Proposed Distribution Of $1 Million OU Settlement Is Filed

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The father of a deceased Ohio University student is slated to receive $585,343 under a proposed distribution of a $1 million lawsuit settlement.

The Messenger reported last month that Ohio University reached a $1 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit involving the 2010 death of OU student Andrea Robinson. After she died from bacterial meningitis, her father, Joseph Robinson of Cleveland Heights, filed a lawsuit in the Ohio Court of Claims against OU.

The settlement is pending the approval of Cuyahoga County Probate Court, where Andrea Robinson's estate is being probated.

According to an application filed in probate court for approval of the settlement and distribution of the $1 million, Joseph Robinson would receive $585,341 if the court gives approval. The proposed distribution has $400,000 going for attorney fees, plus  $14,657 for attorney-related expenses.

The distribution calls for Andrea Robinson's mother, who is listed as "whereabouts unknown," to receive $1.

After the filing of the application, Joseph Robinson's attorney filed a motion asking that approval of the settlement and approval of the distribution be handled separately. Also filed was what the court's online docket indicates is a motion for approval of attorney fee. The Messenger was unable to get immediate access to the documents, and Robinson's attorney did not return a phone message Wednesday afternoon.

A hearing on the application is scheduled for Jan. 9, according to the docket.

University spokeswoman Stephanie Filson has said previously that the settlement will cost the university, which is insured, about $100,000.

The lawsuit, filed in the Ohio Court of Claims, asserted that the university failed to adequately warn students that there was a strain of bacterial meningitis on campus that was not covered by a vaccine, and that Andrea Robinson relied on inadequate advice from OU’s Hudson Health Center that caused her to delay going to a hospital.

At the time of the settlement, the university had a motion for summary judgment pending in which it argued that the medical negligence and wrongful death claims against the university should be denied because Andrea Robinson did not directly seek assistance from OU’s Hudson Health Center prior to her death, and therefore a patient-doctor relationship had not been established. Attorneys for Robinson disputed that, and argued that Andrea’s boyfriend called the health center with Andrea present, and that cell phone records indicated she might also have called the health center herself.

When her boyfriend had called Hudson Health Center he was allegedly told to have her take Tylenol and get some rest. When her condition worsened she was taken by ambulance to O’Bleness Memorial Hospital, then transferred to a Columbus hospital where she died, court documents indicate.