Supreme Court reverses decision awarding Canfield councilwoman $2.3 million


COLUMBUS — A decision by the Ohio Supreme Court reversed a decision awarding more than $2 million to a newly elected Canfield city councilwoman in her breach-of-contract claim against Nationwide Insurance Company.

The court ruled punitive damages are not recoverable in a breach-of-contract action.

This reverses a unanimous decision by the Youngstown-based 7th District Court of Appeals that awarded Christine Lucarell, who goes by Christine Oliver on Canfield’s city council, $2,375,708.

The jury in the 2012 trial of Lucarell’s lawsuit against Nationwide awarded her $42.8 million, but visiting Judge Thomas J. Pokorny, of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, reduced that to $14,167,010 after the trial, and the appeals court further reduced it to the $2,375,708 figure.

Lucarell, who ran a Nationwide agency in Boardman Plaza, had sued the insurance giant, alleging it breached her contract as a Nationwide agent.

The Supreme Court returned the case to the 7th District Court of Appeals for further proceedings consistent with the high court's opinion.

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.