Summary judgment is a way for a litigant to prevail short of trial. While it is primarily a defense tool, it can also be used by a plaintiff. I often explain the summary judgment process by referencing the old Peggy Lee song “Is That All There Is”. One party, through a motion pleading, says to the trial judge “if that’s all there is” then I should win. The motion is based upon the law and the uncontested facts developed through discovery. While such motions are routinely granted, a number of trial judges are reluctant to grant them for fear of reversal by an appellate court or to force settlement. Nonetheless in the right case a summary judgment can be eviscerating.
Summary judgment in favor of employers are rarely granted in workers’ compensation matters; however, recently SSEG workers’ compensation attorneys were able to extricate their client from a complicated occupational disease claim by pointing out the inadequacies in the expert opinions offered by the plaintiff’s attorneys. The court struck the expert testimony and granted the employer’s motion. Not only was the client’s position vindicated but it saved thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees, expert fees and court costs through a victory without a trial. SSEG workers’ compensation lawyers have been defending Ohio employers for over 50 years. -Keith Savidge
Mr. Savidge, a business litigator at SSEG, can be reached at email@example.com