Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Hancock
from Hancock County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No.
Van Eman for Appellants
T. Galvin and Donald J. Moracz for Appellees
Plaintiffs-appellants Luciano Garcia ("Luciano")
and Nora Garcia ("Nora") appeal the judgment of the
Court of Common Pleas of Hancock County for granting the
defendants-appellees' motion for summary judgment. In
particular, Luciano and Nora argue that the trial court erred
by (1) finding that Dr. David J. Meier, M.D. ("Dr.
Meier") and Luciano did not have a physician-patient
relationship and (2) determining that the
plaintiff-appellants filed their complaint against Dr. Meier
and Blanchard Valley Medical Associates, Inc.
("BVMA") outside of the time period permitted under
the statute of limitations for medical-malpractice claims.
For the reasons set forth below, the judgment of the lower
court is affirmed.
and Procedural History
On October 4, 2012, Dr. Gary L. Parenteau, M.D. ("Dr.
Parenteau") performed a coronary artery bypass surgery
on Luciano at the Blanchard Valley Hospital. Doc. 1, 17. On
July 23, 2014, Luciano and Nora filed a complaint with the
Hancock County Court of Common Pleas, alleging that Dr.
Parenteau and Cardiac, Vascular, and Thoracic Surgery of
Northwest Ohio had committed medical malpractice. Doc. 1. On
December 17, 2014, Luciano and Nora filed an amended
complaint that sought to add Dr. Michael R. Denike, D.O.
("Dr. Denike") and Specialty Physicians of
Blanchard Valley, LLC as defendants to this action. Doc. 26.
On December 11, 2015, Luciano and Nora filed a second amended
complaint that sought to add Dr. Meier and BVMA as defendants
to this action. Doc. 63.
On December 21, 2015, Dr. Meier and BVMA filed an answer to
the plaintiffs' second amended complaint in which they
raised the affirmative defense of the statute of limitations.
Doc. 69. On February 25, 2016, Dr. Meier and BVMA filed a
motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiffs had
not filed the second amended complaint within the period
allowed under the statute of limitations. Doc. 78. Dr. Meier
and BVMA also argued that no physician-patient relationship
had been formed between Dr. Meier and Luciano. Doc. 78. On
October 24, 2016, the trial court granted this motion for
summary judgment. Doc. 116. In this order, the trial court
determined that no physician-patient relationship had been
formed between Dr. Meier and Luciano. Doc. 116. As a result,
the trial court found that Dr. Meier had no professional duty
to Luciano and could not have, therefore, been liable of the
medical malpractice claim in Luciano's complaint. Doc.
116. The trial court also found that the statute of
limitations barred this claim. Doc. 116.
Luciano and Nora filed notice of appeal on June 8, 2017. Doc.
165. On appeal, plaintiffs raise the following two
assignments of error:
First Assignment of Error
The trial court erred by finding that no
physician-patient relationship existed between Mr. Garcia and
Second Assignment of Error
The trial court erred by finding that Plaintiffs'
claims against Meier and BVMA were not filed within the
statute of limitations set by R.C. 2305.113(A).
sake of analytical clarity, we will begin with the second
assignment of error and then proceed ...