ANGELA CUTLIP, et al. Appellees
CITY OF AKRON Appellant
FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CV-2017-10-4233
BELFANCE, Director of Law, and JOHN CHRISTOPHER REECE and
MICHAEL J. DEFIBAUGH, Assistant Directors of Law, for
MICHELLE L. TRASKA and PETER D. TRASKA, Attorneys at Law, for
M. BURNSIDE, Attorney at Law, for Appellees.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
A. TEODOSIO JUDGE
The City of Akron appeals the order of the Summit County
Court of Common Pleas denying the City of Akron's motion
for summary judgment. We affirm.
In October 2017, Angela and William Cutlip filed a complaint
against the City of Akron and multiple John Doe defendants
alleging negligence after a bathroom stall door fell on Ms.
Cutlip's foot at Firestone Stadium, a public stadium in
Akron, Ohio. The City of Akron moved for summary judgment on
the basis of political subdivision immunity pursuant to R.C.
2744.02(A), which was denied by the trial court on January
25, 2019. The City of Akron now appeals, raising one
assignment of error.
TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING SUMMARY JUDGMENT TO THE CITY OF
AKRON BASED UPON THE DOCTRINE OF POLITICAL SUBDIVISON
In its assignment of error, the City of Akron argues the
trial court erred in denying its motion for summary judgment
as to the doctrine of political subdivision immunity. We
"The denial of a motion for summary judgment is not
ordinarily a final, appealable order." Buck v.
Reminderville, 9th Dist. Summit No. 27002,
2014-Ohio-1389, ¶ 5. However, R.C. 2744.02(C) provides
that "[a]n order that denies a political subdivision * *
* the benefit of an alleged immunity from liability as
provided in this chapter or any other provision of the law is
a final order." There is no dispute the City of Akron is
a political subdivision of the state of Ohio. Because the
denial of the motion denied the City the benefit of the
political subdivision immunity, it is a final order.
Hubbell v. City of Xenia, 115 Ohio St.3d 77,
2007-Ohio-4839, ¶ 2. Our review, however, is limited to
the alleged errors in the portion of the trial court's
decision which denied the political subdivision the benefit
of immunity; this Court lacks jurisdiction to address any
other interlocutory rulings the trial court made. Owens
v. Haynes, 9th Dist. Summit No. 27027, 2014-Ohio-1503,
¶ 8, quoting Makowski v. Kohler, 9th Dist.
Summit No. 25219, 2011-Ohio-2382, ¶ 7-8.
Appellate review of an award of summary judgment is de novo.
Grafton v. Ohio Edison Co., 77 Ohio St3d 102, 105
(1996). Summary judgment is appropriate under Civ.R. 56 when:
(1) no genuine issue as to any material fact remains to be
litigated; (2) the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law; and (3) viewing the evidence most strongly in
favor of the nonmoving party, reasonable minds can come to
but one conclusion and that conclusion is adverse to the
nonmoving party. Temple v. Wean United, Inc., 50
Ohio St.2d 317, 327 (1977), citing Civ.R. 56(C). A court must
view the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party and must resolve any doubt in favor of the non-moving
party. Murphy v. Reynoldsburg,65 Ohio St.3d 356,
358-359 (1992). A trial court does not have the liberty to
choose among reasonable inferences ...