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Hickey v. Otis Elevator Co.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth Appellate District, Franklin County

August 18, 2005, Rendered

No. 04AP-826

Opinion

 [*767]   [***638]  (REGULAR CALENDAR)

SADLER, J.

 [**P1]  Plaintiff-appellant, Christopher J. Hickey ("appellant"), appeals from the July 19, 2004 judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, in which that court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant-appellee, Otis Elevator Company ("appellee"), and against appellant as to all of his claims. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

 [**P2]  The following relevant facts of record are not in dispute. On September 19, 2000, appellant was injured by an electrical shock when he pressed a button on an  [***639]  elevator at Mount Carmel East Hospital ("Mount Carmel") in Columbus, Ohio. The elevator had been manufactured, installed and serviced by appellee. On the date of his injury, and as part of his duties as an anesthesiology technician, appellant was transporting a patient when he reached [****2]  out to press the elevator call button. As he pressed the call button, he received a sudden  [*768]  electrical shock and a loud "crack" sounded down the hall. Appellant was knocked back several feet, and his body began to shake uncontrollably. He lapsed into a mentally confused state and experienced intense pain from his left hand to his left shoulder. Appellant was escorted to the emergency room for treatment where he was diagnosed with an electrical injury to his left hand and arm.

 [**P3]  About ten to fifteen minutes after the incident, two hospital maintenance workers, Dwight Harlor III, and Jose M. Alvarez, arrived at the elevator bank. Harlor testified, by way of deposition, that without disassembling the buttons or removing the metal plate surrounding the buttons, he used a voltage meter to test the metal plate surrounding the elevator buttons, and that he found nothing out of the ordinary. Alvarez testified that Harlor did remove the metal plates to examine the underlying wiring, and that he and Harlor removed the buttons and touched the wiring underneath to determine whether there were any bare wires or anything else that would deliver a shock. They found nothing.

 [**P4]   [****3]  The following morning, a Mount Carmel electrician examined the push button panel that appellant had touched, and found no damage and nothing out of the ordinary. Also on the morning after the incident, one of appellee's mechanics examined the elevators and the touch buttons and found no problems of any sort.

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163 Ohio App. 3d 765 *; 2005-Ohio-4279 **; 840 N.E.2d 637 ***; 2005 Ohio App. LEXIS 3882 ****

Christopher J. Hickey, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Otis Elevator Company, Defendant-Appellee.

Prior History:  [****1]  APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. (C.P.C. No. 02CV10138).

CORE TERMS

elevator, buttons, manufactured, electrical, ipsa, loquitur, genuine, causation, installed, consumer, wiring, speculate, balloon, ladder, shock

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Summary Judgment Review, General Overview, Standards of Review, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Appropriateness, Judgments, Motions for Summary Judgment, Genuine Disputes, Materiality of Facts, Torts, Products Liability, Types of Defects, Design Defects, Theories of Liability, Strict Liability, Elements, Causation, Proof, Res Ipsa Loquitur, Evidentiary Effect, Control, General Premises Liability, Features & Instrumentalities, Elevators & Escalators, Causation, Negligence, Elements, Proximate Cause, Evidence, Province of Court & Jury, Contracts Law, Contract Conditions & Provisions, Implied Warranties