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Hoyle v. DTJ Enterprises, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District

July 24, 2013

DUANE ALLEN HOYLE Appellant
v.
DTJ ENTERPRISES, INC. Cross-Appellants and THE CINCINNATI INSURANCE COMPANIES Appellee/Cross-Appellee

APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CV 2010-03-1984

DAVID R. GRANT and STEPHEN S. VANECK, Attorneys at Law, for Appellant.

STEPHEN J. CHUPARKOFF, Attorney at Law, for Appellee/Cross-Appellee.

MARK W. BERNLOHR and ALAN M. MEDVICK, Attorneys at Law, for Cross-Appellants.

DAVID G. UTLEY, Attorney at Law, for Cross-Appellants.

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

CARLA MOORE, Presiding Judge.

{¶1} Plaintiff, Duane Hoyle, appeals from the ruling of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, which granted summary judgment to The Cincinnati Insurance Companies ("Cincinnati Insurance"). Defendants DTJ Enterprises, Inc. ("DTJ") and Cavanaugh Building Corporation ("Cavanaugh"), cross-appeal. For the reasons set forth below, we reverse.

I.

{¶2} In 2008, Mr. Hoyle was injured when he fell approximately thirteen feet from a scaffold while employed by DTJ and Cavanaugh. Mr. Hoyle brought a complaint against DTJ and Cavanaugh, alleging a workplace intentional tort. DTJ and Cavanaugh were insured by Cincinnati Insurance. Cincinnati Insurance intervened in the action, seeking a declaratory judgment that it was not required to provide coverage to DTJ and Cavanaugh based upon certain exclusions contained in the insurance contract.

{¶3} DTJ and Cavanaugh filed a motion for summary judgment. Thereafter, Cincinnati Insurance filed motion for summary judgment, wherein it maintained that, although it had agreed to defend DTJ and Cavanaugh, the insurance contract excluded coverage for Mr. Hoyle's claims, and it had no duty to indemnify DTJ and Cavanaugh. The trial court granted DTJ and Cavanaugh's motion for summary judgment in part, concluding that a material question of fact remained only as to Mr. Hoyle's claim that his injuries were caused by DTJ and Cavanaugh removing a safety guard. The trial court later granted summary judgment to Cincinnati Insurance, concluding that Mr. Hoyle would have to demonstrate "deliberate intent" of DTJ or Cavanaugh to cause him injury in order to prevail on his claim. The trial court determined that the insurance contract excluded from coverage damages caused by "deliberate intent" of the insured to injure, and thus, Cincinnati Insurance was not required to indemnify DTJ or Cavanaugh for any potential resulting judgment against them. The trial court set forth in its entry that there was no just reason for delay. See Civ.R. 54(B). Mr. Hoyle timely appealed from the judgment of the trial court, and now presents one assignment of error for our review. DTJ and Cavanaugh cross-appealed, and they also present one assignment of error for our review. We have consolidated the assignments of error to facilitate our discussion.

II.

MR. HOYLE'S ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT GRANTED CINCINNATI INSURANCE['S] MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT.

DTJ'S AND CAVANAUGH'S ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT GRANTED CINCINNATI INSURANCE['S] MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT.

{¶4} In their assignments of error, Mr. Hoyle, DTJ and Cavanaugh argue that the trial court erred in granting Cincinnati Insurance's motion for summary judgment. We agree.

{¶5} This Court reviews an award of summary judgment de novo. Grafton v. Ohio Edison Co., 77 Ohio St.3d 102, 105 (1996). Pursuant to Civ.R. 56(C), summary judgment is proper if:

(1) No genuine issue as to any material fact remains to be litigated; (2) the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law; and (3) it appears from the evidence that reasonable minds can come to but one conclusion, and viewing such evidence most strongly in favor of the party against whom the ...

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