Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Warren
CLASSIC HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS, L.L.C. DBA FRANKLIN RIDGE HEALTHCARE CENTER, Appellant,
FAUN MIRACLE, et al., Appellees.
APPEAL FROM WARREN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No.
Goffman Martin Lang LLP, W. Cory Phillips, for appellant
Ruppert, Bronson & Ruppert Co., LPA, Ronald W. Ruppert,
1} Classic Healthcare Systems, L.L.C. d.b.a.
Franklin Ridge Healthcare Center ("Franklin"),
appeals from the decision of the Warren County Common Pleas
Court, which awarded it damages against appellee David
Miracle. For the reasons discussed below, this court affirms
the damage award.
2} This is a second appeal following a remand
ordered by this court in Classic Healthcare Sys., LLC. v.
Miracle, 12th Dist. Warren No. CA2017-03-029,
2017-Ohio-8540 ("Classic I"). The case
involved Faun Miracle - David's mother - who was a
resident of Franklin's nursing home from 2010 to 2014.
Id. at ¶ 2, 4-5. At the time of Faun's
admission, David, acting as her attorney-in-fact, signed a
document in which he agreed to "utilize" Faun's
assets over which he had control to pay for Franklin's
nursing services. Id. at ¶ 7. David also agreed
to the terms of a document that required him to "act as
quickly as possible to establish and maintain [Faun's]
eligibility for Medicaid." Id. at ¶ 8.
Essentially, David agreed to (1) pay Franklin's invoices
with Faun's available resources, and (2) spend down
Faun's resources and apply on her behalf for Medicaid
3} Franklin charged approximately $5, 000 per month
for nursing services and sent monthly invoices to David.
Id. at ¶ 5. David paid Franklin's invoices
infrequently and always for less than what was owed.
Ultimately, Franklin evicted Faun after her unpaid balance
exceeded $100, 000. Id.
4} Franklin sued Faun and David. Id. at
¶ 6. Faun passed away before trial and Franklin
dismissed its claims against her. Id. at ¶ 7.
Franklin pursued its claims against David, asserting a
contract claim alleging that he breached his agreement to use
Faun's resources to pay Franklin. Id. at ¶
6-7. Franklin alleged that they were owed approximately $50,
000 at the time of filing of the complaint. See id.
at ¶ 13.
5} The matter proceeded to a bench trial where David
testified and Franklin introduced various financial documents
concerning Faun's assets under David's control. The
court found that over Faun's four-year residency, David
had expended approximately $70, 000 of Faun's funds on
expenses other than Franklin's invoices. Id. at
¶ 13. The court determined that David expended roughly
$57, 000 on "authorized" expenses and around $13,
000 towards "unauthorized" expenses. Accordingly,
the court awarded damages to Franklin equaling the
unauthorized expenses. Id. at ¶ 14.
6} Franklin appealed the damage award. This court held
that the trial court erred by focusing on whether David's
expenditures were authorized or unauthorized. Id. at
¶ 22. Instead, the plain language of the agreement
contemplated that David would act quickly to spend down
Faun's resources so that Faun could obtain Medicaid
coverage. The agreement did not prohibit David from using
Faun's resources on other expenses so long as he used the
available "liquid assets" he controlled to pay
Faun's account with Franklin. Id.
7} This court also held that the trial court erred
in viewing the damage calculation as one transaction spanning
the length of Faun's residency. Id. at ¶
23. Instead, the court should have assessed damages on a
month-to-month basis to determine whether David had control
over liquid assets which could be used to pay towards
Faun's outstanding bills. Id. This court
remanded the matter with instructions that the trial court
recalculate damages. Id. at ¶ 24. Neither party
appealed this court's remand opinion.
8} On remand, Franklin presented the court with its
damage calculation totaling $52, 930.37. Therefore, it
requested a damage award for the full amount of its unpaid
invoice, or $49, 602.91. David set forth his calculations of
liquid assets and argued for a damage award of $23, 818.11.
The magistrate's separate calculation yielded a damage
award of $31, 414.92.
9} Both parties objected to the magistrate's
decision. The court issued its own decision calculating that
David had access to liquid assets that were not paid to
Franklin totaling $26, 979.42. The court then reduced this
amount by $7, 743.95 to account for automatic withdrawals and
real estate taxes paid from Faun's funds. Thus, the court
awarded Franklin damages of $19, 235.47. Franklin appeals the
damage award and raises a single assignment of error.