March 16, 2020
In a unanimous decision, the Ohio 10th Appellate District has upheld a $651,335.00 jury verdict in favor of a subrogated insurer and its insured. The case, COMTEX, et al. v. Turner / PSC Metals was tried in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, and argued in the appellate court by RMI Attorneys Glenna Roberts and Dustin Smith.
The February 20, 2020 ruling upheld a verdict that had been challenged in post-trial motions and then on appeal since the verdict was rendered back in 2017. The original verdict after a four day trial involved a commercial subrogation claim asserting a large nationwide metal recycling corporation had wrongfully converted product belonging to the insured.
The appellate court ruled that the trial judge properly decided a duty to mitigate instruction was inapplicable under the facts of the case. The opinion noted “the duty to mitigate arises only where the injured party has knowledge that it has sustained damages.” The court also held that under Ohio law, contributory fault is not available as an affirmative defense in a conversion case. The appellate court further ruled the trial court did not err in denying the defense motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and for a new trial.
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