Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Richland
from the Richland County Court of Common Pleas, Case No.
Plaintiff-Appellant DAVID D. CARTO Weldon, Huston &
Defendant-Appellee TODD M. ZIMMERMAN DANIEL J. MATUSICKY
Rohrbachers Cron Manahan Trimble & Zimmerman Co., L.P.A.
JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.
Hon. Earle E. Wise, J.
Plaintiff-appellant Thomas Kerry Green appeals from the May
23, 2019 Judgment Entry of the Richland County Court of
Common Pleas granting the Motion for Summary Judgment filed
by defendant-appellee Michael R. Shepherd.
OF THE FACT AND CASE
On March 13, 2016, appellant Thomas Kerry Green was bit by a
large Great Dane while running recreationally along a public
roadway known as Millsboro Road West in Richland County,
Ohio. As he approached the house and property located at 3619
Millsboro Road West, a large Great Dane "came ripping
off the porch" and attacked appellant, causing him to
suffer severe lacerations, puncture wounds, loss of skin and
muscle tissue, a compression fracture of his left tibial
plateau and permanent scaring on his right forearm and left
leg. Deposition of Thomas Kerry Green at 14-16, 36, 42-45.
The dog which attacked appellant was owned and kept at the
premises by Michaela Shepherd Zack (hereinafter
"Zack") who is appellee's daughter. The
premises is a single family home. Appellee is the owner of
the premises and his daughter had been living there under a
verbal lease since September of 2015. During her deposition,
Zack testified that she paid appellee, who did not live at
the property, $685.00 a month in rent and paid the utilities.
Deposition of Michaela Shepherd Zack at 9. The two did not
have a written lease. Appellee paid the real estate taxes,
mortgage payments and insurance premiums pertaining to the
property. Zack testified that her father would visit her
approximately once a week.
During his deposition, appellee testified that his daughter
was buying the property on land contract. There was, however
no written land contract between them. He further testified
that she told him that the Great Dane, named Albert, had been
involved in two other reported incidents where he had bitten
and injured other people. One incident was in November of
2015 and the other in December of 2015. On or about November
15, 2015, a bite report was made to the Richland County Dog
Warden about Albert and Albert was determined to be a
dangerous dog under R.C. Section 955.11(A)(1)(a)(i). Zack was
ordered to keep Albert restrained in compliance with the
requirements of R.C. 955.22(D). Zack then installed a fence
on the property. During her deposition, Zack testified that
she discussed the two incidents with appellee and that he was
aware that the Dog Warden had ordered that Albert be enclosed
on the property. After the November 2015 incident, Zack also
was ordered to be muzzled while off the premises. After
someone told appellee that Albert had been labeled a
dangerous dog, appellee spoke with Zack and asked her about
her plans. According to him, Zack told him that she had
talked to the Dog Warden and was told that she needed to keep
Albert restrained. Appellee testified that when he went over
to the premises, Albert was on a chain that was staked and
The following is an excerpt from appellee's deposition
A: My concern was that the person on the phone had told me
the dog had been labeled a dangerous dog. So I asked her
[Zack] what her plans were about the dog, and she said that
the dog warden - she either told me the dog warden had been
out and talked to her or it was on the telephone - - I
can't remember - - and told her what needed to be done if
she was going to keep the dog.
satisfied me. I had no control over what she was going to do
with the dog and all of this. It was - - my name is on the
house, but she's in charge. She can knock out a wall if
she wants to.
Q: Were you concerned that, as the owner of the property, you
wanted to make sure there wasn't something on the
property that might cause harm to somebody else?
MR. ZIMMERMAN: Objection.
A: Something on the property?
BY MR. CARTO: