Injured Driver Fights Ohio Exception to Negligence Cases

A driver injured in a collision with a tractor trailer whose operator suffered a fatal heart attack argued before a Sixth Circuit panel Tuesday to revive his case, after a federal judge found Ohio’s medical emergency doctrine barred his negligence claims.

Although Thompson had previously suffered a heart attack four months prior, he had been certified by an outside medical professional after the incident and was properly licensed to operate his vehicle at the time of the collision.Paul Cline was injured in December 2016 when Richard Thompson Jr.’s commercial vehicle crossed a highway median and collided with Cline’s vehicle after Thompson had a heart attack.

Cline sued Thompson and his employer, Dart Transit, in 2018, but U.S. District Judge John Adams dismissed the case after ruling Ohio’s sudden medical emergency doctrine barred all of Cline’s claims.