APPEAL FROM CAMPBELL CIRCUIT COURT. HONORABLE FRED A. STINE V, JUDGE. ACTION NO. 12-CI-01305.
BRIEF FOR APPELLANT: G. Garrett Worlley III, Cincinnati, Ohio.
CURRENT COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: Blake R. Maislin, Cincinnati, Ohio.
BRIEF FOR APPELLEES JOHN SHIELDS AND TYLER SHIELDS: Jane C. Higgins, Lexington, Kentucky.
BRIEF FOR APPELLEE JULIA SLONE: Donald L. Stepner, Covington, Kentucky.
BRIEF FOR APPELLEE MORRIS: Michael P. Casey, R. Sean Quigley, Lexington, Kentucky.
BEFORE: COMBS, LAMBERT, AND THOMPSON, JUDGES. ALL CONCUR.
Teresa Hughes appeals from an order of the Campbell Circuit Court dismissing her personal injury action. The court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss for misjoinder without leave to amend her complaint. After our review, we vacate and remand for further proceedings.
On October 12, 2012, Hughes filed an action to recover damages for injuries that she sustained as a result of two separate car accidents, each of which occurred in Campbell County in 2010. The first accident was a four-car pileup that occurred in mid-October. As a result of that accident, Hughes asserted negligence claims against the drivers of the three vehicles positioned directly behind her (defendants Brady Lawrence-Hightchew, Evan Morse, and Tyler Shields); she also filed negligent entrustment claims against the owners of two of those vehicles (defendants Thomas Lawrence and John Shields). As a result of the second accident that occurred in mid-December, Hughes asserted a negligence claim against Julia Slone, the driver of a vehicle in which Hughes was a passenger when the vehicle collided with another vehicle in a grocery store parking lot. Hughes also asserted a claim against Grange Insurance and against Ohio Casualty Insurance, her uninsured/underinsured motorist carriers.
On October 31, 2012, the Shields defendants filed a motion to dismiss the action based on misjoinder. On November 21, 2012, Slone filed a separate motion to dismiss for misjoinder; in the alternative, she sought to sever the claims. Morse filed a similar motion days later. Both Hughes and Grange Insurance resisted the motions to dismiss or in the alternative to sever. In its comprehensive response to the motions, Grange Insurance contended that misjoinder was not a basis for dismissal and that in the interest of judicial economy and fairness to the parties, the claims ought not be severed before discovery was complete.
Following a hearing, the trial court summarily dismissed the case on December 6, ...