Last week, on a 4-3 vote, the Supreme Court of Ohio ruled the state’s non-economic damages caps — which limit the amount that can be awarded for claims such as “pain and suffering” in personal injury lawsuits — are unconstitutional in certain cases. Outgoing Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor (R) sided with the court’s Democrats.
Despite the sensitive nature of this case, the OMA is disappointed in the ruling because it threatens the state’s competitive legal environment for business. Read this analysis from Bricker & Eckler, the OMA’s general counsel.
According to Bricker, lower courts may start applying this decision in cases with similar facts or similarly situated plaintiffs. With no caps, non-economic damages could far exceed the state’s general $250,000 cap. And courts could utilize this decision to review additional tort reform statutes that impact the business community.
OMA staff will be working with counsel over the coming days to consider potential responses to the ruling. The OMA’s first Government Affairs Committee meeting of 2023 in March will feature a deeper dive on this development — so stay tuned for registration details. 12/20/2022