Top 10 payouts

Ohio juries were a bit more generous last year compared to previous years, according to a survey by Ohio Lawyers Weekly. The weekly legal newspaper found the amount of the top 10 monetary verdicts surged upward across the state in 2001, unlike the previous year, in which Ohio juries awarded rather conservative verdicts.

The top 10 jury verdicts in Ohio in 2001 were:

1. $19.2 million
Seelke, et al. vs. Buckeye Egg Farm LP, et al.
Licking County Common Pleas Court
Neighbors of the Buckeye Egg Farm in Newark won the largest jury verdict of the year for damages to quality of life and property.

2. $12.19 million
Shafer, et al. vs. Feldman, et al.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, No. 400053
Medical malpractice (failure to diagnose)
Doctors failed to diagnose internal bleeding in a 78-year old woman.

3. $10 million
Muehrcke vs. Indiana Insurance Co.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, No. CR413100
Breach of Contract (underinsured motor vehicle coverage)
One of the largest car accident verdicts in Cleveland history. Plaintiff doctor was injured and can no longer work. Insurance company hired investigators to follow doctor to see if he really was injured.

4. $9 million
Regal Cinemas vs. W&M Properties
U.S. District Court, Northern District, No. 1:98CV1691
Fraud (real estate development)
Double dealing by developer of shopping center in Macedonia.

5. $8.5 million
Meyers vs. Kroger Co.
Franklin County Common Pleas Court, No. 99CVC05-4292
Employer intentional tort (loss of hand)
Safety policy at Columbus bakery was not enforced. Employee had hand cut off while trying to clean conveyer belt.

6. $8.5 million
Aivazis vs. HM Health Services
Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, No. 99-CV-892
Medical malpractice (failure of telephone triage)
Boy dies of meningitis due to poor advice from a nurse.

7. $6.97 million
Globe Metallurgical Inc. vs. Menardi-Criswell
Washington County Common Pleas Court, No. 99OT267
Breach of contract (supplier altered product)
Maker of silicon metals suffered business slow-down due to faulty filter bags.

8. $5.75 million
Siesel, et al. vs. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al.
Franklin County Common Pleas Court, No. 99CVH-07-5970
Motor vehicle accident (Scott-Pontzer claim)
Insurance company and plaintiff failed to settle out of court because of differing values in severe automobile accident.

9. $5 million
Rich vs. McDonald’s Corp.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, No. 93-368481
Civil rights (AIDS discrimination)
Northeast Ohio former McDonald’s manager says he was set up to be fired because he is HIV positive.

10. $4 million
Scherf vs. St. Charles Mercy Hospital
Lucas County Common Pleas Court, No. C199-3983
Medical malpractice (overdose)
A child’s tonsillectomy turns fatal after two nurses at Toledo hospital inadvertently give him an overdose of prescription medicine.