Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Richland
from the Richland County Court of Common Pleas, Case No.
Plaintiffs-Appellees/Cross-Appellants NICHOLAS D. ATTERHOLT
Weldon, Huston & Keyser, LLP
Defendant-Appellant/Cross-Appellee BRIAN M. GARVINE Law
Office of Brian M. Garvine, LLC
JUDGES: Hon. William B. Hoffman, P.J., Hon. Craig R. Baldwin,
J., Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.
Appellant ICS 1 Ltd. appeals the judgment entered by the
Richland County Common Pleas Court awarding Appellees Adam
Hoelscher and Hoelscher Trucking compensatory damages in the
amount of $12, 025 and punitive damages in the amount of $10,
OF THE FACTS AND CASE
Adam Hoelscher (hereinafter "Appellee"), doing
business as a sole proprietorship in the name of Hoelscher
Trucking, owned a white 1999 Kenworth T800 truck which he
purchased in September, 2015, for $10, 970.00. His trucking
business was located in Richland County, and conducted its
business in Richland County.
Appellant is a trucking company located in Columbus, Ohio.
Kenneth Cornett is the managing partner of Appellant.
Appellee was an independent contractor of Appellant. The
parties executed a Motor Carrier Contractor/Owner Operator
Agreement, pursuant to which Appellant leased Appellee's
truck cab and driver to deliver loads to dispatched
On September 29, 2016, Appellee's truck broke down in
Pennsylvania when the driveshaft snapped. Prior to this
incident, Appellant had performed maintenance work on the
truck at a cost of $1, 375.87. Appellee paid $404.87, and
Appellant released the truck to Appellee based on
Appellee's agreement to pay the balance.
The day the truck broke down, Cornett sent a text message to
Appellee indicating the cost of the truck repairs would
exceed $2, 000. Appellee replied he could not afford the
repairs, and would rent another truck to retrieve the broken
truck from Pennsylvania. When Appellee arrived in
Pennsylvania, the truck was gone. Appellee discovered
Appellant had had the truck towed to its shop in Columbus. On
October 17, 2016, Appellee texted Cornett, stating he could
not afford to repair the truck and would have to sell it
Appellee attempted to retrieve the truck at Appellant's
place of business in March of 2017. Appellee and his driver,
Thomas Wallace, went to Appellant's place of business
with a police officer. While the police officer was in
another room, Cornett instructed an employee to get Appellee
and Wallace out. When Wallace told the employee not to touch
him, the employee put his hand on his hip where his gun was
holstered and asked Wallace if he wanted to leave with a
permanent limp. The officer came into the room and instructed
Wallace and Appellee to walk out the door. As they tried to
pass Cornett, a scuffle erupted and the officer had to call
Appellee filed the instant action on May 10, 2017, seeking
damages and injunctive relief for replevin, conversion,
trespass to chattels, breach of contract, lost wages, and
violation of the Consumer Sales Practices Act. On May 12,
2017, Appellee filed a motion for possession of the truck
pursuant to R.C. 2737.03. Appellant filed a motion to dismiss
Appellee's May 12 motion for possession, arguing lack of
jurisdiction based on improper venue. The trial court
overruled the motion to dismiss, treating it as a motion to
Following hearing on the motion for possession, the
magistrate recommended Appellee be granted replevin of the
truck upon posting of a bond in the amount of $1, 000. No
objections were filed, and the trial court adopted the
decision of the magistrate. After Appellee posted the bond,
Appellant posted bond pursuant to R.C. 2737.11, thereby
retaining possession of the truck until the final trial date.
The trial court granted partial summary judgment to Appellee
on the conversion claim. The case proceeded to bench trial.
Following bench trial, the trial court awarded damages to
Appellee based on the following calculation:
Conversion of 1999 Kenworth - $10, 000
Unpaid freight delivery profits - $1, 275
Two weeks loss of use before decision to sell - $850
Punitive damages - $10, 000
Less unpaid repairs to Appellant - $970
Total net judgment to Appellee - $21, 055
It is from the August 16, 2018 judgment of the trial court
Appellant prosecutes this appeal, assigning as error:
WHETHER VENUE WAS PROPER AND WHETHER THE TRIAL COURT HAD
PERSONAL JURISDICTION OVER DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
WHETHER TRIAL COURT ERRED REGARDING ITS DETERMINATION OF
DAMAGES FOR PLAINTIFF-APPELLEES CONVERSION CLAIM.
WHETHER THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN AWARDING PUNITIVE DAMAGES TO
Appellee has filed a ...