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Dayton, Ohio

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Richard Schulte
Richard Schulte
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Ohio Supreme Court; Damages Law

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The Ohio Supreme Court upheld a state law last Thursday that limits how much a person injured by a defective product can collect in pain-and-suffering damages, reversing its stance on this important issue.

Attorneys representing injured people and companies that support the concept of caps have followed the lawsuit filed by Melisa Arbino, a Cincinnati property manager, over the Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch made by New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson. She contended the product caused her permanent physical damage and threatened her ability to have children, and her lawyer argued that limits on damages were unconstitutional.

The majority opinion in the 5-2 ruling, written by Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer, said the Ohio law revised did not violate the constitutional rights of injured parties to trial by jury, to a remedy for their injuries or to due process and equal protection

In one of its challenged provisions, the law caps awards at $250,000 or three times the amount of economic damages, whichever is greater, up to an absolute limit of $350,000. The exception is when a plaintiff suffers permanent disability or loss of a limb or bodily organ system.

The Ohio Association for Justice (formerly The Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers) have been working tirelessly to overturn this cap which may cause great harm to the amounts that injured plaintiffs deserve.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Defective and Dangerous Products.