Anderson v. MassillonAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff filed a wrongful death action against the city and two of its firefighters. The action arose out of the death of Plaintiff's husband and grandson, who died when a city fire engine operated and commanded by the defendant firefighters collided with Plaintiff's husband's vehicle. The trial court court granted summary judgment for Defendants, concluding (1) the city had a full defense to liability pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 2744.02(B)(1)(b) because the operation of the fire truck did not constitute willful or wanton misconduct; and (2) the firefighters were entitled to immunity pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 2744.03(A)(6)(b) because Plaintiff presented no evidence that the firefighters had acted with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner. The court of appeals reversed, holding that reasonable minds court find that the firefighers' actions in this case were reckless and that the willful or wanton misconduct referred to in section 2744.02(B)(1)(b) was the functional equivalent of recklessness. The Supreme Court affirmed as modified, holding that the willful or wanton misconduct and recklessness degrees of care have different meanings, involve different degrees of culpability, and are not interchangeable. After the Court's clarification of the terms, the matter was remanded.