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Hodesh v. Korelitz

914 N.E.2d 186 (2009)

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Hodesh v. Korelitz

Ohio Supreme Court

914 N.E.2d 186 (2009)

Facts

Michael Hodesh (plaintiff) filed a medical-malpractice claim against Dr. Joel Korelitz and the Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati (defendants). Hodesh alleged that Dr. Korelitz and hospital staff left a towel in his abdomen following surgery for diverticulitis. A few weeks before trial, Hodesh and the hospital entered into a settlement agreement that limited the hospital’s exposure to $250,000 and guaranteed Hodesh $175,000. At trial, Dr. Korelitz requested disclosure of any agreements between Hodesh and the hospital. Hodesh contended the agreement was a high-low agreement and presented a copy of the agreement to the trial judge who, without looking at it and finding no collusion between Hodesh and the hospital, ruled that the agreement did not need to be disclosed to the jury. The jury found Dr. Korelitz negligent and awarded Hodesh $775,000 in damages. The jury also found that the hospital was not liable. After the verdict, the court provided Dr. Korelitz with a copy of the agreement between Hodesh and the hospital. Dr. Korelitz appealed and argued that it was reversible error for the trial court not to disclose the agreement to the jury. The court of appeals determined that because the agreement was a Mary Carter agreement, it should have been disclosed. Hodesh appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pfeifer, J.)

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