Tag Archives: Ohio Supreme Court

“TAX TIPS: Tax relief may be on the way for property owners,” Carl Grassi for Crain’s Cleveland Business

Dramatic changes in the real estate market over the last decade have led to more frequent disputes between property owners and tax authorities regarding the appropriate value of real estate subject to real estate taxes.

A recent decision by the Ohio Supreme Court may make it easier for property owners to get some relief when the value of the property has declined since it was acquired.

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“Pro-voucher group suing Ohio district over list of students,” Dave Movius quoted by Associated Press

A school district is wrongly shielding names and addresses of students from an organization that promotes options to traditional public schools, according to a lawsuit before the Ohio Supreme Court attracting interest from several statewide education groups.

Columbus-based School Choice Ohio says it has long obtained the information through public records requests to districts around Ohio. It then uses the data to alert parents to scholarships — sometimes referred to as vouchers — that poor students and others can use to attend private institutions in the state.

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Ohio Supreme Court eradicates no-injury class actions

On Aug. 27, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court established in Felix v. Ganley Chevrolet, Inc., Slip Opinion No. 2015-Ohio-3430 that all members of a plaintiff class alleging violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (OCSPA) must have suffered injury as a result of the conduct challenged in a suit under the act. In so ruling, the court made clear that:

  1. Ohio’s class action rules and consumer protection statutes do not permit “windfall awards” to parties who were not actually injured by a business’s allegedly improper commercial practices.
  2. “No-injury” consumer class actions will not be allowed in Ohio.

This decision is particularly important to companies (and their management and boards) that provide consumer services and hold consumer information – including manufacturers, distributors, and/or retailers of consumer goods and/or providers of consumer services (banking, insurance, credit, utilities, etc.). At least in Ohio, class actions now cannot be based on allegations akin to “We bought a product, other people had a problem with it, and we want our money back, even though it worked fine for us.”

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Ohio Supreme Court Reverses Itself, Holding That Noncompete Agreements Do Transfer To The Successor Corporation After A Corporate Merger

Earlier this year, we wrote about the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision, Acordia of Ohio, L.L.C. v. Fishel et al., (“Acordia I”), in which the Court held that when a company that was the original party to a noncompete agreement merges in to another company, unless the noncompete agreement contained a “successors and assigns” clause, the merger was a termination of employment which triggered the running of the restrictive period in the noncompete.

Last week, in Acordia II, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed that decision, holding that after a merger, an “absorbed company ceases to exist as a separate business entity,” but that it is not “erased from existence.” Rather, “the absorbed company becomes a part of the resulting company following merger” and therefore the “merged company has the ability to enforce noncompete agreements as if the resulting company had stepped into the shoes of the absorbed company.”

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Ohio Supreme Court once more limits public policy wrongful discharge claims

Continuing its recent trend of limiting – rather than expanding – the availability of public policy wrongful discharge claims, the Ohio Supreme Court earlier this year clarified what the phrase “clear public policy” means.  Although the Court’s latest pronouncement on this topic may not stem the tide of public policy claims employers face, it nonetheless provides another means of defense against them.

In Dohme v. Eurand Am., Inc., the company’s facilities administrator sued the company claiming that the termination of his employment violated public policy.  The company, on the other hand, claimed that it terminated the facilities administrator’s employment due to his insubordination.  In particular, the company sent an e-mail to all employees in advance of an insurance adjuster’s inspection that alerted employees that the facility would be inspected and that only certain employees of the company were to have contact with the adjuster.  The facilities administrator was not one of the designated employees.  Nonetheless, the facilities administrator told the adjuster that “he might want to find out what happened with” a fire inspection report allegedly removed from the company’s computer system.  After learning of the facilities administrator’s communication with the adjuster, the company terminated the facility administrator’s employment.

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