The Estate of Goins v. YMCA of Cent. Ohio, 22AP-92

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
Writing for the CourtLUPER SCHUSTER, P.J.
Citation2022 Ohio 3404
PartiesThe Estate of Anthony Raye Goins By and Through its Co-Administrators Stefanie D. Young and Theresa Marie Goins, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. YMCA of Central Ohio et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Docket Number22AP-92
Decision Date27 September 2022

2022-Ohio-3404

The Estate of Anthony Raye Goins By and Through its Co-Administrators Stefanie D. Young and Theresa Marie Goins, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.

YMCA of Central Ohio et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 22AP-92

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

September 27, 2022


APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No. 21CV-2468

On brief:

Percy Squire Co., LLC, and Percy Squire, for appellant.

Argued:

Percy Squire.

On brief:

Poling Law, Brant E. Poling, and Sabrina S. Sellers, for appellees.

Argued:

Sabrina S. Sellers.

DECISION

LUPER SCHUSTER, P.J.

{¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, the Estate of Anthony ("Tony") Raye Goins ("the Estate"), by and through its co-administrators Stefanie D. Young and Theresa Marie Goins, appeals from a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas granting the summary judgment motion of defendant-appellee, YMCA of Central Ohio ("YMCA"). For the following reasons, we reverse and remand.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

{¶ 2} From June 26, 2020 until February 17, 2021, Tony Goins resided at a YMCA shelter in Columbus, Ohio. The day after he left the facility, he died. In April 2021, the

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Estate filed a wrongful death and survivorship action against YMCA alleging YMCA's negligent conduct caused Tony to freeze to death from exposure to frigid weather conditions. In June 2021, YMCA moved for judgment on the pleadings. The next month, YMCA withdrew its judgment on the pleadings motion and filed a motion for summary judgment. The trial court granted YMCA's summary judgment motion based on the finding that Tony signed a waiver that absolved YMCA of any liability relating to his death. Alternatively, the trial court held that YMCA was entitled to judgment in its favor because it owed no duty to Tony upon his forced removal from the facility for rule violations.

{¶ 3} The Estate timely appeals.

II. Assignment of Error

{¶ 4} The Estate assigns the following error for our review:

The Trial Court erred when it granted [YMCA's] motion for summary judgment

III. Discussion

{¶ 5} In its sole assignment of error, the Estate contends the trial court erred in granting YMCA's motion for summary judgment. We agree.

{¶ 6} An appellate court reviews summary judgment under a de novo standard. Estate of Sample v. Xenos Christian Fellowship, Inc., 10th Dist. No. 20AP-563, 2021-Ohio-3898, ¶ 9. Summary judgment is appropriate only when the moving party demonstrates (1) no genuine issue of material fact exists, (2) the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and (3) reasonable minds could come to but one conclusion and that conclusion is adverse to the party against whom the motion for summary judgment is made, that party being entitled to have the evidence most strongly construed in its favor. Civ.R. 56(C); State ex rel. Grady v. State Emp. Relations Bd., 78 Ohio St.3d 181, 183 (1997). The court reviewing the motion only may consider "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, written admissions, affidavits, transcripts of evidence, and written stipulations of fact, if any, timely filed in the action." Civ.R. 56(C).

{¶ 7} Pursuant to Civ.R. 56(C), the moving party bears the initial burden of informing the trial court of the basis for the motion and identifying those portions of the record demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Dresher v. Burt, 75 Ohio St.3d 280, 293 (1996). However, the moving party cannot discharge its initial burden

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under this rule with a conclusory assertion that the nonmoving party has no evidence to prove its case; the moving party must specifically point to evidence of the type listed in Civ.R. 56(C) affirmatively demonstrating that the nonmoving party has no evidence to support the nonmoving party's claims. Id.; Vahila v. Hall, 77 Ohio St.3d 421, 429 (1997). Once the moving party discharges its initial burden, summary judgment is appropriate if the nonmoving party does not respond, by affidavit or as otherwise provided in Civ.R. 56, with specific facts showing that a genuine issue exists for trial. Dresher at 293; Vahila at 430; Civ.R. 56(E).

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