T.B., et al. Appellees
SUMMIT COUNTY CHILDREN SERVICES BOARD, et al. Appellants
FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CV-2015-09-4526
J. HANNA and FRANK G. MAZGAJ, Attorneys at Law, for
WILLIAM T. WHITAKER and ANDREA L. WHITAKER, Attorneys at Law,
M. SAWAN, Attorney at Law, for Defendant.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
J. CARR JUDGE.
Defendant-Appellants Summit County Children Services Board
("CSB"), John Saros, Dana Klapper, Darlene Baad,
and Dawn Averell appeal from the decision of the Summit
County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms in part and
reverses in part.
In September 2015, Plaintiffs-Appellees T.B., individually,
and as the next friend of C.H., and C.W., individually, and
as the next friend of R.W., filed an eight-count complaint
against CSB, Mr. Saros, Ms. Klapper, Ms. Baad, Ms. Averell,
and Roger Ball.
T.B. is the mother of C.H. and C.W. is the mother of R.W. At
different times, both C.H. and R.W. were placed in the foster
home of Ball. During the relevant times, Mr. Saros was the
executive director of CSB, Ms. Klapper was a CSB social
worker involved with R.W.'s case, Ms. Averell was a CSB
social worker assigned to C.H.'s case, and Ms. Baad was
Ms. Averell's supervisor. The CSB employees were sued in
their individual and official capacities.
The complaint included allegations that Ball had sexually
abused C.H. and C.W. while the children were in his care and
that Ball was ultimately charged, tried, and convicted of the
assaults. It was also alleged that Mr. Saros, Ms. Klapper,
Ms. Averell, and Ms. Baad were informed of the allegations of
abuse and failed to take appropriate action pursuant to law.
CSB, Mr. Saros, Ms. Klapper, Ms. Averell, and Ms. Baad filed
a joint motion for summary judgment arguing that they were
immune from liability pursuant to Chapter 2744 of the Ohio
Revised Code. In support of their motion, they included
affidavits of Ms. Klapper, Ms. Averell, and Ms. Baad. T.B.
and C.W. opposed the motion and attached several documents in
support of their argument, including the jury verdict and
sentencing entries in Ball's criminal case, the
deposition transcripts of T.B., C.H., C.W., and R.W., a
police incident report, and a newspaper article. CSB, Mr.
Saros, Ms. Klapper, Ms. Averell, and Ms. Baad filed a reply
brief in support of their motion and also filed a motion to
strike certain exhibits filed by T.B. and C.W. as improper
summary judgment evidence.
The trial court granted the motion to strike the improper
evidence and struck the jury verdict forms, sentencing entry,
police report, and newspaper article. Nonetheless, the trial
court concluded that conflicts in the evidence presented
prevented an award of summary judgment to CSB, Mr. Saros, Ms.
Klapper, Ms. Averell, and Ms. Baad on the basis of statutory
CSB, Mr. Saros, Ms. Klapper, Ms. Averell, and Ms. Baad have
appealed, raising two assignments of error for our review.
OF ERROR I
TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING SUMMIT COUNTY CHILDREN SERVICES