CLEVELAND--()--Roetzel Partner Doug Leak recently won a significant Supreme Court appeal involving three rulings in a medical-malpractice trial. The Ohio Supreme Court issued an opinion that held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in any of the three rulings at issue, reversing a decision by the Eighth District Court of Appeals and reinstating the jury verdict for Roetzel’s client, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (“The Clinic”).
Following a two-week jury trial handled by Roetzel Partners Anna Moore Carulas and Ingrid Kinkopf-Zajac, a unanimous verdict was entered for the Clinic. Branch, the Plaintiff in the case, appealed to the Eighth District Court of Appeals. In Branch v. Cleveland Clinic Found., 8th Dist. No. 95475, 2011-Ohio-3975, 2011 WL 3505286, the Court of Appeals found that the trial court abused its discretion in three different rulings. On these grounds, the Court of Appeals reversed the original verdict and remanded the case for a new trial.
In a Memorandum in Support of Jurisdiction drafted by Mr. Leak, the Clinic appealed the decision to the Ohio Supreme Court arguing that the decision was “legally and factually flawed” and inconsistent with precedent. In convincing the Ohio Supreme Court to accept the appeal, Mr. Leak surmounted a significant jurisdictional obstacle in his Memorandum in Support of Jurisdiction that the appeal met the Court’s jurisdictional requirement that the case is “of public or great general interest.”
The case proceeded in the Ohio Supreme Court in which Mr. Leak argued that all three rulings of the Eighth District were erroneous. In order to get the defense verdict reinstated, Mr. Leak had to convince the Ohio Supreme Court to reverse each of the three rulings issued by the Eighth District.
In addition to drafting the Merit Brief and Reply Brief, Mr. Leak participated in the oral argument before the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of the Clinic. On November 21, 2012, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its decision in Branch v. Cleveland Clinic Found., (Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-5345). The Ohio Supreme Court found merit in Mr. Leak’s legal and factual arguments and held that the trial court did not, in fact, abuse its discretion in any of the three rulings at issue. The Ohio Supreme Court, therefore, reversed the judgment of the Eighth District Court of Appeals and reinstated the jury verdict for the Clinic.
Mr. Leak focuses his practice on medical malpractice issues, personal injury, catastrophic injury and declaratory judgment actions involving insurance carriers. He also has a comprehensive appellate law practice. Mr. Leak has received an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, has been named to The Best Lawyers in America® for Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants (2012 & 2013), and has been selected as an "Ohio Super Lawyer" by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine (2009-2012). In addition, Mr. Leak is Board Certified in Appellate Law by the Ohio State Bar Association.
Roetzel is a full-service law firm that provides comprehensive, integrated legal counsel to national and international clients. For more information, visit ralaw.com.