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Wiles v. Miller

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

August 22, 2013

Adam Wiles, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Richard J. Miller et al., Defendants-Appellees.

APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No. 11CV 009152

Plymale & Dingus, LLC, Ronald E. Plymale and Michael R. Guluzian, for appellant.

Joyce V. Kimbler, for appellee Richard J. Miller.

Beau K. Rymers, for appellees R. Mitchell Daniels and Denise Daniels.

Andrew J. Kielkopf and Leslie A. Albeit, for appellee The Patio Room Factory, Inc.

DECISION

DORRIAN, J.

(¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, Adam Wiles ("appellant"), appeals from judgments of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas granting motions for summary judgment filed by defendant-appellee, Richard J. Miller ("Miller"), and defendants-appellees, R. Mitchell Daniels and Denise R. Daniels ("the Daniels"), and a motion to dismiss filed by defendant-appellee, The Patio Room Factory, Inc. ("Patio Room"). Because we conclude that Miller and the Daniels were each entitled to judgment as a matter of law and that appellant's complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted against Patio Room, we affirm.

(¶ 2} On February 21, 2010, appellant traveled with his fiancée to the home of her grandmother, Sandra Carpenter ("Carpenter"), located at 2300 Minnesota Avenue, Columbus, Ohio. Carpenter rented the home at 2300 Minnesota Avenue from Miller. Shortly after arriving at Carpenter's home, appellant went outside and sat under the carport adjacent to the house. While appellant was sitting under the carport, it became detached from the house and collapsed. Appellant suffered injuries as a result of the collapse, including fractured ribs, a fractured thoracic vertebrae, and paraplegia. The carport that collapsed onto appellant had been installed in March of 1999, after the prior carport was damaged by ice. At the time the carport was installed, the Daniels owned the property at 2300 Minnesota Avenue.

(¶ 3} In July 2011, appellant filed a lawsuit against Miller and the Daniels. During discovery, appellant learned that the Daniels contracted with Patio Room for installation of the carport. Appellant then filed a first amended complaint in December 2011, naming Miller, the Daniels, and Patio Room as defendants. Appellant later filed a second amended complaint, adding Susan Karsher as a defendant and alleging that she installed the carport under the direction and control of the Daniels or Patio Room.[1] Patio Room filed a motion to dismiss, asserting that the second amended complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Miller and the Daniels each filed motions for summary judgment, arguing that there were no genuine issues of material fact as to appellant's claims against them and that they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In separate judgments, the trial court granted the motions for summary judgment filed by Miller and the Daniels and granted the motion to dismiss filed by Patio Room.

(¶ 4} Appellant appeals from the trial court's judgments, assigning six errors for this court's review:

1. The trial court erred in adopting the Magistrate's Decision to stay discovery during the pendency of dispositive motions because it prevented the Appellant from obtaining and introducing additional evidence necessary for his response to the Appellees['] dispositive motions.
2. The trial court erred in granting Appellee, Patio Room Factory's Motion to Dismiss because the Appellant has a valid cause of action against Patio Room Factory.
3.The trial court erred in granting Appellees Daniels' Motion for Summary Judgment because Appellees breached a duty owed to Appellant.
4. The trial court erred in granting Appellee Miller's Motion for Summary Judgment because there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Appellee had notice of the defective condition on the premises.
5. The trial court erred in granting Appellees Daniels' and Appellee Miller[']s motions for Summary Judgment because there are questions of fact as to the apportionment of fault for the defective condition of the premises.

6. R.C. 2305.131 is unconstitutional both facially and as applied.

(¶ 5} We begin our analysis with appellant's fourth assignment of error, which relates to his claims against Miller, who owned the property at the time that the carport collapsed. Next, we will consider appellant's third assignment of error, which relates to his claims against the Daniels, who owned the property at the time the carport was installed. We will then turn to appellant's fifth assignment of error, which relates to his claims against both Miller and the Daniels. Then we will consider appellant's second and sixth assignments of error, which relate to his claims against Patio Room and assertions related to the relevant statute of repose. Finally, we will consider appellant's first assignment of error, which addresses an order from the magistrate providing for a stay of discovery.

(¶ 6} In his fourth assignment of error, appellant asserts that the trial court erred by granting summary judgment in favor of Miller because there was a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether Miller had notice of a defective condition in the carport. Appellant asserted claims against Miller for negligence, nuisance, breach of a covenant (or warranty) of habitability, and violations of duties under the landlord-tenant law. Each of these claims involved a common allegation that Miller knew or ...


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