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Ex-officer’s termination case won’t be heard by high court

Vikki Adams’ attorney will file motion to reconsider.

A former Enon police officer’s appeal for a hearing in the Ohio Supreme Court on a wrongful termination suit was declined on jurisdictional grounds.

The justices’ 4-3 decision Wednesday to not hear the civil case was a move Vikki Adams’ attorney described as a “complete miscarriage of justice,” and one that Enon’s attorney was pleased with.

Adams’ Attorney Erica Ann Probst appealed to the supreme court after a Clark County common pleas judge and an appeals court similarly dismissed the case on jurisdiction.

Adams’ initial suit alleged the village owed her damages in excess of $25,000 due to a retaliatory termination for filing workers’ compensation claims after she fell in the police department’s parking lot in early 2009, according to court documents.

She later amended her complaint to include disability and age discrimination, which were considered moot by Common Pleas Judge Douglas Rastatter, due to his dismissal of the case.

In a wrinkle to the story, the appeals court deemed that Rastatter erred in declaring Adams’ amended claims of discrimination moot and that, as a matter of course, still needs to “rule on the merits of Adams’s motion.”

So those amended complaints will go back to Rastatter to decide if he will accept them or not.

In the meantime, the case may not yet leave the Ohio Supreme Court.

“I’m shocked at the determination that there was no jurisdiction … and I will be filing a motion to reconsider, and am meeting with the Ohio Unemployment Lawyer’s Association early next week to discuss their filing of an amicus brief,” Probst told the Springfield News-Sun.

“Enon is pleased with the decision from the Supreme Court, not only for itself but for all Ohio employers,” Village Attorney Lynette Dinkler said.

“This is a case where Enon has done nothing wrong and will continue to oppose … claims (Adams) attempts to assert, should the trial court allow either of the disability claims be amended into the complaint,” Dinkler said.

Justices Paul E. Pfeifer, Terrence O’Donnell, Sharon L. Kennedy and Judith L. French concurred with the village’s opposition to the court’s jurisdiction, while Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Judith Ann Lanzinger and William M. O’Neill dissented.

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