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Evidence Documenting Complaints of Discrimination Incorrectly Excluded as Hearsay

In the case of Stachura v. Toledo, 2022-Ohio-345, the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals held that in a firefighter’s discrimination and retaliation action against the city, the trial court erred in ruling in the city’s favor because the firefighter’s exhibit documenting incidents of discrimination was incorrectly excluded as hearsay.

Here, the city argued that the exhibit was replete with hearsay and described the firefighter’s view of the alleged discriminatory incidents as a matter the firefighter could testify to at trial. The firefighter argued that the exhibit was not hearsay because statements made by city employees included in the exhibit were being offered to prove that a formal complaint was made to the fire chief and that the fire chief made no investigatory response to the complaint.

The Court agreed with the firefighter and reasoned that the exhibit was not hearsay because it was not being offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted, and any danger of unfair prejudice stemming from the hearsay nature of the exhibit did not substantially outweigh its probative value.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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