Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Court of Claims: Settlements Approved in Two Medical Lawsuits Against Ohio State and University of Cincinnati

Chaka Peters v. University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Case No. 2016-00256

Sandra Thaxton, Admx. v. Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Case No. 2015-00160

The Ohio Court of Claims approved settlements in separate lawsuits brought against the University Cincinnati College of Medicine (UC) and the Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center.

Attention Deficit Disorder Accommodation Disputed
UC agreed to pay $99,000 to a former medical school student who was diagnosed with attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD) during her second year in medical school and soon became unable to complete her required examinations under the traditional time and exam room spaces. Chaka Peters began medical school at UC in 2004 and was able to pass most of her exams after following the recommended ADHD treatment. UC didn’t allow her to retake a failed pediatrics exam and dismissed her from the program in 2009.

Peters unsuccessfully challenged her dismissal then filed a federal lawsuit in 2010, which UC settled with her in 2013. The agreement reinstated her as a student, paid her $45,000, and provided her additional test-taking and living accommodations. Peters claimed UC never lived up to the terms of the agreement, which led to her inability to complete tests, and she was dismissed again in 2014.

Under the terms of the settlement approved by the Court of Claims in June, UC will change Peters’ transcript to indicate she withdrew from the college rather than being dismissed. In exchange, Peters agreed to not attempt to re-enroll at UC and to apply only at other medical schools.

UC does not admit any wrongdoing as part of the agreement, and Peters agreed not to pursue any additional claims against UC in this matter.

Instrument Left in Stomach After Surgery
OSU agreed to pay the estate of James R. Thaxton Jr. $25,000 to settle claims of pain and suffering when it was discovered a surgeon had left a retractor inside Thaxton’s stomach.

Thaxton was an inmate Mansfield Correctional Institution in August 2014 when he was taken to OSU for cancer treatment. Thaxton was transported to the Corrections Medical Center in another area of Columbus to recover. While there he complained of immense pain from the surgery and the center sent him back to OSU where they discovered the retractor had been left in his stomach. The tool was removed a month later.

Thaxton subsequently died and OSU settled with Sandra Thaxton, administrator of his estate. As part the settlement, OSU doesn’t admit to any wrongdoing, and the estate agreed not to make further claims against OSU.

Court of Claims Jurisdiction
The Court of Claims has exclusive jurisdiction over claims against the state. To access information on other cases, visit the Court of Claims website.

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