Scott v. First Choice Auto Clinic, Inc., 22AP-157

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
Writing for the CourtSADLER, J.
Citation2022 Ohio 3405
PartiesGeoffrey Scott, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. First Choice Auto Clinic, Inc. et al., Defendants-Appellants.
Docket Number22AP-157
Decision Date27 September 2022

2022-Ohio-3405

Geoffrey Scott, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.

First Choice Auto Clinic, Inc. et al., Defendants-Appellants.

No. 22AP-157

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

September 27, 2022


APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No. 19CV-725

On brief:

E. Ray Critchett, LLC, and E. Ray Critchett, for appellee.

Eric E. Willison, for appellants.

DECISION

SADLER, J.

{¶ 1} Defendants-appellants, First Choice Auto Clinic, Inc. ("First Choice") and Brian K. Newsom, appeal from a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas granting judgment and awarding damages to plaintiff-appellee Geoffrey Scott. Because the judgment entry appealed from is not a final, appealable order, we dismiss the appeal.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

{¶ 2} Scott owns a 1963 Austin Healey 3000 Mark II Model BJ-7 automobile ("the Healey"). In 2016, Scott contacted First Choice about restoring the metal frame and chassis of the Healey. Scott spoke with Newsom, the owner of First Choice, about the restoration project, which would involve a replacement frame and some replacement components that Scott would supply, along with some original components that First Choice would remove

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from the original frame, repair, and attach to the replacement frame. Scott and Newsom agreed that the project would proceed in two phases, as later described in Scott's complaint:

Phase One of the Project required [Scott] to deliver the bare frame and chassis, and supply the new frame and component parts of the chassis to [First Choice and Newsom]. [First Choice and Newsom] would media blast of [sic] all steel components, repair and/or remove and replace all corroded components of the front and rear bulkheads, separate those front and rear bulkheads from the corroded frame, re-attach the repaired bulkheads to the new frame, and install new floorpans, with all components to be welded, seam sealed and painted with an epoxy primer. All the exterior panels would properly align, the door gaps would permit the doors to open and close normally and the convertible top would align and close properly. The Healey would then be delivered to [Scott] for reassembly of the engine, transmission, suspension electrical and other mechanical components by [Scott]
Phase Two of the Project would begin when [Scott] returned the reassembled Healey to [First Choice and Newsom] for exterior bodywork, paint and fitting of the exterior panels.

(Compl. at ¶ 25-26.)

{¶ 3} Phase One of the restoration project commenced in September 2016, when Scott delivered the bare frame and chassis of the Healey, along with the new frame and replacement parts, to First Choice. Between October 2016 and May 2017, Scott paid First Choice a total of $16,598 for work on Phase One of the project. Phase One was completed and the Healey was delivered to Scott in May 2017 for reassembly of the engine and other components. Scott returned the Healey to First Choice in September 2017 to begin Phase Two of the project.

{¶ 4} In October 2017, Newsom informed Scott that" 'nothing is fitting and lining up on the car.'" (Compl. at ¶ 41.) Scott visited First Choice and observed that the body panels on the Healey did not align, the doors would not close, and certain components had been cut and modified in an attempt to make the body panels align. Scott claims First Choice's body shop manager explained that much of the Phase One work had been done incorrectly by a young employee, and that Newsom promised to correct the errors. Scott agreed to allow First Choice to correct the errors and purchased certain replacement components to be put on the Healey. Scott claims Newsom agreed that First Choice could correct the problems and complete Phase Two of the project by March 1, 2018.

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{¶ 5} The restoration work was not completed by March 1, 2018; ultimately, in April 2018, Scott demanded that First Choice return the Healey to him. Scott had the Healey moved to another repair shop, which completed the restoration project. Scott alleges the Healey as restored is approximately one-half inch shorter than its original length due to the modifications required to adjust for the Phase One errors.

{¶ 6} Scott filed suit against First Choice and Newsom, asserting claims for breach of contract, violation of the Consumer Sales Practices Act ("CSPA"), fraud and negligent misrepresentation, respondeat superior, and unjust enrichment. First Choice and Newsom filed counterclaims against Scott for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and promissory estoppel. Scott moved for summary judgment on his CSPA claim, citing Ohio Administrative Code provisions defining acts and practices that violate the CSPA and asserting First Choice and Newsom violated those rules as a matter of law. The trial court granted summary judgment for Scott on his CSPA claim and referred the case to a magistrate for a damages hearing. When the damages hearing began, counsel for First Choice and Newsom noted that several of Scott's claims, as well as First Choice and Newsom's counterclaims, remained unresolved. After consulting with the trial...

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