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Howard Boddie, Jr v. Dr. Scott J. Van Steyn

November 3, 2011

HOWARD BODDIE, JR., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
DR. SCOTT J. VAN STEYN,
DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. : (C.P.C. No. 10CVH-10-15062)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: French, J.

Cite as Boddie v. Van Steyn,

(REGULAR CALENDAR)

DECISION

{¶1} Plaintiff-appellant, Howard Boddie, Jr. ("Boddie"), appeals the judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, which dismissed his complaint against Scott J. Van Steyn, M.D. ("Dr. Van Steyn"). Because we conclude that the trial court erred by dismissing Boddie's complaint for failure to file an affidavit of merit on a medical claim, we reverse.

I. BACKGROUND

{¶2} On October 13, 2010, Boddie filed a complaint against Dr. Van Steyn. In it, Boddie alleged that Dr. Van Steyn violated the physician-patient relationship that existed between them and disclosed confidential information about his medical condition. The complaint contained three counts.

{¶3} In count one, Boddie alleged that Dr. Van Steyn disclosed confidential information to attorney Todd Barstow and indicated to Barstow that Boddie's condition may be different than Dr. Van Steyn had relayed to Boddie and to the court.*fn1 Dr. Van Steyn obtained this information about Boddie "during the course of the physician-patient relationship," and this disclosure "violated the patient's rightful expectation of privacy and was the proximate cause of damages and injury to" Boddie.

{¶4} In count two, Boddie alleged that Dr. Van Steyn also disclosed information to prosecutor Leigh Bayer and gave information to Bayer that contradicted his earlier statements about Boddie's condition. Boddie alleged that Dr. Van Steyn's disclosure of this information violated Boddie's "rightful expectation of privacy and was the proximate cause of damages and injury to" him. He also said that he "continues to investigate possible grounds for a legitimate malpractice action."

{¶5} In count three, Boddie alleged that Dr. Van Steyn disclosed confidential information to prosecutor Shontell Walker and accused Boddie of coercing him into reporting more restrictive limitations than those needed. Boddie alleged that these accusations "were false and that the violation of the physician-patient confidentiality, outside of court, without consent or privilege, was the proximate cause of damages and injury to" him.

{¶6} In his prayer for relief, Boddie asked for consequential, proximate, and discretionary damages totaling $1,000,000, plus costs and any other appropriate relief.

{¶7} Dr. Van Steyn filed an answer and denied Boddie's allegations. He specifically denied "that he disclosed confidential, non-public information to a third party, that he violated the patient's rightful expectation of privacy, or in any other way breached physician-patient confidentiality as alleged in Plaintiff's Complaint." Dr. Van Steyn also moved to dismiss Boddie's complaint for failure to include an affidavit of merit, which Civ.R. 10(D) requires to support a medical claim. Boddie opposed Dr. Van Steyn's motion and also moved to amend his complaint.

{ΒΆ8} On February 17, 2011, the trial court issued a decision and entry that granted Dr. Van Steyn's motion to dismiss and denied ...


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