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Revlock v. Lin

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

June 20, 2013

JEFFREY REVLOCK PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT
v.
HENGWEI LIN DEFENDANT-APPELLEE

Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CV-779101.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Murray Richelson Daniel M. Katz David A. Katz Co., L.P.A.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael A. Paglia John A. Rubis Ritzier, Coughlin & Paglia, Ltd.

BEFORE: Kilbane, J., Stewart, A.J., and Blackmon, J.

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

MARY EILEEN KILBANE, JUDGE

{¶1} This is an accelerated appeal brought pursuant to App.R. 11.1 and Loc.App.R. 11.1.

{¶2} Plaintiff-appellant, Jeffrey Revlock ("Revlock"), appeals from the trial court's decision granting summary judgment in favor of defendant-appellee, Hengwei Lin ("Lin"). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

{¶3} In March 2012, Revlock, a police officer for the Richfield Police Department, filed a lawsuit against Lin for injuries he sustained from a motor vehicle accident while responding to a call that a vehicle driven by Lin "slid off the highway. On March 30, 2011, Lin was traveling on Interstate 77, which was covered with snow and ice, when he lost control of his vehicle and ended up 50 feet off the highway in the median. Revlock parked his police cruiser in the far left portion of the road, with his flashing lights engaged. After speaking with Lin, Revlock returned to his police cruiser where he sat in the front seat and wrote a crash report and a ticket for Lin's failure to maintain control. While completing the paperwork, Revlock's police cruiser was struck from behind by Candace Fredrickson ("Fredrickson"). Fredrickson observed the police cruiser, but slid on the icy road when she applied her brakes, causing her to crash into Revlock's vehicle.

{¶ 4} Revlock settled his claims against Fredrickson and pursued a negligence action against Lin. Revlock alleged that Lin negligently failed to control and operate his vehicle, which proximately caused the accident between his police cruiser and Fredrickson's vehicle. He further alleged that as a proximate result of Lin's negligence, he sustained permanent injuries. Lin filed an answer, and after discovery, he filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that he owed no duty to Revlock, nor were his actions the proximate cause of Revlock's injuries. Revlock opposed, arguing that issues of fact remain as to causation and that Lin was liable for Revlock's injuries under the rescue doctrine. In November 2012, the trial court granted Lin's motion for summary judgment, finding that Lin did not owe a duty to Revlock. The trial court also found that the "fireman's rule, " an exception to the rescue doctrine, acts as a bar to recovery for firemen and police officers where a third party's negligence caused injury to the rescuer.

{¶ 5} Revlock now appeals, raising the following four assignments of error for review.

Assignment of Error One

The trial court erred in sua sponte granting summary judgment on an issue not raised in the briefs.

Assignment of Error Two

The trial court erred in applying the "Fireman's Rule" when [Lin] failed to plead it in his answer as an ...

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