from the Court of Claims of Ohio Ct. of Cl. No. 2018-00870
Reginald Gibson, pro se.
Yost, Attorney General, and Timothy M. Miller, for appellee.
1} Reginald Gibson, plaintiff-appellant, an inmate
at the Lima Correctional Institution, appeals from the
judgment of the Court of Claims of Ohio, in which the court
granted the summary judgment motion filed by the Ohio
Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
2} Appellant alleged from August 2013 to May 2017,
he filed numerous requests for healthcare services because of
pain in his left hip and a growing cyst on his left hip, but
he either received no treatment or inadequate treatment
during this time. He finally was approved for surgery to
remove the cyst on May 17 and had surgery on May 19, 2017.
3} On June 5, 2018, appellant filed a legal action
against ODRC in the Court of Claims. In the complaint,
appellant alleged ODRC was negligent in treating his pain and
delaying and denying surgery on the cyst/lipoma on his hip,
resulting in pain, suffering, mental anguish, and permanent
4} On November 26, 2018, the Court of Claims ordered
appellant to provide ODRC with the names of expert witnesses
and a copy of their reports by February 15, 2019. Appellant
failed to do so.
5} On April 2, 2019, ODRC filed a motion for summary
judgment arguing appellant had failed to obtain a medical
expert, which was required to establish the requisite
standard of care. Appellant filed a reply, in which he
claimed he was not asserting a claim for medical negligence
but, instead, only for ordinary negligence, so no medical
expert testimony was necessary.
6} On May 7, 2019, the Court of Claims granted
ODRC's motion for summary judgment, finding
appellant's claim was a medical negligence claim that
required him to obtain a report from a medical expert, which
he failed to do. Appellant appeals the judgment of the Court
of Claims, asserting the following assignments of error,
which are quoted below verbatim:
[I.] If the Court treats pro se litigants
differently, Does it departs from its duty of impartiality
and prejudices the handling of a case as it relates to other
litigants represented by counsel?
[II.] Does R.C. 5120.20(C)(2), as written, violate due
process Article I, Section 16 of the Ohio Constitution, and
the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution
in its application to an inmate in a civil action?
[III.] The Court of Claims erred in granting Defendant's
motion for summary judgment, as Plaintiffs claim was not one
of medical malpractice, but one of ordinary negligence, as in
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