from the Court of Claims of Ohio Ct. of Cl. No. 2016-00150
William Hernandez, pro se.
Michael DeWine, Attorney General, and Jeanna V. Jacobus, for
1} Plaintiff-appellant, William Hernandez, appeals
from a judgment of the Court of Claims of Ohio granting
summary judgment to defendant-appellee, Ohio Department of
Rehabilitation and Correction ("ODRC"). Because
appellant did not present any evidence qualifying as expert
medical testimony to establish the standard of care, breach,
and proximate cause for his medical negligence claim, we
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
2} Hernandez, an inmate at the Grafton Correctional
Institution ("GCI"), filed a complaint for medical
negligence against ODRC. In the complaint, Hernandez alleged
that he suffered injuries as a result of GCI's medical
personnel failing to examine, detect, and treat a MRSA
infection. A case management conference was held, and the
trial court ordered Hernandez to furnish ODRC with the names
of any expert witnesses and a copy of their reports on or
before July 25, 2016, and that no discovery would be allowed
after September 21, 2016, without leave of court.
3} On August 15, 2016, Hernandez filed a motion to
compel discovery after ODRC objected to providing Hernandez
with a copy of his GCI medical records pursuant to R.C.
5120.21(C). On that same day, Hernandez also filed a motion
to extend discovery timelines and a partial list of expert
witnesses. A month later, ODRC filed a motion for summary
judgment arguing that Hernandez could not prove his claim of
medical negligence because he failed to produce expert
testimony addressing the issues of standard of care, breach,
and proximate cause.
4} The trial court denied Hernandez's motion to
compel on the basis that he failed to follow the procedure
required by R.C. 5120.21(C) to obtain his medical records and
that he failed to recite his efforts to resolve the discovery
matter with defense counsel as required by Civ.R. 37(E). The
court then addressed ODRC's motion for summary judgment.
It concluded that there were no genuine issues of material
fact and that ODRC was entitled to judgment as a matter of
law because Hernandez could not prevail on his claim of
medical negligence after failing to provide counsel for
defense with the names of any expert witnesses or a copy of
their reports by the deadline established by the court.
5} Hernandez appeals, assigning the following
[I.] THE PROVISIONS OF O.R.C. §5120.21(C)(2) WHICH ACT
TO PREVENT A PRO SE PRISONER PLAINTIFF FROM PRESENTING HIS
OWN MEDICAL RECORDS AS EVIDENCE IN A CIVIL ACTION DEPRIVE THE
PLAINTIFF OF ACCESS TO THE COURT AND ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS
VIOLATIVE OF THE FIRST AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS.
[II.] THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AND ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN ITS
ERRONEOUS FACTUAL FINDINGS THAT PLAINTIFF FAILED TO RECITE
HIS EFFORTS TO SEEK COMPLIANCE BY THE DEFENDANT IN HIS MOTION