Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Judge Overturns Administrative Ruling, Ohio University Won’t Pay Student’s Dental Bill After Ice Fall

Hannah Scolaro v. Ohio University, Case No. 2015-00304 AD

A student who recently won her lawsuit against Ohio University in the Ohio Court of Claims had her case overturned on appeal.

Hannah Scolaro sued the school after she slipped and fell on ice and damaged her two front teeth. She claimed the school was negligent for failing to remove snow and ice on its sidewalks. She had asked the court to make the school pay for her nearly $3,000 dental bill.

In August, the Court of Claims’ clerk of the court ruled that the school should pay her bill. The clerk determined that because Athens has a city ordinance that requires municipalities or local government to remove snow and ice, the school was negligent when Scolaro slipped on the ice.

Ohio University appealed the decision stating that in Luft v. Ravemor (2011) the court determined there was a “no-duty winter rule” and where “there is no duty owed, there is no breach of duty, and thus, no negligence.”

On Nov. 4, a judge agreed with the school and overturned the clerk’s ruling. He said previous case law “held that there is no duty to remove or warn the public of dangers associated with natural accumulations of ice and snow ‘even where municipal ordinances require landowners to keep sidewalks from of ice and snow.’” Luft (2011). Because it was from an administrative determination and the amount sued was under $10,000, Scolaro can’t appeal the judge’s final ruling.

To access information on other cases visit the Court of Claims website.

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