from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No.
Offices of James P. Connors, and James P. Connors, for
E. Arnold & Associates, LPA, Gerhardt A. Gosnell, II,
James E. Arnold, and Julia A. Davis, for appellees.
Gerhardt A. Gosnell, II.
1} Plaintiffs-appellants, 533 Short North LLC
("533 Short North LLC"), Christopher J. Corso,
Michael Gallicchio, and Jennifer Pepper, appeal a judgment of
the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas that granted the
motion to dismiss filed by defendants-appellees, Victoria
Marie Zwerin, Grant William Dziak, Michael Quinn, Sarah L.
Loveridge, Ashley F. Evans, Joseph Michael Harvey, Brett
Fidram, Scott Hetrick, Savannah Lennon, Brenda L. Winters,
Lisa A. DeVine, Joseph A. Shuster, Tiffany Rae Good, James
Curtis VanMeter, Frank Parrish, Andrew R. Frisch, and Morgan
& Morgan PA.
2} We previously set forth the facts of this
protracted litigation in detail in 533 Short North, LLC
v. Zwerin, 10th Dist. No. 14AP-1016, 2015-Ohio-4040
("533 Short N."), and the following
factual summary includes a slightly abbreviated version of
the facts from that decision. 533 Short North LLC is the
owner of a chain of bars in Columbus, Ohio. Zwerin is a
former employee of 533 Short North LLC. In 2010, Zwerin filed
an action in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Ohio against 533 Short North LLC and
individuals who either worked for or had an interest in 533
Short North LLC (hereinafter collectively referred to as
"533 Short North"), alleging that 533 Short
North's tipping practices violated federal and state wage
and hour laws. Frisch, an attorney with Morgan & Morgan,
PA, represented Zwerin. Subsequently, some of Zwerin's
co-employees opted into the collective action sought by
3} In late 2011, the parties entered into a monetary
settlement that included a confidentiality provision that
precluded Zwerin from disclosing the terms of the settlement.
4} On May 25, 2012, Zwerin electronically filed a
motion seeking the district court's approval of the
settlement agreement. Zwerin appended to her motion a copy of
the parties' settlement agreement. 533 Short North
immediately objected to the filing of the settlement
agreement on the publicly accessible docket system. Zwerin
withdrew the motion and exhibits, but the motion was not
removed from the database until four days later due to an
intervening weekend and holiday. The district court
subsequently approved the settlement agreement.
5} On May 30, 2012, the Columbus Dispatch published
on its website an article about Zwerin's claims and the
settlement. The same article appeared in the print version of
the Columbus Dispatch the next day. The article included
statements attributed to Frisch and two opt-in plaintiffs
that included information that appellees believed violated
the confidentiality agreement. On the same day the Columbus
Dispatch published the print version of the article, the
website "Breakinglawsuitnews.com" posted a
story about the parties' settlement that included much of
the same information as the Columbus Dispatch article.
Approximately two weeks later, the website
"Openforum.com" posted an article that
reported information that appellees believe violated the
confidentiality agreement. Frisch also described Zwerin's
suit and posted a link to the Columbus Dispatch article on a
blog that he maintains.
6} On August 24, 2012, Zwerin filed a motion for
certification of the settlement class and final approval of
the settlement. 533 Short North did not oppose the motion and
did not raise any objections at the hearing on the motion. On
August 31, 2012, the district court granted Zwerin's