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Owens v. Ford Motor Company Ohio Truck Plant Division

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Lorain

August 5, 2019

KENNETH J. OWENS Appellant
v.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY OHIO TRUCK PLANT DIVISION, et al. Appellee

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 17CV193290.

          JENNIFER L. LAWTHER, DANIEL A. KIRSCHNER, and COREY J. KUZMA, Attorneys at Law, for Appellant. SUSAN A. BERES, Assistant Attorney General, for Appellee.

          KIRK R. HENRICKSON and SHANA A. SAMSON, Attorneys at Law, for Appellee.

          TIMOTHY J. KRANTZ, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          LYNNE S. CALLAHAN JUDGE.

         {¶1} Appellant, Kenneth Owens, appeals an order of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} Mr. Owens alleged that he was injured during his employment with Ford Motor Company ("Ford"). When a portion of his claim was disallowed, Mr. Owens appealed the decision to the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas and filed a complaint asserting his right to participate in the workers' compensation system. In anticipation of trial, Mr. Owens filed the video deposition of his expert witness, Dr. Joseph Totaro. On September 19, 2018, Ford filed an objection log related to Dr. Totaro's deposition, maintaining, in part, that "Dr. Totaro is a Chiropractor, [c]annot opine to reasonable medical certainty - Not an MD." (Emphasis in original.) Although the record reflects several motions in limine filed by Mr. Owens, it appears that Ford did not file any such written motion with respect to Dr. Totaro's deposition in advance of trial.

         {¶3} The case proceeded to a bench trial on September 20, 2018. On the same date, the trial court journalized an order that granted Ford's motion for a directed verdict and entered judgment in favor of Ford, concluding that Mr. Owens was not entitled to participate in the workers' compensation system for four conditions enumerated in the order. Mr. Owens filed this appeal.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

         THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GRANTING APPELLEE'S MOTION FOR DIRECTED VERDICT FOLLOWING AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN FAILING TO ADMIT A PORTION OF THE TRIAL TESTIMONY AND CAUSAL OPINION AS TO THE DISALLOWED CONDITIONS OF APPELLANT'S EXPERT WITNESS.

         {¶4} Mr. Owens' sole assignment of error argues that the trial court erred in granting a directed verdict in favor of Ford. Specifically, Mr. Owens maintains that the trial court abused its discretion by excluding evidence from Dr. Totaro's deposition and that the absence of that evidence led the trial court to, in turn, improperly grant a directed verdict.

         {¶5} This Court cannot review the merits of Mr. Owens' assignment of error, however, because the trial transcript is not part of the record on appeal. When Mr. Owens filed his notice of appeal, he also ...


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