Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
ANTHONY J. GRADY PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT
KARVO, INC., ET AL. DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Doron M. Kalir Kenneth J. Kowalski
Cleveland Marshall College of Law Civil Litigation Clinic
2121 Euclid Avenue, LB 138 Cleveland, OH 44115
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES William M. Kovach Kathleen M.
Guarente & Associates Park Center Plaza II, Suite 450
6150 Oak Tree Boulevard Independence, OH 44131
D. Eklund David Sherman Collins, Roche, Utley & Garner,
L.L.C. 800 Westpoint Drive, Suite 1100 Cleveland, OH 44145
BEFORE: Stewart, P.J., Boyle, J., and Celebrezze, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
J. STEWART, PRESIDING JUDGE
Plaintiff-appellant Anthony J. Grady appeals after the trial
court granted summary judgment to codefendants-appellees
Karvo Companies, Inc. and Trafftech, Inc. in a negligence
action brought by Grady after he was injured following a trip
Trafftech entered into a subcontract with Karvo to install
traffic control devices, pedestrian controls, and pedestrian
lighting as part of a larger intersection and sidewalk
reconstruction project for the city of Shaker Heights. This
project occurred at the intersection of Warrensville Center
Road and Chagrin Boulevard.
As part of the project, Trafftech installed "pull
boxes" into the sidewalk at that intersection. In
affidavits submitted with its motion for summary judgment,
Trafftech explains that a pull box houses wires and controls
for the lights at the intersection. When its lid is attached,
a pull box is flush with the surface of the sidewalk. The lid
is secured to the body of the pull box with bolts. The holes
for the bolts are countersunk, such that the bolts are flush
with the surface of the lid before they are tightened. After
the bolts are tightened, they are sunk about 3/4 to an inch
into the lid.
Approximately one month after Trafftech installed the pull
boxes at the intersection, Grady was running to catch a bus.
When he crossed over one of the pull boxes, he tripped on a
bolt that protruded above the surface of the lid. Grady
sustained injuries from his fall.
In his sole assignment of error, Grady argues that the trial
court erred in granting the motion for summary judgment
against him because a genuine issue of material fact exists.
We find no error and affirm.
We review summary judgment rulings de novo. Grafton v.
Ohio Edison Co., 77 Ohio St.3d 102, 105, 1996-Ohio-336,
671 N.E.2d 241. Civ.R. 56 provides that a court may grant
summary judgment when "there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law." Summary judgment is
appropriate where "reasonable minds can come to but one
conclusion and that conclusion is adverse to the party
against whom the motion for summary judgment is made."
The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden
of identifying facts in the record showing it is entitled to
summary judgment. Dresher v. Burt, 75 Ohio St.3d
280, 292-293, 1996-Ohio-107, 662 N.E.2d 264. The moving party
is not required to put this evidence on the record so long as
the evidence is there. Id. at 293. If the moving
party meets its initial burden, showing it is entitled to
summary judgment, the burden then shifts to the nonmoving
party to establish that there is evidence showing that
summary judgment is inappropriate: "'[the nonmoving
party] may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of
his pleadings, but his response * * * must set forth specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.'" Id. at 293, quoting Civ.R. 56(E).
If the nonmoving party fails to establish this then summary
judgment is appropriate. Id
Trafftech presented evidence establishing that when the pull
box in question was installed a month earlier, the lid was
secure and that none of the bolts were protruding. Trafftech
also presented evidence that when a pull box lid is not
secured, its bolts will nevertheless be flush with the
surface. Additionally, in his answers to interrogatories,