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Brunecz v. Houdaille Industries, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Ohio
468 N.E.2d 370 (1983)


Thomas Brunecz (plaintiff) filed suit in the Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County against Houdaille Industries, Inc. (Houdaille) (defendant) for wrongful discharge. Brunecz alleged that Houdaille, in violation of Ohio law, had discharged him because he filed a workers’ compensation claim. Brunecz sought the relief provided for in the applicable wrongful-discharge statute, consisting of reinstatement with back pay and reasonable attorneys’ fees. Brunecz further demanded a jury trial. Brunecz later amended his complaint to remove the request for reinstatement. Houdaille moved for summary judgment, and the court of common pleas referred the case to arbitration. The arbitration resulted in an award for Brunecz. Houdaille sought a hearing de novo and moved to strike Brunecz’s jury demand, arguing that no jury-trial right existed under the applicable statute. Brunecz opposed, arguing that a jury-trial right existed because the complaint was for money damages only. A non-jury trial was conducted, and the trial court found for Houdaille. Brunecz appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Brogan, J.)

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