Submitted January 25, 2018
Certified by the Court of Appeals for Trumbull County, No.
Consolo Law Firm, Co., L.P.A., and Frank Consolo, for
Reminger Co., L.P.A., Martin T. Galvin, and Jonathan H. Krol,
& Willis Attorneys, Co., L.P.A., and Jason E. Starling,
urging affirmance for amicus curiae Ohio Association for
Elfvin, Klingshirn, Royer & Torch, L.L.C., and Christina
M. Royer, urging affirmance for amicus curiae Ohio Employment
1} The Eleventh District Court of Appeals determined
that its judgment in this case conflicts with judgments of
the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth District Courts of Appeals, and
it certified the issue in conflict as follows:
"Does the tort of intentional interference with or
destruction of evidence include claims alleging interference
with or concealment of evidence that disrupt a plaintiffs
underlying case? Or, is the tort of intentional interference
with or destruction of evidence limited to claims that allege
evidence is physically altered or destroyed?"
150 Ohio St.3d 1406, 2017-Ohio-6964, 78 N.E.3d 907, quoting
11th Dist. Trumbull No. 2015-T-0007 (May 4, 2017). We agreed
that a conflict exists and accepted this matter for review.
2} As the questions are framed by the appellate
court, resolution of one resolves the other. We answer the
first question in the negative, and therefore, we need not
address the second question. We reverse the judgment of the
Eleventh District Court of Appeals and reinstate the judgment
of the trial court.
and Procedural History
3} In August 2012, appellee, Kristen Elliott-Thomas,
filed an action against the Warren City School District, its
board of education, and five board members (collectively,
"school defendants") alleging wrongful termination
and sex discrimination ("wrongful-termination
case"). Appellants, David Kane Smith and David Hirt, are
attorneys who represented the school defendants in the
4} While the wrongful-termination case was pending,
Elliott-Thomas filed the instant action against Smith, Hirt,
and two members of the school board, alleging intentional
spoliation of evidence. Specifically, she contends that Smith
and Hirt intentionally withheld, ...