Case: Plush v. Cincinnati

No. A 1903752 | Ohio state trial court

Filed Date: Aug. 12, 2019

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 12, 2019, the parents of a deceased sixteen-year-old boy filed a complaint against the City of Cincinnati and individual employees of the Emergency Communications Center in the Ohio Court of Common Pleas for Hamilton County. The plaintiffs alleged they suffered permanent damages and brought several claims, including: (1) failure to protect in violation of Ohio Constitution Article I sections 1 and 16, (2) wrongful death, (3) breach of duty, (4) failure to supervise 9-1-1 employees, (5…

On August 12, 2019, the parents of a deceased sixteen-year-old boy filed a complaint against the City of Cincinnati and individual employees of the Emergency Communications Center in the Ohio Court of Common Pleas for Hamilton County. The plaintiffs alleged they suffered permanent damages and brought several claims, including: (1) failure to protect in violation of Ohio Constitution Article I sections 1 and 16, (2) wrongful death, (3) breach of duty, (4) failure to supervise 9-1-1 employees, (5) breach of duty to protect by police officers, (6) failure to supervise police officers, (7) breach of duty by the city of Cincinnati, (8) liability under R.C. § 128.32, (9) intentional infliction of serious emotional distress, and (10) loss of consortium. The boy's parents were represented by private counsel. 

The sixteen-year-old boy died after being trapped in his minivan after the backseat unexpectedly folded and pinned him against the back door. The plaintiffs sued the city of Cincinnati, the city manager, the employees who took the 911 calls, and the police officers who responded to the 911 calls. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants had violated state law in recklessly and negligently causing the wrongful death of their son. They called attention to individual actions from the call takers and police officers as well as the city's Emergency Call Center, which had both personnel and technology issues in recent years. The plaintiffs requested compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys' fees, and injunctive relief for the city to reform its emergency call system.

On the same day as the complaint, the plaintiffs also moved for a temporary restraining order. The case was assigned to Judge Robert P. Ruehlman.

Seeking both political subdivision and individual immunity, the defendants moved to dismiss the case on October 8, 2019. On January 22, 2020, the trial court denied the motion. Regarding political subdivision immunity, it held that the defendants had not conclusively shown that the immunity was apparent on the face of the complaint. For individual immunity, the court held that city employees acting outside the scope of official responsibilities was an exception to immunity, and that the complaint alleged facts to show that it was possible the city employees had done so. 2020 WL 9439519.

The next day, the defendants appealed to the Ohio First District Court of Appeals. On December 16, 2020, the appeals court remanded the case, affirming in part and denying in part the trial court's decision. The appeals court held that political subdivision immunity did apply, and that an exception would have been appropriate for the creation of a 911 system but not for improvements to the system. It also held that the city employees were immune in their official capacities because the plaintiffs' son died on private property, in the parking lot of his private school. The appeals court affirmed the trial court's decision that the city employees were not immune in their individual capacities because the plaintiffs sufficiently alleged at least recklessness. 164 N.E.3d 1056.

On April 9, 2021, the parties agreed on a settlement. The defendants were to pay $6 million in damages and attorneys' fees to the plaintiffs. In addition, the defendants agreed to spend $250,000 to hire outside experts to review the city's operations for handling 911 calls. These experts would identify areas for improvement and help set goals for the city. The parties agreed that these goals should center around implementing industry best practices and standards, quality assurance for calls and dispatching, steps to achieve accreditation, staff training and retention, and improving responses to calls that are labeled as "unknown trouble." The goals would be set within thirty days of the agreement, and the team of experts would issue a public report after six months. The city agreed to implement the recommendations from the team of experts and publish progress reports every six months. The settlement agreement would last five years.

With the settlement agreement in place, the court dismissed the case with prejudice on June 22, 2021. The terms of the settlement agreement are set to expire in 2026.

Summary Authors

Lauren Yu (7/20/2021)

Andrew Eslich (1/16/2024)

People


Judge(s)

Bergeron, Pierre H. (Ohio)

Crouse, Candace C. (Ohio)

Attorney for Plaintiff

Branch, Jennifer L. (Ohio)

Gerhardstein, Alphonse A. (Ohio)

Hyatt, Mary Caroline (Ohio)

Attorney for Defendant

show all people

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

19-03752

Docket

June 25, 2021

June 25, 2021

Docket

19-03752

Complaint and Jury Demand

Aug. 12, 2019

Aug. 12, 2019

Complaint

19-03752

Entry Overruling Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss

Jan. 22, 2020

Jan. 22, 2020

Order/Opinion

2020 WL 2020

C-200030

Opinion

Ohio state supreme court

Dec. 16, 2020

Dec. 16, 2020

Order/Opinion

164 N.E.3d 164

Plush Family and Cincinnati Agree to 911 Improvements and Financial Settlement

Plush v. City of Cincinnati

No Court

April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

Press Release

19-03752

Settlement Agreement and Release

Plush v. City of Cincinnati

None

None

Settlement Agreement

19-03752

Settlement Agreement and Release

Plush v. City of Cincinnati

None

None

Settlement Agreement

Docket

Last updated Feb. 14, 2024, 4:50 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link

Description: CASE DEPOSIT & JURY DEMAND BY ALPHONSE ADAM GERHARDSTEIN Amount: 595.00

Aug. 12, 2019

Aug. 12, 2019

Description: COMPLAINT & JURY DEMAND FILED

Aug. 12, 2019

Aug. 12, 2019

Description: CLASSIFICATION FORM FILED.

Aug. 12, 2019

Aug. 12, 2019

Description: NOTICE OF FILING PRELIMINARY EXOERT REPORT OF JOHN MELCHER

Aug. 12, 2019

Aug. 12, 2019

Description: PRELIMINARY EXPERT REPORT

Aug. 12, 2019

Aug. 12, 2019

Description: NOTICE OF FILING PRELIMINARY EXPERT REPORT OF MICHAEL LYMAN

Aug. 12, 2019

Aug. 12, 2019

Description: PRELIMINARY EXPERT REPORT OF MICHAEL D LYMAN PHD

Aug. 12, 2019

Aug. 12, 2019

Description: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRANING ORDER

Aug. 12, 2019

Aug. 12, 2019

Description: MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

Aug. 12, 2019

Aug. 12, 2019

Description: NOTIFICATION FORM FILED.

Aug. 12, 2019

Aug. 12, 2019

Description: NOTIFICATION FORM FILED.

Aug. 12, 2019

Aug. 12, 2019

Description: NOTIFICATION FORM FILED.

Aug. 12, 2019

Aug. 12, 2019

Description: NOTICE: SEALED/NOT VIEWABLE PER ORDER OF THE COURT.

Aug. 13, 2019

Aug. 13, 2019

Description: NOTICE: SEALED/NOT VIEWABLE PER ORDER OF THE COURT.

Aug. 13, 2019

Aug. 13, 2019

Description: NOTICE: SEALED/NOT VIEWABLE PER ORDER OF THE COURT.

Aug. 13, 2019

Aug. 13, 2019

Description: NOTICE: SEALED/NOT VIEWABLE PER ORDER OF THE COURT.

Aug. 13, 2019

Aug. 13, 2019

Description: NOTICE: SEALED/NOT VIEWABLE PER ORDER OF THE COURT.

Aug. 13, 2019

Aug. 13, 2019

Case Schedule Time: 02:00 PM Location: COURTHOUSE ROOM 300 Judge: ROBERT P RUEHLMAN Action: TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

Aug. 14, 2019

Aug. 14, 2019

Description: NOTIFICATION FORM FILED.

Aug. 14, 2019

Aug. 14, 2019

Description: NOTIFICATION FORM FILED.

Aug. 14, 2019

Aug. 14, 2019

Description: JUDGE ASSIGNED CASE ASSIGNED TO RUEHLMAN/ROBERT/P PRIMARY

Aug. 14, 2019

Aug. 14, 2019

Description: AGREED ORDER

Aug. 14, 2019

Aug. 14, 2019

Description: JOINT MOTION TO REDACT OR SEAL WRITTEN REQUEST FOR SERVICE AND SUMMONS

Aug. 15, 2019

Aug. 15, 2019

Description: NOTICE OF SERVICE OF PLEADINGS

Aug. 15, 2019

Aug. 15, 2019

Description: ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO REDACT OR SEAL WRITTEN REQUEST FOR SERVICE AND SUMMONS

Aug. 19, 2019

Aug. 19, 2019

Description: STIPULATED EXTENSION OF TIME TO MOVE, ANSWER, OR OTHERWISE PLEAD

Aug. 21, 2019

Aug. 21, 2019

Description: NOTIFICATION FORM FILED.

Aug. 21, 2019

Aug. 21, 2019

Description: NOTIFICATION FORM FILED.

Aug. 26, 2019

Aug. 26, 2019

Description: PROCESS SERVER REQUESTED, BUT NOT SERVED ON STEPHANIE MAGEE NOT FOUND

Aug. 27, 2019

Aug. 27, 2019

Description: RETURN OF SERVICE BY PROCESS SERVER ON AMBER SMITH ON 08/17/19

Aug. 27, 2019

Aug. 27, 2019

Description: PROCESS SERVER REQUESTED, BUT NOT SERVED ON HARRY BLACK SUBJECT TOLD THE RECEPTIONIST AT THE EDGECLIFF THAT I SHOULD SERVE THE CITY OF CINCINNATI

Aug. 27, 2019

Aug. 27, 2019

Description: RETURN OF SERVICE BY PROCESS SERVER ON EDSEL OSBORN ON 08/15/19

Aug. 27, 2019

Aug. 27, 2019

Description: RETURN OF SERVICE BY PROCESS SERVER ON BRIAN BRAZILLE ON 08/19/19

Aug. 27, 2019

Aug. 27, 2019

Description: ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO REDACT OR SEAL WRITTEN REQUEST FOR SERVICE AND SUMMONS

Aug. 29, 2019

Aug. 29, 2019

Case Schedule Time: 01:30 PM Location: COURTHOUSE ROOM 300 Judge: ROBERT P RUEHLMAN Action: CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

Sept. 17, 2019

Sept. 17, 2019

Case Schedule Time: 09:30 AM Location: COURTHOUSE ROOM 300 Judge: ROBERT P RUEHLMAN Action: CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

Sept. 18, 2019

Sept. 18, 2019

Description: CASE SCHEDULING ORDER

Sept. 23, 2019

Sept. 23, 2019

Description: MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFFS' COMPLAINT

Oct. 8, 2019

Oct. 8, 2019

Description: MOTION TO STAY DISCOVERY PENDING DECISION ON MOTION TO DISMISS

Oct. 9, 2019

Oct. 9, 2019

Description: UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR ONE WEEK EXTENSION OF TIME TO OPPOSE MOTION TO DISMISS AND PROPOSED ORDER

Oct. 18, 2019

Oct. 18, 2019

Description: MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STAY

Oct. 18, 2019

Oct. 18, 2019

Description: REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STAY DISCOVERY PENDING DECISION ON DISPOSITIVE MOTION

Oct. 24, 2019

Oct. 24, 2019

Description: SECOND UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO OPPOSE MOTION TO DISMISS AND PROPOSED ORDER

Oct. 28, 2019

Oct. 28, 2019

Description: ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR THREE DAY EXTENTION FOR PLAINTIFFS TO FILE MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO DISMISS

Oct. 31, 2019

Oct. 31, 2019

Description: MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO DISMISS COMPLAINT - ORAL ARGUMENT REQUESTED

Nov. 1, 2019

Nov. 1, 2019

Description: UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR EXTENSION TO FILE REPLY IN SUPPORT OF THEIR MOTION TO DISMISS

Nov. 8, 2019

Nov. 8, 2019

Description: CITY'S SECOND UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME

Nov. 15, 2019

Nov. 15, 2019

Description: REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO DISMISS

Nov. 18, 2019

Nov. 18, 2019

Description: AGREED ORDER PARTIALLY STAYING DISCOVERY

Nov. 20, 2019

Nov. 20, 2019

Case Schedule Time: 11:30 AM Location: COURTHOUSE ROOM 300 Judge: ROBERT P RUEHLMAN Action: MOTION TO DISMISS

Dec. 12, 2019

Dec. 12, 2019

Description: APPLICATION REQUESTING PERMISSION TO BROADCAST, TELEVISE, PHOTOGRAPH, RECORD COURTROOM PROCEEDINGS

Dec. 13, 2019

Dec. 13, 2019

Description: APPLICATION REQUESTING PERMISSION TO BROADCAST, TELEVISE, PHOTOGRAPH, RECORD COURTROOM PROCEEDINGS

Dec. 13, 2019

Dec. 13, 2019

Description: APPLICATION REQUESTING PERMISSION TO BROADCAST, TELEVISE, PHOTOGRAPH, RECORD COURTROOM PROCEEDINGS

Dec. 13, 2019

Dec. 13, 2019

Description: APPLICATION REQUESTING PERMISSION TO BROADCAST, TELEVISE, PHOTOGRAPH, RECORD COURTROOM PROCEEDINGS

Dec. 13, 2019

Dec. 13, 2019

Description: APPLICATION REQUESTING PERMISSION TO BROADCAST, TELEVISE, PHOTOGRAPH, RECORD COURTROOM PROCEEDINGS

Dec. 13, 2019

Dec. 13, 2019

Description: APPLICATION REQUESTING PERMISSION TO BROADCAST, TELEVISE, PHOTOGRAPH, RECORD COURTROOM PROCEEDINGS

Dec. 13, 2019

Dec. 13, 2019

Description: NOTICE OF FILING PLAINTIFFS' PROPOSED ORDER AND OPINION DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND PLAINTIFFS' PROPOSED ENTRY AND OPINION DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

Dec. 30, 2019

Dec. 30, 2019

Case Schedule Time: 09:00 AM Location: COURTHOUSE ROOM 300 Judge: ROBERT P RUEHLMAN Action: DECISION

Jan. 22, 2020

Jan. 22, 2020

Description: ENTRY OVERRULING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

Jan. 22, 2020

Jan. 22, 2020

Description: NOTICE OF APPEAL FILED. NO. C2000030 COPY SENT TO ALPHONSE A GERHARDSTEIN JENNIFER L BRANCH M CAROLINE HYATT

Jan. 23, 2020

Jan. 23, 2020

Case Schedule Time: 02:00 PM Location: COURTHOUSE ROOM 300 Judge: ROBERT P RUEHLMAN Action: MEDIATION CONFERENCE

Feb. 6, 2020

Feb. 6, 2020

Description: COURT OF APPEALS OF HAMILTON COUNTY CASE NO. C 2000030, TRANSCRIPT OF DOCKET AND JOURNAL ENTRIES FILED

Feb. 6, 2020

Feb. 6, 2020

Case Schedule Time: 11:00 AM Location: COURTHOUSE ROOM 300 Judge: ROBERT P RUEHLMAN Action: FINAL PRE-TRIAL

March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

Case Schedule Time: 09:00 AM Location: COURTHOUSE ROOM 300 Judge: ROBERT P RUEHLMAN Action: JURY TRIAL

March 30, 2020

March 30, 2020

Case Schedule Time: 09:00 AM Location: COURTHOUSE ROOM 300 Judge: ROBERT P RUEHLMAN Action: JURY TRIAL

April 6, 2020

April 6, 2020

Case Schedule Time: 09:00 AM Location: COURTHOUSE ROOM 300 Judge: ROBERT P RUEHLMAN Action: REPORT

May 1, 2020

May 1, 2020

Description: NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF COUNSEL

July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

Description: JUDGMENT ENTRY AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND CAUSE REMANDED AND OPINION (C 2000030)

Dec. 16, 2020

Dec. 16, 2020

Description: NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL AS CO-COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS

Jan. 24, 2021

Jan. 24, 2021

Description: NOTIFICATION FORM FILED.

Jan. 25, 2021

Jan. 25, 2021

Description: JOINT MOTION FOR ADOPTION OF CALENDAR ORDER

Feb. 1, 2021

Feb. 1, 2021

Description: DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE ANSWER

Feb. 4, 2021

Feb. 4, 2021

Case Schedule Time: 03:00 PM Location: COURTHOUSE ROOM 300 Judge: ROBERT P RUEHLMAN Action: REPORT

Feb. 17, 2021

Feb. 17, 2021

Description: PROPOSED CASE SCHEDULE

Feb. 18, 2021

Feb. 18, 2021

Description: ENTRY GRANTING LEAVE TO DEFENDANTS TO FILE ANSWER

Feb. 22, 2021

Feb. 22, 2021

Description: ANSWER WITH JURY DEMAND

Feb. 25, 2021

Feb. 25, 2021

Case Schedule Time: 09:00 AM Location: COURTHOUSE ROOM 300 Judge: ROBERT P RUEHLMAN Action: REPORT

Feb. 26, 2021

Feb. 26, 2021

Description: JURY DEMAND DEPOSIT BY DENISE BANASIAK RECEIPT NBR: 211000002790 Amount: 270.00

Feb. 26, 2021

Feb. 26, 2021

Description: NOTICE OF DEPOSITIONS

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

Description: AMENDED NOTICE OF DEPOSITION

March 15, 2021

March 15, 2021

Description: ISSUE DESK - DEPOSIT BY GERHARDSTEIN RECEIPT NBR: 211000007593 Amount: 115.00

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

Description: STIPULATION DISMISSING CASE WITH PREJUDICE

June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021

Description: NOTICE OF APPEALABLE JUDGMENT SENT BY ORDINARY MAIL TO ALL PARTIES REQUIRED BY LAW.

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

Description: COSTS PAID BY AND CHECK ISSUED TO: MARK R MANNING Amount: 270.00

June 25, 2021

June 25, 2021

Case Schedule Time: 09:00 AM Location: COURTHOUSE ROOM 300 Judge: ROBERT P RUEHLMAN Action: JURY TRIAL

Feb. 7, 2022

Feb. 7, 2022

Case Details

State / Territory: Ohio

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 12, 2019

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The parents of a sixteen-year-old boy who died from being pinned by the backseat of his minivan after calling 911 to no avail.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Hamilton), City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Content of Injunction:

Hire

Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention

Reporting

Auditing

Goals (e.g., for hiring, admissions)

Training

Amount Defendant Pays: 6,000,000

Order Duration: 2021 - 2026

Issues

General/Misc.:

Government services

Incident/accident reporting & investigations

Personal injury

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)