Ashraf A. Ettayem, Plaintiff-Appellant,
State Auto Insurance Companies, Defendant-Appellee.
from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No.
A. Ettayem, pro se.
Shearer Nordstrom, PSC, Jennifer K. Nordstrom and David W.
Zahniser, for appellee.
1} Plaintiff-appellant, Ashraf A Ettayem, appeals a
judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas that
enforced an alleged settlement agreement between Ettayem and
defendant-appellee, State Auto Insurance Companies
("State Auto"). Because we lack jurisdiction over
this appeal, we dismiss it.
2} On January 25, 2016, Ettayem filed a complaint
against State Auto, the insurer of two of Ettayem's
automobiles. Prior to filing suit, Ettayem had made claims
under his insurance policy for damage to both automobiles.
Ettayem alleged in his complaint that State Auto had not
performed its obligations under the insurance policy with
regard to either automobile. Ettayem also alleged that State
Auto had failed to fairly negotiate settlements of
Ettayem's insurance claims. Based on these allegations,
Ettayem asserted claims against State Auto for breach of
contract and bad faith.
3} After Ettayem filed suit, Ettayem and State Auto
engaged in settlement negotiations. On January 8, 2017, State
Auto moved for an order enforcing a settlement agreement it
alleged the parties had reached in July 2016. In response,
Ettayem contended that no settlement agreement existed
because the parties never concurred on the terms of a
4} The trial court granted State Auto's motion.
In an order issued April 25, 2017, the trial court required
Ettayem to (1) furnish State Auto with salvage titles for
both automobiles involved in the case and (2) execute the
release State Auto had filed with the court on March 6, 2017.
The trial court also ordered State Auto to pay Ettayem $9,
500 once it received the salvage titles and a signed,
notarized release. Finally, the trial court stated,
"Upon payment to [Ettayem] by [State Auto], [State
Auto's] attorney shall notify the Court, and the Court
will enter a dismissal order, with prejudice, of the
lawsuit." (Apr. 25, 2017 Order Enforcing Settlement at
¶ 4.) Ettayem now appeals the April 25, 2017 order.
5} Although neither party has questioned our
jurisdiction over this appeal, our review of the April 25,
2017 order has prompted this court to suspect that we do not
have a final, appealable order before us. In such a
situation, we must sua sponte consider whether we possess the
jurisdiction necessary to hear this appeal. State ex rel.
White v. Cuyahoga Metro. Hous. Auth., 79 Ohio St.3d 543,
544 (1997); Leonard v. Huntington Bancshares, Inc.,
10th Dist. No. 13AP-843, 2014-Ohio-2421, ¶ 8.
6} Article IV, Section 3(B)(2) of the Ohio
Constitution establishes that courts of appeals "have
such jurisdiction as may be provided by law to review and
affirm, modify, or reverse judgments or final orders of the
courts of record inferior to the court of appeals within the
district." If the appealed judgment does not constitute
a final, appealable order, an appellate court lacks
jurisdiction to review it. Gehm v. Timberline Post &
Frame,112 Ohio St.3d 514, 2007-Ohio-607, ¶ 14.
Consequently, in the absence of a final, ...