NEW RIEGEL LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, BOARD OF EDUCATION, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, and STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
THE BUEHRER GROUP ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.
from Seneca County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. 15 CV
Christopher L. McCloskey and Tarik Kershah for Appellant
Ann Rabe and James Rook for Appellee, The State of Ohio
Plaintiff-appellant New Riegel Local School District Board of
Education ("the School") brings this appeal from
the judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Seneca County
dismissing the State of Ohio ("the State") as an
involuntary plaintiff in this lawsuit. For the reasons set
forth below, the judgment is affirmed.
This case arises from the construction of a new Kindergarten
through 12th Grade School Facility Project
("the Project") built as part of the Ohio Classroom
Facilities Assistance Program. Doc. 2. As a result of the
Project, the School entered into contracts with multiple
contractors starting in February of 2000. Id. The
contracts were all entered between the individual contractor,
the School, the State, through the president and treasurer of
the School, and the Ohio School Facilities Commission
("OSFC") as parties. Id. The general trade
and roofing contracts were standard form contracts prepared
by OSFC. Id. The date of occupancy of the Project
was December 19, 2002. Doc. 88, Ex. K. A Certificate of
Completion of the Project Agreement was issued by OSFC on
March 3, 2004. Doc. 24. This certificate stated that
OSFC's interest "is considered transferred to the
School District, * * *." Id. at Ex. A. The
certificate also provided that the School had sole
responsibility for all facilities management, including the
enforcement of warranties and guarantees. Id.
Over time, the School had issues with the facilities,
including but not limited to condensation and moisture
intrusion allegedly caused by design and construction errors.
Doc. 2. A complaint was filed by the School on April 30,
2015. Id. The complaint was brought in the name of
the School with the State of Ohio and OSFC as involuntary
plaintiffs. Id. The complaint named the Buehrer
Group Architecture & Engineering, Inc., the Estate of
Huber H. Buehrer (collectively known as "the Buehrer
Group"), Studer-Obringer, Inc. ("SOI"),
Charles Construction Services ("CCS"), and American
Buildings Company as defendants. Id. On June 5,
2015, the State and OSFC filed a motion to dismiss them as
involuntary plaintiffs to the action. Doc. 24. The School
filed a response to this motion on June 15, 2015. Doc. 27.
The State and OSFC responded to that response on June 26,
2015. Doc. 30.
On February 10, 2016, the School filed an amended complaint
in its own name and that of the State. Doc. 62. The amended
complaint indicated that OSFC had been voluntarily dismissed
as an involuntary plaintiff that was not necessary.
Id. On March 1, 2016, the State filed a motion to be
dismissed from the amended complaint as an involuntary
plaintiff Doc. 72. The School filed its memorandum in
opposition to the motion on March 10, 2016. Doc. 74. The
School then filed a second amended complaint on June 10,
2016. Doc. 88. This complaint added Ohio Farmers Insurance
Co. ("OFIC") as a defendant. The State then filed a
motion to be dismissed as an involuntary plaintiff from the
second amended complaint. Doc. 91. The School again filed a
memorandum in opposition. Doc. 97. On July 1, 2016, the State
filed its reply to the school's memorandum. On August 17,
2016, the State's motion to be dismissed was granted.
Doc. 114. On January 25, 2017, the School filed its notice of
appeal from the judgment granting the State's motion to
dismiss as well as other judgments in the case. Doc. 140.
This judgment was assigned appellate case number 13-17-05.
The other judgments were assigned case numbers 13-17-03
(dismissal of case against SOI), 13-17-04 (dismissal of case
against the Buehrer Group), and 13-17-06 (dismissal of case
against CCS and OFIC). On appeal, the School raises the
following assignments of error.
First Assignment of Error
The trial court erred in dismissing [the School's] breach
of contract claims against [SOI], [CCS], and [The Buehrer
Group], by finding that the Ohio Statute of Repose, R.C.
2305.131, barred [the School's] claims for breach of
Second Assignment of Error
The trial court erred in dismissing the claims against [SOI]
and [CCS] as those contracts were entered with [the State]
and general limitations periods do not apply to the State of
Third Assignment of Error
The trial court erred in finding that [the School] does not
have authority to bring its action in the ...