Note: This story appears in the Friday, July 12 newspaper on Page A1.
The Ohio Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in an Athens County case that involved a $1 million judgment.
The court announced its decision on Wednesday not to take the case.
The $1 million judgment against Athens businessman Jerry W. Jones came in 2018 in an Athens County Common Pleas Court lawsuit filed by another local businessman, Demetrios Prokos. Jones appealed that ruling to the 4th District Court of Appeals, which last February ruled in favor of Prokos. Jones then attempted to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.
In 2018, Common Pleas Judge Patrick Lang ruled that Jones was personally liable for a $1,055,271 judgment. The court case concerned two gasoline station/convenience stores — one on Richland Avenue in Athens and another on Chestnut Street in Nelsonville — that Prokos leased to JJARRETT LLC for 10 years in 2006.
The properties were vacated before the lease was up, and Lang ruled that Jones was responsible for unpaid rent, insurance costs, licensing/permit fees, real estate taxes and costs for removal of fuel tanks.
Jones signed the lease, but at issue in the Prokos lawsuit was whether Jones did that as an individual or as a representative of a limited liability company.
Lang ruled both sides were aware at the signing of the lease that it would be personally binding on Jones.