Kent State to pay damages for cars hit by fallen tree


Kent State University groundskeepers clear debris from multiple cars after a tree fell in the Korb Hall parking lot Oct. 13, 2017. 

Ben Orner

Kent State University will pay more than $11,000 in damages to the owners of four cars hit by a falling tree.

On October 13, the tree hit the cars in the Korb Hall parking lot. The owners of three of the cars filed claims against Kent State in the Ohio Court of Claims, asking the university to pay for the damages not covered by their insurance. The fourth owner’s claim is pending, according to the university.

The court hears claims against state entities for money damages. Because Kent State is a state university, the car owners were required to go to the court to recover damages.

Kent State said it assisted the owners in making the claims.

“We understand how inconvenient it is to lose the use of a car, and we’re stepping up to expedite assistance,” Doug Kubinski, an university associate counsel said, in a statement.

In the first claim, filed Nov. 28., Jefferi Adams of Toledo asked for $2,206 to cover damages to his vehicle. According to his claim, Adams was visiting campus when his car was hit. A month later, Karen Nocero of Lyndhurst asked for $500. On Jan. 4, Beth Miller of Carmel, Ind., asked for $8,310. Both say in their claims that they are parents of Kent State students.

The university settled each claim the same day it was filed, but did not always pay the amount the claimant asked for. Adams settled for $1,000 while the other two claimants received the amounts they requested.

Kent State will pay a total of $9,810 in the three settlements, with an estimated total payout for the four cars at $11,336.

The university will use money from its general fund to cover driver expenses not met by personal insurance policies, including the replacement value of one of the cars, which was totaled. The three other vehicles sustained more minor damage. An eyewitness told TV2 a student was inside one of the cars when it was hit. She was transported to the hospital.

In a statement, the university stated under Ohio law, it can legally reimburse damaged parties for out-of-pocket costs resulting from vehicular damage on university property.

“We’re helping the affected drivers get rolling again,” Kubinski said.

Ben Orner is the enterprise producer for KentWired. Contact him at [email protected].