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MILDRED C. CUTLIP, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants v. DAVID HILL, et al.,
Defendants-Appellees
C.A. No. 2476
Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth Appellate District, Wayne County
1989 Ohio App. LEXIS 3945

October 18, 1989, Decided
PRIOR HISTORY:
[*1] APPEAL FROM
JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COMMON PLEAS
COURT COUNTY OF WAYNE, OHIO, CASE NO. 88
CI 105.

COUNSEL: BONNIE C. DRUSHAL, Attorney at Law,
Wooster, Ohio for Plaintiffs.
MARK W. BASERMAN, Attorney at Law, Wooster,
Ohio for Defendants.
JUDGES: MARY CACIOPPO, FOR THE COURT,
MAHONEY,
J.,
CONCURS,
QUILLIN,
J.,
DISSENTS.(Mahoney, J., retired Judge of the Ninth
District Court of Appeals, sitting by assignment pursuant
to Article IV, Section 6(C), Constitution).
OPINION BY: CACIOPPO
OPINION

John Cutlip was involved in a traffic accident when the
car he was driving struck a car that Rhonda Hill was
driving. The car John operated was titled to Mildred
Cutlip, John's mother. Although some passengers were
transported from the scene for medical care, John
received no medical treatment at the scene and was not
transported for medical care.
John and Mildred filed a complaint for personal
injury and property damage. The cause was tried to a
jury. At the close of the plaintiffs' case, the trial court
dismissed John's personal injury claim. At the close [*2]
of defendants' case, the trial court directed a verdict
against Rhonda Hill finding negligence. The issues of
proximate causation and damages were submitted to the
jury.
The jury returned a verdict for Mildred Cutlip in the
amount of $ 1500. The trial court entered judgment and
assessed the cost against Mildred cutlip.

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

Mildred filed motions for judgment notwithstanding the
verdict and for a new trial. The trial court found the
motions not well taken.

CACIOPPO, P. J.

Mildred and John appeal.

This cause was heard upon the record in the trial court.
Each error assigned has been reviewed and the following
disposition is made:

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I
"The trial court erred as a matter of law in directing a

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1989 Ohio App. LEXIS 3945, *2

verdict in favor of defendant-appellee that expert medical
testimony
was
necessary
and
dismissing
plaintiff-appellant, John C. Cutlip's, claim for personal
injury."
John contends that expert medical testimony is not
necessary evidence to establish the causal connection
between a tort and an injury, where, as a matter of
common knowledge, cause and effect are apparent. This
is a correct statement of the law as the Ohio Supreme
Court held in Darnell v. Eastman (1970), 23 Ohio St. 2d
13, syllabus. However, that statement is the exception to
the general rule that the issue of causal connection
between an injury and [*3] a specific subsequent
physical disability involves a scientific inquiry and must
be established by the opinion of competent medical
witnesses. Id.
John argues that the trial court failed to distinguish
the causal connection of a tort and an injury from an
injury and a subsequent disability. John contends that no
expert medical testimony is necessary to establish the
causal connection between a tort and an injury where, as
a matter of common knowledge, the alleged tort could
cause injury and pain.
John's argument is not consistent with his alleged
damages. In his complaint, John seeks compensation for
physical injuries, medical expenses, lost wages and
benefits, and physical and mental pain and anguish.
John's damage claims exceed the scope of his argument
on appeal.
In the absence of expert medical opinion, the trial
court did not err in refusing to withdraw the claim from
the jury's consideration.
The first assignment of error is overruled.
ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR II
"The trial court erred and abused its discretion by
entering judgment on the jury verdict and over-ruling
plaintiff-appellant, Mildred C. Cutlip's, motion for new
trial where the verdict was inadequate, against the [*4]
manifest weight of the evidence, and appears to be the
result of passion and prejudice on the part of the jury."
Mildred contends that both the jury and the trial
court erred in establishing the amount of property
damage Mildred sustained. Mildred's car was determined

a total loss and the damage was therefore, in effect, the
car's value at the time of the accident.
Mildred's purchase price, the amount of miles the car
was driven during Mildred's ownership, and the amount
of money "invested" in the car after purchase, were all
factual matters in dispute at trial and which the jury
could determine.
"Judgments supported by some competent, credible
evidence going to all the essential elements of the case
will not be reversed by a reviewing court as being
against the manifest weight of the evidence." C.E. Morris
Co. v. Foley Construction Co. (1978), 54 Ohio St. 2d
279, syllabus.
The jury determined from the competent, credible
evidence that the car's value was $ 1500. The trial court
did not err in entering that judgment or in overruling the
motion for new trial.
The second assignment of error is overruled.
ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR III
"The trial court erred and abused its [*5]
discretion in assessing costs against the prevailing party,
plaintiff-appellant, Mildred C. Cutlip."
Mildred contends that nothing in the record indicates
a sound reason for the trial court's deviation from the
general rule that costs are proper allowances to
reimburse a party who successfully asserts rights in
court. Mildred further contends that the trial court should
articulate a sound reason for deviating from the general
rule.
The record indicates that John and Mildred brought
this cause of action and John was not successful on his
claim. Civ. R. 54(D) permits the court to exercise
discretion in allowing costs. In the trial court's judgment
entry, costs were assessed to plaintiff. The trial court
could have clearly exercised discretion in assessing costs
to John, who was not successful on his claim. The
judgment was not entirely clear, but not entirely in error.
The trial court did not set forth any reason for
assessing all the costs to plaintiff. Therefore, pursuant to
App. R. 12(B), this court modifies the trial court's
judgment and orders that one-half of the costs be
assessed to John Cutlip and one-half of the costs be
assessed to the defendant-appellee.

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1989 Ohio App. LEXIS 3945, *5

The third assignment [*6] of error is over ruled.
The judgment is affirmed.
The Court finds that there were reasonable grounds for
this appeal.
We order that a special mandate issue out of this
court, directing the County of Wayne Common pleas
Court to carry this judgment into execution. A certified
copy of this journal entry shall constitute the mandate,
pursuant to App. R. 27.
Immediately upon the filing hereof, this document
shall constitute the journal entry of judgment. and it shall
be file stamped by the Clerk of the Court of Appeals at
which time the period for review shall begin to run. App.
R. 22(E).

Costs taxed one-half to John Cutlip and one-half to the
defendant-appellee.
Exceptions.
DISSENT BY: QUILLIN
DISSENT
QUILLIN, J.
DISSENTS AS TO ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR III
SAYING:
I would remand to the trial court to assess the costs.
By our saying one-half costs to John Cutlip and one-half
to David Hill, we create more problems than we solve.