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Lytal v. Crawl for Cancer, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

May 24, 2018

Erin Lytal et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
Crawl for Cancer, Inc. et al., Defendants-Appellees.

          APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No. 16CV-4963

         On brief:

          Cooper & Elliott, LLC, and Barton R. Keyes, for appellants.

          Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, Martha Brewer Motley, and Mitchell A. Tobias, for appellees.

         Argued:

          Barton R. Keyes.

          Mitchell A. Tobias.

          DECISION

          HORTON, J.

         {¶ 1} Plaintiffs-appellants, Erin Lytal and her mother, Monica Duggan, appeal from the decision of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas granting the motion for judgment on the pleadings under Civ.R. 12(C) to defendants-appellees, Crawl for Cancer, Inc. ("CFC"), Samantha Green, and Aaron Niemeier. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND[1]

         {¶ 2} CFC is a for-profit corporation that organizes an annual "pub crawl" in Columbus, Ohio, with proceeds benefitting cancer research and persons being treated for the disease. Approximately 26 percent of CFC's revenues are donated to cancer research and treatment. CFC's pub crawl of May 24, 2014 was a seven hour event attended by approximately 5, 500 persons. During the event, participants visited various bars from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. before attending an after-hours party from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., where CFC provided 367 kegs of beer. Participants formed teams of 10 to 12 persons and paid CFC to participate. During the "crawl" portion of the event, CFC assigned each team 5 bars to visit and provided tickets to redeem 4 pitchers of beer at each bar.

         {¶ 3} One participant, Angela Yeager, drove while intoxicated after leaving the event. She hit Lytal's car after crossing the center line of the road while driving in the opposite direction, causing Lytal's car to flip over and land in a nearby field. As a result, Lytal suffered from numerous broken bones, a lacerated liver, and a traumatic head injury. Even after two years of medical care and therapy, Lytal did not completely recover and she anticipates that some of her injuries are permanent.

         {¶ 4} On May 23, 2016, Lytal and Duggan filed suit against CFC, Green, Niemeier, and five other defendants who were later dismissed. Lytal asserted a claim for "negligent and malicious conduct" against CFC, Green, and Niemeier, and Duggan asserted a derivative claim for loss of consortium. (May 23, 2016 Compl.)

         {¶ 5} After answering, CFC, Green, and Niemeier filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Civ.R. 12(C) on July 29, 2016. The trial court granted the motion on October 3, 2017, on the grounds that, as a ...


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