Successfully Defended Ohio Hospital at Trial
We represented a local hospital and its employee in a lawsuit filed by a patient in the Hamilton County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas. The patient claimed that his hearing was permanently damaged because of an MRI at our client’s facility. We tried the case for approximately one week. After 45 minutes, the Hamilton County jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of our client, finding that the hospital employee did not violate the standard of care for an MRI technician.
Successfully Defended Private High School in Lawsuit
We successfully defended our client, a private high school, in a lawsuit challenging the principal’s decision to withdraw a student for a disciplinary infraction. The student and his family sued the school, claiming breach of contract and discrimination, and sought an injunction overturning the principal’s decision and reinstating the student. We worked in a two week span to brief the injunction request, accomplish all necessary discovery and depositions, and prepare the case for trial. After the plaintiffs presented their case, we moved for involuntary dismissal under Rule 41, arguing they had failed to meet the burden of proof required. The court agreed, and in a written decision denied plaintiffs’ motion for injunction, dismissed the injunction claim altogether, and entered complete judgment in our client’s favor on that count. Plaintiffs then agreed to resolve the remaining damages claims for nonmonetary consideration.
Successful Representation of Vehicle Distributor at Trial
We represented a vehicle distributor in a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiffs, a married couple, claimed the vehicle they leased from our client had multiple defects that substantially impaired its use, value, and safety. The plaintiffs asserted a claim for breach of express warranty under California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, commonly known as the “lemon law,” as well as a claim for breach of the implied warranty of merchantability. They sought restitution from the vehicle distributor of all payments they had made under the lease, as well as the amounts they still owed. The plaintiffs were also asking for civil damages of up to two times any compensatory damages award. At the close of the plaintiffs’ case, the court granted our motion for judgment as a matter of law on the implied warranty claim and the request for civil damages, and the jury ultimately found in favor of our client on the plaintiffs’ Song-Beverly express warranty claim, awarding them nothing.
Successful Representation of Client in Premises Liability Case
We successfully obtained a complete dismissal of a lawsuit brought against our client, a local Catholic parish, in a premises liability case. In this case, the plaintiff tripped and fell in a landscaping area near the church entrance. She alleged the parish was negligent for the installation and maintenance of certain landscaping features and demanded damages for her significant injuries.
After discovery, we filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of our client, arguing that under Ohio’s open and obvious doctrine, the parish owed no duty to the plaintiff as a matter of law. Instead, as we established through photographs, documents we obtained through discovery, and deposition testimony from the plaintiff herself, the area where she fell would have been observable to a reasonable person if she had simply looked down. After summary judgment briefing and oral argument, the trial court agreed. The judge granted our motion from the bench and dismissed the case with prejudice.
The favorable result for our client reinforces venerable premises liability law in Ohio and provides another precedent for property owners in the future.
Charging Order Against Three LLCs Reversed
After a judgment had already been entered, the defendant hired Dinsmore to represent him in connection with the plaintiffs’ collection efforts. The plaintiffs claimed our client was a member of three limited liability companies, and they asked the trial court to charge his alleged membership interests. We opposed the plaintiffs’ motion for charging order because our client was not an owner of any of the LLCs, as evidenced by their operating agreements. Nevertheless, the trial court granted the plaintiffs’ request. The First District Court of Appeals reversed, finding the trial court “lacked competent evidence of [our client’s] membership” in the companies. The First District held: “when determining if an individual is a member of a limited liability company for the purpose of R.C. 1705.19, the trial court must consider records maintained by the company for the purpose of its corporate governance that name those owners entitled to receive distributions and share in the profits and losses of the company.” Because “the only records of the limited liability companies before the trial court established” that our client was not a member of the LLCs, the trial court erred in granting the plaintiffs’ motion for charging order.
Successful Representation of Municipality in Right to Take Hearing
Our client, a municipality, filed an action to appropriate private property for a road improvement project. The private owner challenged our client’s right to take its property and the necessity of the appropriation. A Hamilton County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas judge heard testimony and evidence over six days. The court concluded the private owner’s property was needed for our client’s road project and the project was necessary to improve safety and traffic control and efficiency at the intersection. Finally, the evidence established that the municipality operated in good faith and fully complied with R.C. 163.04 and R.C. 163.59. Thus, the court determined our client had the right, and had established the required necessity, to appropriate the property for the road improvement project. We later tried the remaining parts of this eminent domain case to a jury for approximately two weeks.
Successful Representation of Client in Breach of Contract Dispute
Defended Property Owner in Nuisance/Trespass Suit
Unfair Competition Litigation
Represent Client on Multiple Challenges from Other Company
We represented The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) in a lawsuit filed by Definitive Solutions Company, Inc. (DSC) in the Hamilton County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas. DSC sued its former employees and their new employer, as well as P&G, when those employees left DSC. DSC asserted claims against P&G for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, tortious interference with business relationships, misappropriation of trade secrets, and civil aiding and abetting. After extensive discovery, P&G moved for, and was granted, summary judgment on each of DSC’s claims.
A bench trial on various claims DSC asserted against the other defendants was held in 2014. The trial court ruled against the former employees and awarded DSC damages. DSC ultimately settled with its former employees, and it appealed the trial court’s decision granting P&G summary judgment on the breach of contract and tortious interference claims.
On appeal, DSC claimed that P&G breached an agreement not to “directly solicit for employment” employees who had worked on its account and also that P&G had tortiously interfered with DSC’s relationship with the employees. The First District Court of Appeals rejected both of DSC’s arguments and affirmed summary judgment for P&G. The Court of Appeals found that the agreement between DSC and P&G prohibited solicitation for employment, not solicitation of another company to perform work. The Court also found nothing in P&G’s conduct that rose to the level of tortious interference.
Pro Bono Case Representing Inmate in Excessive Force, Eighth Amendment to U.S. Constitution Violation
At the request of the court, Dinsmore accepted pro bono representation of a state prisoner who had filed a pro se action against three prison guards employed or formerly employed by Northpoint Training Center in Burgin, Kentucky. The prisoner claimed that the guards used excessive force on him during a 2012 training exercise, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The court permitted us to conduct limited discovery, and we prepared for trial on our client's claims against the guards. Two days before trial was scheduled to begin in federal district court in Lexington, Kentucky, the Commonwealth of Kentucky agreed to pay our client $10,000 and return 383 days of good time credit that he had lost.
Class Action Lawsuit
Obtained beneficial settlement of shareholder class action lawsuit by City of Pontiac General Employees' Retirement System seeking to preclude the sale of assets in multi-million dollar transaction. In a related matter, successfully defended against a motion for preliminary injunction where management company sought to delay termination of a management agreement in light of the pending sale of assets.
Successful representation of client in elementary school disciplinary case.
We successfully represented our client, an elementary school, in a lawsuit challenging the principal’s decision to suspend two students for intimidating behavior. After a bench trial, a Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas judge found in favor of the school and dismissed the lawsuit. The Court ruled that the school had not abused its discretion in determining the manner in which the two students would be disciplined.
The First District Court of Appeals affirmed the decision in favor of our client, holding the school handbook was not a contract, and, even if it was, the school did not abuse its discretion. It was an important decision in several respects. It reaffirmed the broad discretion given to private schools in disciplinary matters. It was the first appellate court in Hamilton County to address the issue of student discipline in the private elementary school context. And it was the first court in Ohio to squarely answer the question of whether a grade school handbook constitutes a binding contract on the school. In answering that question in the negative, Judge DeWine’s majority opinion represents a significant victory for private schools moving forward and only increases the burden student/parent plaintiffs face in challenging a disciplinary decision.
Dismissal of Federal Lawsuit
We represented John Tisch and Tisch Environmental, Inc. in complex litigation in federal court in Boston, MA. In April 2012, Plaintiff BGI sued John Tisch and his company, Tisch Environmental, Inc. BGI sought millions of dollars in damages from Tisch, alleging Lanham Act violations and claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, conspiracy, and others. BGI also sought millions of dollars from Thomas Merrifield, the former President of BGI, as well as damages from Greentech Instruments, Inc. BGI attempted to add John Tisch’s brother as a defendant, but the Court granted our motion to dismiss due to lack of personal jurisdiction. Two days before the lawsuit was scheduled to begin in Boston, BGI dismissed the lawsuit. Tisch paid no money to BGI.
Successful representation of educator in disciplinary proceeding
The State Board of Education sought to permanently revoke the teaching licenses of our client, a long-time educator in the state of Ohio. The Board alleged that our client improperly disciplined a student with disabilities and disclosed the student’s confidential health information. Eleven witnesses testified at a four day hearing in Columbus, Ohio. Ultimately, Hearing Officer appointed by the Board concluded that a preponderance of evidence did not appear in the hearing record to support the Board’s charges against the principal. As a result, the Hearing Officer recommended that the case be closed without discipline upon the State of Ohio educational licenses held by our client. The State Board of Education rejected the Hearing Officer’s recommendation and suspended the educator’s licenses for five years. We appealed the Board’s decision to the Hamilton County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas. Like the Hearing Officer, the Common Pleas Court judge determined that no discipline was warranted and he vacated the Board’s suspension. The Board appealed the trial court’s decision to the First District Court of Appeals. But the First District dismissed the appeal.