Robison, Curphey & O'Connell Feed Feb 2019firmwise 7's Impact on the Litigation of Medical Claims in Ohio Feb 2019News<p>Effective March 20, 2019, Ohio House Bill 7 will affect the litigation of &ldquo;medical claims&rdquo; in the following important ways:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li><b>Statute of Limitations Automatically Extended 180 Days for Unnamed Medical Claims and Defendants</b> <ul type="circle"> <li>In lieu of serving 180 day letters on all potential defendants, R.C. &sect;2323.451 allows a claimant to file a complaint asserting a medical claim within the statute of limitations, and seek to discover the existence or identity of any other potential medical claims or defendants that are not included or named in the complaint. So long as the claimant files an amended complaint adding claims or defendants within 180 days of the expiration of the statute of limitations, the claims asserted in the amended complaint relate back to the original filing date, regardless of whether the statute of limitations expired on the additional claims or defendants during the period following the filing of the first complaint.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Simplified Service of 180 Day Letters </b> <ul type="circle"> <li>R.C. &sect; 2305.113(B)(2) now allows service of 180 day letters, by certified mail, return receipt requested, upon any of the following: <ul type="square"> <li>The person&rsquo;s residence;</li> <li>The person&rsquo;s professional practice;</li> <li>The person&rsquo;s employer;</li> <li>The address of the person on file with the state medical board or other state licensing agency.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Qualified Immunity for Disaster Responders</b> <ul type="circle"> <li>R.C. &sect;2305.2311 grants health care providers and emergency medical technicians immunity from liability for any care or treatment provided in response to a disaster, unless the care or treatment constitutes reckless disregard for the consequences so as to affect the life or health of the patient. <ul type="square"> <li>The heightened standard of proof does not apply to wrongful death actions arising out of disaster response, or actions outside the scope of authority of the provider or EMT.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Qualified Immunity for Holding and/or Discharging Patients with Dangerous Mental Health Conditions</b> <ul type="circle"> <li>R.C. &sect;2305.51(D) states that health care providers, including hospitals, cannot be subject to civil liability or regulatory discipline if the provider: <ul type="square"> <li>Fails to discharge a patient or allow a patient to leave the facility when the provider determines, according to appropriate standards of professional practice, that the patient has a mental health condition that threatens the safety of the patient or others; or</li> <li>Discharges a patient whom the provider, in good faith and according to appropriate standards of professional practice, does not have a mental health condition that threatens the safety of the patient or others.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Apology Statute Expanded</b> <ul type="circle"> <li>R.C. &sect;2317.43 renders inadmissible as evidence of an admission of liability or as evidence of an admission against interest, statements of &ldquo;error&rdquo; or &ldquo;fault&rdquo; even when those statements are included in the patient&rsquo;s medical records.</li> <li>In addition, records of the provider review process that include statements made to or by the alleged victim, the victim&rsquo;s relatives and acquaintances, representatives, are also inadmissible.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Federal Laws and Regulations Are Not Evidence of the Standard of Care</b> <ul type="circle"> <li>R.C. &sect; 2317.44 holds that the guidelines, regulations, or other standards propounded under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Social Security Act (including rules issued by Medicare and Medicaid) do not establish the standard of care and are inadmissible in any civil action based upon a medical claim, or administrative action involving licensure of the health care provider.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>CMS Reimbursement Policies and Determinations Are Not Evidence of the Standard of Care</b> <ul type="circle"> <li>R.C. &sect; 2317.45 states that CMS reimbursement policies and reimbursement determinations are inadmissible as evidence of the standard of care or breach of the standard of care.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p>Through thoughtful preparation and planning, our attorneys have successfully defended hospitals, professional practice groups, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare employees sued for medical negligence and other related claims. Please contact any of our healthcare attorneys for additional information on how Ohio House Bill 7 will affect your institution or practice.</p> Addresses Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) Grower Meeting Feb 2019News<p>RCO Attorney Paul E. Croy was a presenter at today&rsquo;s Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) <i>Efficient Farm Management and Planning</i> <i>Meeting</i> held at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, Bowling Green. Croy&rsquo;s presentation was on succession planning, &ldquo;Keeping the Farm in the Family&rdquo;. &nbsp;Additional topics for the meeting included:&nbsp; &ldquo;The New Tax Law for Growers&rdquo;, presented by Matthew A. Long, EA, Tax Supervisor, Gilmore, Jasion, Mahler; and &ldquo;Lean for Growers&rdquo;, presented by Troy Wildermuth, Director of Manufacturing, Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). Founded in 1995, CIFT provides a unique blend of business solutions, innovation and technical expertise to the food processing, agricultural and manufacturing sectors.&nbsp; CIFT&rsquo;s mission is to enhance the economic performance of these industries and create new jobs. &nbsp;&nbsp;Croy&rsquo;s practice areas at RCO Law include estate planning, estate and trust administration, business and farm transition planning, general business representation, and residential and investment real estate.</p> Law Appellate Victory Clarifies Proper Use of John Doe Defendants Under Ohio Law Feb 2019News<p>The Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed summary judgment in favor of RCO Law&rsquo;s healthcare client due to the plaintiff&rsquo;s inappropriate use of multiple &ldquo;John Doe defendants&rdquo; to avoid the statute of limitations. In a comprehensive analysis rejecting the tactic, the Court of Appeals detailed the limited circumstances in which Ohio law allows use of John Doe defendants, and emphasized that failure to follow the strict requirements for doing so forfeits use thereof.&nbsp; In so doing, the Court both clarified the oft-misused John Doe procedural device, and reinforced the public policy imperatives protected by the enforcement of statutes of limitations.&nbsp;</p> <p>The appeal was briefed and argued by RCO Law Attorney Chad M. Thompson, with support from Attorney Kayla L. Henderson.</p> Hosts Two Michigan AG Seminars in February Jan 2019News<p>RCO Law will host two <i>complimentary</i> Agricultural Seminars in Michigan during the month of February. The first AG Seminar will be held on Tuesday, February 12 at the Dow Center, Hillsdale College, 22 E. Galloway Drive, Hillsdale, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The second AG Seminar will be held on Tuesday, February 19 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Old Mill, 242 Toledo Street, Dundee.&nbsp; Breakfast will be served at both venues at 7:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 8:30 a.m.&nbsp;</p> <p>The agendas for both meetings will&nbsp; include presentations on: P.A. 116;&nbsp; Flexible Farm Leases; Creditors&rsquo; Leins; Auctions; Long-Term Care; Social Security; and Hot Topics in Employment Law.&nbsp;</p> <p>Presenters from RCO Law include Attorneys <b>Kathryn M. Mohr</b>; <b>Michael R. Olsaver</b>; <b>Matthew D. Budds</b>; and <b>W. David Arnold</b>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Guest presenters include <b>Christopher L. Heerdegen</b>, CFBS, Partner and Financial Planner, Skylight Financial Group; and <b>Brad Neuhart</b>, Rollo Junkette and Brad Neuhart Auctioneers; along with representatives from the Michigan Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (P.A. 116 Office).</p> <p>Reservations can be made by calling RCO Law at 419-418-6941 or online at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>Click <a href="/7599B1/assets/files/Documents/Ag_Seminar_Flyer_2019.pdf" target="_blank">here</a> to view flyier.</p> Planning on the Agenda at Jones Crop Insurance Meeting Jan 2019News<p>Jones Crop Insurance hosted a dinner meeting for AG clients on January 17 in Pettisville, Ohio. The meeting included an update on the Farm Bill and grain markets. In addition, Attorney Kathryn Mohr spoke to the group on Estate Planning and provided advice on how to pass farms on to the next generation.&nbsp; Kathryn is available for estate planning services at 419-249-7900.</p> Who Breaches Settlement Agreement Must Pay Attorney Fees: Court of Appeals Jan 2019Insight<p>The Eighth District Court of Appeals recently re-affirmed in <i>Rayco Mfg., Inc. v. Murphy, Rogers, Sloss &amp; Gambel</i>, 2018-Ohio-4782 (8th Dist.), that parties who breach a settlement agreement must pay the attorney fees incurred by the other side when enforcing the agreement.</p> <p>The requirement to pay the other side&rsquo;s attorney fees is a notable departure from norms of American law.&nbsp; As explained in <i>Rayco</i>, the &ldquo;American Rule&rdquo; of litigation provides that a prevailing party may not recover their attorney fees as part of the &ldquo;costs of litigation,&rdquo; unless:&nbsp; (1) a statute requires the losing party to pay for attorney fees; (2) the losing party acts in bad faith; or (3) the parties entered a contract whereby the losing party must pay.&nbsp;&nbsp; Attorney fees in cases of a settlement breach escape the American Rule, however, because they are &ldquo;fees incurred after the breach of the settlement agreement [and are] relevant to the determination of compensatory damages, including those fees [a party] was &lsquo;forced&rsquo; to incur by filing the action.&rdquo;&nbsp; In other words, &ldquo;[b]ecause the attorney fees sought in that context are regarded as compensatory damages&mdash;rather than as costs of litigation to remedy a breach of contract&mdash;the American Rule does not preclude their recovery even where none of the other exceptions to the American Rule applies.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>The Eighth District is not alone in requiring that a breaching party pay the other side&rsquo;s attorney fees.&nbsp; <i>Rayco </i>cited case law wherein Ohio&rsquo;s Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Tenth District Courts of Appeals have all required a breaching party to pay for the fees needed to enforce a settlement agreement.&nbsp; The <i>Rayco</i> Court also emphasized that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals have both enforced Ohio&rsquo;s requirement that a breaching party pay attorney fees.&nbsp;</p> <p>The <i>Rayco </i>decision highlights that the issue of attorney fees in litigation is a nuanced question that has many rules, and many exceptions.&nbsp; Businesses and individuals alike must take care not only to understand these variables when making litigation decisions, but must also consider possible exposure and potential points of bargaining when negotiating business deals and transactional agreements.&nbsp;</p> <p><i>Chad M. Thompson is a Partner in RCO Law&rsquo;s Toledo, Ohio office, where he represents businesses and individuals in State and Federal Courts throughout the region.</i></p> Addresses Hillsdale Agricultural Council Annual Meeting Jan 2019News<p>Attorney Kathryn M. Mohr, from RCO Law&rsquo;s Tecumseh and Monroe offices, was a featured speaker at the Hillsdale County Agricultural Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 10 in Jonesville, Michigan. Mohr shared her expertise on current topics relevant to agriculture and family farms.&nbsp; For additional information on agri-business, contact Kathryn at 419-249-7900.</p> Reappointed as Airport Authority Trustee; Elected Board Vice President Dec 2018News<p>RCO Attorney Chad M. Thompson has been reappointed to a second term on the Board of Trustees for the Wood County Regional Airport Authority, and was elected Vice President of the Board effective January 2019.&nbsp; Mr. Thompson, a private pilot, was re-appointed to the post by the Wood County Board of Commissioners, and was elected Vice President by fellow Airport Authority Trustees.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="437" height="258" /><br /> Attorney Chad M. Thompson pictured (front left) with the Wood County Board of Commissioners (back row), and other Airport Board members (front row from left to right: Dr. Donald Deters,&nbsp;Michael Liebenthal, Jeffrey Hammons,&nbsp;Dr. William Davis).</p> Law Brightens the Holidays for Families in Need Dec 2018News<p>Following a long-standing holiday tradition, RCO Law helped to make the season brighter for families in the Greater Toledo area by supporting local community agencies with approximately 100 gifts for children and their parents. The firm collected funds for Leading Families Home, a Beach House and Focus partnership, and Mom's House.</p> <p><img src="" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="437" height="327" /><br /> Christmas elves from the firm wrapped gifts which were then delivered by:&nbsp; (L to R) Lisa Guerrero, Kathy Weaver and Theresa Sutcliffe.</p> Honors Julia Wiley with 2018 Community Service Award Dec 2018News<p>The Fort Industry Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) recently presented RCO Attorney Julia Wiley with its 2018 Community Service Award, a national award that recognizes outstanding voluntary achievements in cultural, educational, patriotic or historical work. Wiley serves as the President of the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission, an organization that is actively preserving and protecting&nbsp; the battlefield. The local commission was formed in 1996 by a group of concerned citizens and local history buffs dedicated to saving the Battlefield from commercial development. The Battle of Fallen Timbers took place on August 20, 1794 and is considered one of the most decisive battles in American history. By destroying the American Indian Alliance and putting an end to the English claims in the Northwest territory, the battle secured the future states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, and Ohio, and opened the west for exploration and expansion. &nbsp;Wiley is passionate about the battlefield and promoting its importance as a regional and national historical site.&nbsp; &nbsp;The Commission&rsquo;s efforts helped create a 1.5 mile Northwest Territory Trail that was opened to the public in 2015, that includes interpretive areas and information about the conflict.&nbsp; A Visitor Center will open in the near future.&nbsp; The Commission will also honor the 225<sup>th</sup> Anniversary of the Battle of Fallen Timbers with an international community event that runs from August 16-20, 2019, with other events and programs planned throughout 2019.</p> <p><img src="" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="437" height="327" /><br /> Regent Brenda Corr and Beverly St. Clair, of the Fort Industry DAR Chapter, present the 2018 Community Service Award to&nbsp; Julia Wiley.</p>