Where a person suffers both personal injuries and property damage as a result of the same wrongful act, only a single cause of action arises, the different injuries occasioned thereby being separate items of damage from such act.
The court reversed a judgment against defendant city for personal injuries suffered by plaintiff and entered judgment for defendant. Plaintiff was injured in a motorcycle accident and prevailed on a claim for property damage against defendant for failing to maintain the roadway. Plaintiff filed a second action for personal injuries, which was resolved in her favor based on res judicata.
Does the institution of separate complaints for property damage and personal injuries sustained in the same accident amount to splitting of causes of action?
The court reversed, holding that plaintiff could not split her cause of action and file separate actions for property damage and personal injuries based on the same accident. The court adopted the majority rule and held that if a person suffers both personal injuries and property damage as a result of the same wrongful act, there is only a single cause of action, and the different injuries are separate items of damage, not separate causes of action, thereby overruling Vasu v. Kohlers, Inc., 145 Ohio St. 321, 61 N.E.2d 707.