Fraley v. Estate of OedingAnnotate this Case
After a car accident involving David Fraley and Timothy Oeding, Oeding’s insurer (“Auto-Owners”) placed an investigative hold on Fraley’s truck for several months. Fraley filed a negligence action against Oeding’s estate, Oeding’s employer (“J&R”), and Auto-Owners, alleging, among other things, that Auto-Owners’ investigatory hold caused Fraley intangible economic loss due to the loss of use of the truck. The trial court dismissed the complaint, holding (1) the court could not exercise personal jurisdiction over Oeding and J&R solely because their insurer did business in Ohio, and (2) Fraley was not entitled to maintain a direct action against Auto-Owners because he had not obtained a judgment against Auto-Owners’ insureds. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the trial court erred in its determination that it lacked personal jurisdiction over Oeding and J&R because Auto-Owners’ investigatory hold and its communication with Fraley brought Auto-Owners, and by extension J&R and Oeding, within Ohio’s long-arm statute. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that an Ohio court may not impute an insurance company’s conduct to its nonresident insured for purposes of establishing personal jurisdiction over the insured.