Ohio Supreme Court Declines to Disturb Summary Judgment Obtained by Norchi Forbes Attorney in University Campus Shooting Case

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Appellate decision stands for summary judgment obtained by Kevin Norchi for Case Western Reserve University campus shooting case

Kevin Norchi (http://www.norchilaw.com/attorneys.html), Founder and President of Norchi Forbes, LLC located in Cleveland, OH, preserves on appeal a summary judgment (Case No. CV-591169) in favor of his client, Case Western Reserve University, in a college campus shooting case (http://www.norchilaw.com/higher-education.html), which occurred on the campus in May, 2003.

The shooter, a 63 year old former business graduate student, killed one MBA student, injured two faculty members, and kept many other students and faculty hostage for seven hours. The shooter was later convicted of murder but spared the death penalty.

The university was sued by the Estate of the slain student for failure to protect the student and negligent security. However, ten days before trial was scheduled to begin, the motion for summary judgment filed by counsel for the University was granted by the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas on grounds that the violent acts of the shooter were unforeseeable and therefore there was no duty to protect. The trial court also determined that the Plaintiffs’ did not provide any evidence of negligent security.

On appeal, the Eighth District Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision applying the “totality of the circumstances” standard and found that the actions of the shooter were not reasonably foreseeable as a matter of law.

On December 30, 2009, the Ohio Supreme Court declined to accept the appeal thereby confirming the state of law in Ohio as it relates to premises liability actions against colleges and universities.

Case Western Reserve University is a preeminent research institution located in Cleveland, OH. The University currently has nearly 10,000 students enrolled and 2,600 faculty on staff.

Norchi Forbes, LLC is a civil litigation law firm serving the needs of clients. Their trial attorneys have experience in a broad range of legal areas including employment, higher education, health care, professional liability defense, general insurance defense and insurance coverage, municipal law and transportation and trucking. The firm also has an active practice before many state professional boards.

Norchi Forbes is a member of the International Society of Primerus Law Firms (Primerus). Primerus (http://www.primerus.com/membership_benefits.htm) is the leading alliance of small and medium sized, top-rated, independent law firms. With approximately 140 law firms located in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the U.K., Primerus firms provide clients with responsive, high quality, partner-level service for much less than what large law firms charge. All Primerus law firms are: AV- rated using the Martindale-Hubbell peer review service; screened for excellence; audited annually for continued quality; and committed to excellence in six key areas (http://www.primerus.com/six_pillars.htm); integrity, reasonable fees, continuing education, civility, community service and excellent work product.


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Heidi Lanesky
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