Cases & Deals

Client illegally locked out of apartment wins in Cleveland's Landlord-Tenant Court

Clients Robert Peterson

Jones Day Cleveland won a jury trial in Peterson v. Loretz, et al. that resulted in an award of compensatory and punitive damages to a tenant whose personal belongings were lost when he was illegally locked out of his apartment. After being referred to Jones Day by the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, the tenant filed suit. At the close of our client's case, the court granted the client's motion for a directed verdict on the issue of liability. The jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning a unanimous damages verdict for the client, awarding him $10,000 in compensatory damages and more than $11,000 in punitive damages. The court then awarded $10,000 in attorneys' fees to Legal Aid. In closing, Judge Thomas Patrick Curran stated on the record:

"I want to thank the attorneys for their professionalism. They are a credit to their law firm and also to the bar for devoting their time and effort to this case on behalf of [the plaintiff]."

In September 2008, the client's brother filed a Rule 60(B) motion for relief from judgment and asked the Court to vacate the judgment and order a new trial. During the January 20, 2009 hearing on the motion, the Jones Day team presented oral argument and cross-examined the brother. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court denied the motion, preserving our client's judgment.

Peterson v. Loretz, et al., 07-637836 Common Pleas Court, Cuyahoga County