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Transcript of PIERCE STRONCZER LAW, LLC MICHELLE PIERCE STRONCZER · PDF file MICHELLE PIERCE STRONCZER...

  • No. 2011-1120

    In the Supreme Court of Ohio

    APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEALS EIGHTH APPELLATE DISTRICT

    CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OHIO

    CASE No. 10-094908

    RONALD LURI, Appellant/Cross-Appellee,

    V.

    REPUBLIC SERVICES, INC., et al., Appellees/Cross-Appellants.

    MERIT BRIEF OF APPELLANT RONALD LURI

    ROBIN G. WEAVER (0020673) STEPHEN P. ANWAY (0075105) SQUIRE, SANDERS & DEMPSEY, L.L.P. 4900 Key Tower 127 Public Square Cleveland, OH 44114 Tel: (216) 479-8500 Fax: (216) 479-8780 E-mail: rweaver(â ssd.com

    sanway^cr^ssd.com

    Attorneys for Appellees/Cross-Appellants Republic Services, Inc.; Republic Services of Ohio Hauling, LLC; Republic Services of Ohio I, LLC, Jim Bowen, and Ron Krall '

    IRENE C. KEYSE-WALKER (0013143) (COUNSEL OF RECORD) BENJAMIN C. SASSE (0072856) TUCKER ELLIS & WEST LLP 1150 Huntington Building 925 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44115-1475 Tel: (216) 592-5000 Fax: (216) 592-5009 E-mail: ikeyse-walkerntuckereIlis com

    bsassektuckerellis.com

    Attorney for Appellant/Cross-Appellee Ronald Luri

  • SHANNON J. POLK (0072891) RiCHARD C. HAaER (0046788) HABER POLK KABAT, LLP 737 Bolivar Road, Suite 4400 Cleveland, OH 44115 Tel: (216) 241-0700 Fax: (216) 241-0739 E-mail: spolk(a^haberpolk.com

    rhaber^a haberpolk.com

    MICHELLE PIERCE STRONCZER (0066531) PIERCE STRONCZER LAW, LLC 8931 Brecksville Rd. P.O. Box 470606 Cleveland, OH 44147-0606 Tel: (440) 262-3630 E-mail: shelley.stronczerk ierceleeal.com

    Additional Counselfor Appellant/Cross- Appellee Ronald Luri

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Page

    TABLE OF CONTENTS .................... .................................,...........,.........:....................... m

    1. INTRODUCTION..........................................................................................:.......:. 1

    II. STATEMENT OF THE FACTS .... ........................................................................... 2

    A. The Parties .....................................:............................................................... 2

    B. Luri's Unlawful Termination ......................................................................... 3

    C. Post-Filing Efforts to Conceal Unlawful Retaliation .................................... 5

    D. The Jury Verdicts and Post-Trial Proceedings . ............................................. 6

    E. Luri L ................:.........:....:............................................................................. 7

    F. Luri II . ...........................................:............................................................... 9

    III. ARGUMENT ..............................................:.....................................................:.....11

    Proposition of Law No. 1 ............................................................................:...........11

    Punitive damage awards represent a jury's determination of the amount required to punish and deter a specific defendant's malicious misconduct. Consistent with those jury findings, reviewing courts must consider each defendant's punitive damage award independently for the application of "caps" under R.C. 2315.21(D) .........................................................:.......................11

    A. The Plain and Unambiguous Language of R.C. 2315.21(D)(2)(a) Caps Each of the Corporate Punitive Damage Awards at $7 Million ..............................:.:.................................... 12

    B. The Majority's Creation of a Joint Liability "Exception" Is Unsupported by Law or Policy ..................................................:................. 15

    C. The Majority's Creation of "Joint" Liability for a Single Capped Punitive Damage Award Improperly Dilutes the Individualized "Punish and Deter" Purpose of Punitive Damages . ....................................:................................................................ 19

    IV. CONCLUSION ...................................................................................................... 22 i

  • PaEe

    CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE .................:.......................................:....:............................ 24

    APPENDIX Appx. Page

    Notice of Appeal to Ohio Supreme Court (June 30, 2011) ................................................. 1

    Joumal Entry and Opinion, Eighth Appellate District (May 19, 2011) (Luri II) ................ 5

    Journal Entry and Opinion, Eighth Appellate District (Oct. 23, 2009) (Luri I) ................ 27

    Journal Entry, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court (March 2, 2011) ....:................... 42

    Journal Entry, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court (Sept. 25, 2008) ........................ 44

    Journal Entry, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court (Sept. 25, 2008) .... .................... 45

    Journal Entry, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court (Sept. 18, 2008) ........................ 46

    Journal Entry, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court (July 3, 2008) ........................... 47

    R.C. 2315.21 .......................:...:.......................................................................................... 48

    R.C. 4112.02(I) .....:.......................................................................:.....................:.........:.... 52

    ii

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    PaEe

    Cases

    Ahern v. Ameritech Corp. (2000), 137 OhioApp.3d 754 .....................:.......................................................... 16

    Arbino v. Johnson & Johnson (2007), 116 Ohio St.3d 468.., ............................................................:.............. 13,19

    Armbruster v. Quinn (C.A.6, 1983), 711 F.2d 1332, abrogated on other grounds, Arbaugh v. Y&H Corp. (2006), 546 U.S. 500 ............:....................................................................... 16

    Barnes v. Univ. Hosps. of Cleveland (2008), 119 Ohio St.3d 173 ..............:..................................................:..........:......... 8

    BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore (1996), 517 U.S. 559 ........................................................................:....................... 8

    Bowling v. Heil Co. (1987), 31 Ohio St.3d 277 ...........:............................................:............................. 15

    Dardinger v. Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield (2002), 98 Ohio St.3d 77 ....................:......................................:...................... 20, 22

    Faieta v. World Harvest Church, l0th Dist. No. 08AP-527, 2008-Ohio-6959 ............................................... 13, 15, 16

    Havel v. St. Joseph, S.Ct. No. 2010-48 ..................................................................................................... 1

    Luri v. Republic Services, Inc., 8th Dist. No. 92152, 2009-Ohio-5691 ..........................:........:............................. 7, 8

    Luri v. Republic Servs., Inc., 193 Ohio App.3d 682, 2011-Ohio-2389 ..................:.................................:..... passim

    Minix v. Canarecci (C.A.7, 2010), 597 F.3d 824 .....:.............:.........:....:................................................ 12

    Pang v. Minch (1993), 53 Ohio St.3d 186 ....................... .................. ......................... ............ 15, 18

    iii

  • PaEe Papa v. Katy Industries, Inc.

    (C.A.7, 1999), 166 F.3d 937 ................................................................................... 16

    Portage Cty. Bd. of Commrs. v. Akron (2006), 109 Ohio St.3d 106 .................................................................................... 12

    Rice v. CertainTeed (1999), 84 Ohio St.3d 417 .....:..........:..................................................................... 19

    State ex rel. Savarese v. Buckeye Local School Dist. Bd. of Edn. (1996), 74 Ohio St.3d 543 ...................................................................................... 12

    State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co. v. Campbell (2003), 538 U.S. 408 ................................................................................................ 8

    United States v. Best Foods (1998), 524 U.S. 51 ................................:.....................................:....................16-17

    Wightman v. Consol. Rail Corp. (1999), 86 Ohio St.3d 431 ..:...................:..............................................................: 20

    Statutes

    R.C. 2315.18 ..................:......................................................:.............................................. 7

    R.C. 2315.21 ..........................:....................................................................................... 7,20

    R.C. 2315.21(B)(1) .........................................:.................................................................... 1

    R.C. 2315.21(C)(1) ....................................................:....................................................... 20

    R.C. 2315.21(D) ...................................................:........:........:.....................:.......... 9, 10, 21

    R.C. 2315.21(D)(2)(a) .. .............................................................................................. passim

    R.C. 4112.02(1) .........................................................................:.......................................... 1

    iv

  • Page Other Authorities

    Restatement of the Law 2d, Torts (1965), Section 433B(2), Comment d ......................... 15

    v