Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ginn v. Stonecreek Dental Care

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Fayette

June 19, 2017

DAVID R. GINN, DDS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
STONECREEK DENTAL CARE, Defendant-Appellee.

         CIVIL APPEAL FROM FAYETTE COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. 12 CVH 00459

          Russell A. Kelm, for plaintiff-appellant.

          Wood & Lamping, LLP, Jeffrey R. Teeters, for defendant-appellee.

          OPINION

          HENDRICKSON, P.J.

         {¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, David R. Ginn, DDS, appeals a decision of the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas, granting summary judgment in favor of defendant-appellee, Stonecreek Dental Care ("Stonecreek Dental").

         {¶ 2} We have previously detailed the facts of appellant's case as follows:

         {¶ 3} This appeal stems from the sale of a dental practice owned by R. Douglas Martin, DDS, located in Washington Court House. Ginn v. Stonecreek Dental Care, 12th Dist. Fayette No. CA2014-06-015, 2015-Ohio-1600, ¶ 2 (Ginn I). In 2010, Dr. Ginn was considering expanding his current dental practice, also located in Washington Court House, and Dr. Martin was interested in selling his practice. Id. Following negotiations, Dr. Ginn and Dr. Martin entered a contract for sale (contract) in which Dr. Ginn purchased "[a]ll right, title and interest in and to the name R. Douglas Martin, DDS, which name Seller warrants and represents to be the only trade name and trademark used by Seller in the course of its business" (goodwill provision). Id. The contract provided Dr. Martin was prohibited from engaging in business "within thirty (30) miles" of Dr. Ginn's practice for "five (5) years" from October 2010 (noncompete provision). Id. Dr. Ginn and Dr. Martin also entered a separate employment agreement whereby Dr. Martin was to work for Dr. Ginn one day per week. Id. For various reasons, the relationship between Dr. Ginn and Dr. Martin deteriorated, and Dr. Martin's employment ended in April 2011. Id.

         {¶ 4} Shortly after Dr. Martin stopped working for Dr. Ginn, Dr. Martin began working for Stonecreek Dental one day per week in its Chillicothe office, which is located within 30 miles of Dr. Ginn's dental practice. Id. at ¶ 3. Dr. Clark Sanders, DDS, an owner of Stonecreek Dental, communicated with Dr. Martin during his hiring process. Id. A business consultant for Stonecreek Dental also communicated with Dr. Martin. Id. In September 2011, Stonecreek Dental produced radio advertisements using Dr. Martin's voice to encourage people to see the dentists at Stonecreek Dental. Id. Stonecreek Dental broadcasted these radio advertisements in nearby areas, including Washington Court House. Id.

         {¶ 5} On November 15, 2012, Dr. Ginn filed a complaint against Dr. Martin and Stonecreek Dental. Id. at ¶ 4. Relevant to this appeal, Dr. Ginn alleged that Stonecreek Dental tortiously interfered with his business relationships because it "induced and assisted Defendant Martin in his wrongful conduct to cause Plaintiffs patients to cease their business relationship with Plaintiff." Id. Additionally, Dr. Ginn alleged Stonecreek Dental knew of the contractual relationship between Dr. Ginn and Dr. Martin, yet tortiously interfered with the contract. Id. Specifically, Dr. Ginn claimed Stonecreek Dental tortiously interfered with the contract by employing Dr. Martin within the geographic area prohibited by the noncompete provision and by using Dr. Martin's voice in radio advertisements, which caused a loss of business goodwill. Id.

         {¶ 6} A jury trial began on May 20, 2014. Id. at ¶ 5. At trial, Dr. Ginn elicited testimony from Dr. Sanders that Dr. Martin had provided Dr. Sanders with a copy of the contract and Dr. Martin assured Dr. Sanders working for Stonecreek Dental would not be in violation of the contract. Id. Furthermore, Dr. Sanders testified that per MapQuest, Dr. Ginn's office was more than 30 miles away from Stonecreek Dental's office. Id. Dr. Sanders admitted the radio advertisements were produced for Stonecreek Dental using Dr. Martin's name and voice. Id. An exhibit introduced at trial revealed the advertisements using Dr. Martin's name and voice were broadcast in Washington Court House beginning in September 2011 and ending in January 2013. Id.

         {¶ 7} Dr. Ginn testified on his own behalf detailing his lost profits and stating that the only difference in the way he practiced dentistry was that Dr. Martin had left. Id. at ¶ 6. Dr. Ginn did not specifically identify any of his patients who left his treatment for Stonecreek Dental. Id. Dr. Ginn admitted people have a choice as to which dentist they choose to see and stated there are many reasons people stop seeing a specific dentist. Id. Furthermore, Dr. Ginn opined that he does not keep a record of where patients transfer. Id. However, Dr. Ginn also testified that he had always treated his patients well but that his business began declining around the time Stonecreek Dental's radio advertisements began. Id.

         {¶ 8} At the conclusion of Dr. Ginn's case, both Stonecreek Dental and Dr. Martin moved for a directed verdict. Id. at ¶ 7. Dr. Martin argued Dr. Ginn failed to allege facts supporting his breach of contract claim as well as that such claim proximately caused any damages. Id. Dr. Martin further argued Dr. Ginn failed to establish damages to a reasonable degree of certainty. Id. The trial court denied Dr. Martin's motion. Id. However, the trial court granted a directed verdict in favor of Stonecreek Dental, finding Dr. Ginn failed to show Stonecreek Dental possessed the requisite intent to interfere. Id.

         {¶ 9} With respect to Dr. Martin, the trial proceeded and the jury found he breached the noncompete provision and awarded Dr. Ginn $125, 000 in damages, plus interest. Ginn v. Stonecreek Dental Care, 12th Dist. Fayette Nos. CA2015-01-001 and CA2015-01-002, 2015-Ohio-4452, ¶ 5 (Ginn II). We affirmed Dr. Martin's subsequent appeal from this judgment. Id. at ¶ 31, jurisdiction declined by 145 Ohio St.3d 1422, 2016-Ohio-1173. Dr. Ginn appealed the trial court's decision to grant a directed verdict in favor of Stonecreek Dental, which we affirmed in part and reversed in part. Ginn I at ¶ 37. We affirmed the trial court's judgment granting a directed verdict in favor of Stonecreek Dental regarding Dr. Ginn's tortious interference with business relationships claim, reversed as to Dr. Ginn's tortious interference with contract claim, and remanded the matter for further proceedings. Id.

         {¶ 10} On remand, the trial court set a trial date in June 2016, which the trial court continued because Stonecreek Dental moved for summary judgment on the basis the trial would be simply relitigating the damages already awarded from the previous trial. In July 2016, Dr. Ginn moved to compel discovery of financial information from Stonecreek Dental as well as moved for leave to amend his complaint to request emotional distress damages. The trial court orally granted Dr. Ginn's motion to compel discovery. Before Dr. Ginn received the requested information, the trial court granted Stonecreek Dental's motion for summary judgment, denied Dr. Ginn's motion for leave to amend his complaint, and this appeal followed.

         {¶ 11} ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.