Jerome F. Rolfes

Shareholder

Bio

Jerry joined the firm as its first associate attorney in 1990 and became a shareholder in 1995. His focus of practice is as a litigator and trial attorney, having completed over 40 first-chair jury trials over his decades of practice. These jury trials and cases have included a multitude of suits arising from claims of personal injury, property damage (including earth movement/landslide cases, veterinary negligence, surface water drainage, etc ), roofing and construction defect/negligence, and bad faith.

Jerry has taken a great deal of pride in his commitment to and service of his clients over his lengthy tenure with the Firm.  As the Firm’s first associate to join its founder, Jerry was integral in establishing and cultivating the Firm’s culture of prompt communication and dedication to its clients.  This continues to include the Firm’s commitment to replying to clients’ communications within no later than 24 hours of receipt, and especially including timely, concise, and accurate written reporting to claim professionals and clients to provide the most accurate and up-to-date status of cases and claims.

Jerry is a Cincinnati, Ohio native who has dedicated his life and career to the law firm and its service to insurance industry clients and colleagues. He has enjoyed serving as a trainer and mentor to a host of new and young attorneys over his many years in the firm’s Cincinnati office.

Education

Ohio Northern University, Pettit College of Law, Ada, Ohio
Juris Doctor, 1988
Associate Editor, O.N.U. Law Review

University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
Bachelor of Arts in Economics, 1985

Admitted to Practice

Federal Courts:

  • United States Federal Court, Northern & Southern Districts of Ohio
  • United States Federal Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
  • United States Federal Court, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

State Courts:

  • State of Ohio
  • Commonwealth of Kentucky

Notable Experience

Significant Appellate Decisions

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Case No. 15-4303, Virginia Whitman, et al. v. Foremost Insurance Co.(unreported)

Oberschlake v. Veterinary Animal Clinic, 2003-Ohio-917
http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/2/2003/2003-ohio-917.pdf

Cropper v. Jewell, 2009-Ohio-3683
http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/12/2009/2009-ohio-3683.pdf

Davidson v. Uhrig 01-LW-2733 (4th) (unreported)

Lauderbaugh v. Gellasch 2008-Ohio-6500
http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/8/2008/2008-ohio-6500.pdf

Significant Jury Verdicts

In May 2018, Jerry Rolfes obtained a favorable verdict at a six day jury trial in Gallia County Common Pleas Court (Gallia County, Ohio) in a disputed liability truck versus auto accident.  Plaintiff claimed  $624,000.00 at trial, with over $221,000.00 in past medical expenses, including a cervical fusion surgery.  Finding the Plaintiff 40% comparatively at fault for the accident in operation of his truck, the Plaintiff was awarded only slightly more than $12,000.00 as a total/net judgment in his favor.  For its damages award, the jury found compelling and significant a subsequent motorcycle accident in which the Plaintiff was involved but which the Plaintiff and his neurosurgical medical expert sought to discount and downplay at trial.  Despite the large amount of medical expenses/treatment, and a substantial Ohio BWC lien, the Plaintiff chose to not appeal the jury’s verdict.

In March 2017, Jerome Rolfes obtained a defense verdict in the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court after a four day jury trial in a disputed bicyclist versus moving van accident within a crosswalk.  Plaintiff’s last demand at mediation was $65,000.00, and an offer of $12,000.00.  The incident occurred at a high-volume intersection in the city of Montgomery outside Cincinnati, Ohio.  No appeal has been pursued.

In September 2016, Mr. Rolfes obtained a favorable verdict in the Clermont County Common Pleas Court after a jury trial involving shoulder surgery of the Plaintiff and alleged soft tissue neck/back injuries with over $52,000.00 in original medical expenses.  Plaintiff’s last demand at mediation was $80,000.00 and the jury awarded $51,613.00 in favor of Plaintiff but finding (in agreement with the defense) that the shoulder condition and surgery were not related to the subject auto accident.

In December 2013, Mr. Rolfes obtained a favorable defense verdict at jury trial in Hamilton county (Cincinnati) in an undisputed auto accident personal injury lawsuit in which the plaintiff claimed over $105,000 in medical expenses, (in large part for a total knee replacement surgery) for her complaints of knee injury, and back/neck and shoulder soft-tissue injuries. The jury awarded to plaintiff only slightly over $6000 of her claimed medical expenses, plus $10,000 for pain and suffering. Despite the plaintiff’s claim of aggravation to her pre-existing knee condition, the jury excluded the knee surgery due to the evidence of her pre-existing issues. Plaintiff had demanded $150,000 but reduced their last demand to $75,000 within days of trial; defendant had expressed willingness before trial to extend up to $20,000 to which no response was made by plaintiff.

In July, 2011, Mr. Rolfes secured a favorable verdict in Hamilton County, Ohio in a bodily injury defense of two separate plaintiffs whose last demands were $682,000.00 for the ex-husband/plaintiff and $75,000.00 for the ex-wife.  After a week-long trial, the jury awarded them $4,736.22 and $3,615.65 respectively.

Defense verdict, Clermont County, Ohio Common Pleas Court in disputed liability motor vehicle accident.  Alleged spinal syrinx condition with more than $70,000.00 in past medical expenses from high impact collision alleging failure to yield during left turn.

Defense verdict in Hamilton County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court in low-impact soft tissue injury motor vehicle accident with disputed liability.

Favorable past/future damages award at jury trial of undisputed liability underinsured motorist claim in Pike County Common Pleas Court.  Plaintiff’s past medical expenses of over $40,000.00 were reduced by $19,000.00 by jury, pursuant to Robinson v. Bates decision, for plaintiff’s comminuted heel bone fracture.

Memberships

  • Ohio Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA)
    • OACTA Chairman, Trial Tactics Committee (2012 - present) (Vice-Chairman 2010-2011)
  • Cincinnati Bar Association

Areas of Practice

  • Construction Litigation
  • Insurance Bad Faith Litigation
  • Professional Liability
  • Property & Casualty Insurance Litigation
  • Veterinary Malpractice