Ann Wayt v. DHSC LLC dba Affinity Medical Center, Case No. 2017-1548
Fifth District Court of Appeals (Stark County)
ISSUE: Do the caps on noneconomic loss awards in tort actions in R.C. 2315.18 apply to the tort of defamation?
In 2006, two Massillon hospitals merged to become Affinity Medical Center. In 2012, registered nurses at Affinity began discussing unionization. Affinity management and some nurses opposed the idea.
Ann Wayt was a registered nurse for 36 years and was hired IN 1987 at one of the Massillon hospitals that became Affinity. Wayt was a vocal supporter of unionization. She also had a notable career at the hospital receiving only positive evaluations, and was nominated by Affinity for a nursing excellence award she won. Affinity featured her in advertisements, praising her excellence.
In August 2012, Wayt was featured in a pro-union poster during the nurse's union drive, which was successful. Around the same time, the hospital launched an investigation of Wayt for alleged claims of patient neglect and falsification. Affinity noted the results of its investigation in a disciplinary meeting with Wayt and a representative, and then terminated her. It reported its finding to the Ohio Board of Nursing in an attempt to have her license revoked. After being fired, Wayt submitted 57 jobs applications and received two replies from hospitals that didn't hire her.