produce the documents, and (2) granted $7,537 in attorney fees to Law Firm. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) to the extent that Law Firm's request properly sought the lead-poisoning records, the court of appeals did not err in granting the writ of mandamus to compel Housing Authority to provide access to them; (2) the personal identifying information in Housing Authority's lead-poisoning documents was not obtainable under the Public Records Act, but the remainder of the completed forms was subject to disclosure; and (3) the court of appeals erred in awarding attorney fees to Law Firm. Remanded. View "State ex rel. O'Shea & Assocs. Co., L.P.A. v. Cuyahoga Metro. Hous. Auth." on Justia Law

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Appellant Fairfield City Schools (Fairfield) sought reimbursement for a total disability compensation award given to one of its employees. Edward Carpenter, Jr. had hypertension since 1995. In 2002, he injured his back while at work. Mr. Carpenterâs injury resulted in a considerable amount of disability compensation. In 2008, Fairfield requested handicap reimbursement from the Ohio Bureau of Workersâ Compensation for at least part of the disability payments it made to Mr. Carpenter. Fairfieldâs application alleged that Mr. Carpenterâs pre-existing hypertension is a cardiac disease that delayed his recovery from back surgery, contributing to prolonged disability payments. The Bureau rejected Fairfieldâs application as âinsufficient to establish cardiac disease as a pre-existing condition.â Fairfield appealed the Bureauâs decision multiple times. With every appeal, Fairfield added additional doctorâs reports and Bureau datasheets to support its argument that hypertension is a cardiac disease. The court of appeals eventually denied Fairfieldâs appeal and application for a writ of mandamus. The appellate court found that the Bureau had exclusive authority to weigh the evidence Fairfield submitted, and the Bureau could find Fairfieldâs evidence insufficient to prove hypertension was a cardiac disease. Fairfield appealed to the Supreme Court, and the Court agreed with the Bureauâs and appellate courtâs decisions. The Court affirmed the lower courtâs judgment.

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Josephine Centorbi died intestate in 2007. At the time of her death, Ms. Centorbi received Medicaid benefits. Ms. Centorbiâs sister, Dianne Fiorille administered the estate, and acting without counsel, applied to relieve the estate from administration. When she filed the application, Ms. Fiorille did not check the box on the form to attest that the decedent was over 55 years old and received Medicaid assistance. In addition, as administrator, Ms. Fiorille failed to file some other forms necessary to notify both the probate court and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) of the decedentâs death. The probate court granted Ms. Fiorilleâs application to relieve the estate from administration on the same day it was filed. Two years later, ODJFS learned of Ms. Centorbiâs death. It filed an application to vacate the probate courtâs order, but its application was denied. The probate court held that because Ms. Fiorille indicated that no notice was required (in the form of the omitted check box), ODJFSâs application was time barred. The appellate court affirmed the probate courtâs decision. The Supreme Court found that failing to check the box on the initial relief-from-administration form tolled the statute of limitations. Without the check, the Medicaid program had not been officially notified of the decedentâs death. The Court reversed the appellate courtâs decision and remanded the case to the probate court for further proceedings.