Ohio Gov. Signs Lawsuit Reform Bills

January 6, 2005

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft on Thursday signed into law Senate Bill 80, the comprehensive lawsuit reform bill, and House Bill 498, the workers’ compensation intentional tort bill. Senate Bill 80 creates a system of civil justice in Ohio that protects injured parties while bringing fairness and a sense of clarity to the business community.

“For nearly two years I have been listening to the concerns of business leaders and economic development groups from across the state, so I know well the negative effects of lawsuit abuse,” said Taft. “I am proud we succeeded in delivering a meaningful solution for them.”

Senate Bill 80, sponsored by state Senator Steve Stivers (R-Columbus), places caps on non-economic damages and punitive damages, brings clarity to product liability cases, and establishes more stringent standards regarding frivolous conduct.

Gov. Taft signed Senate Bill 80 at Accurate Fabrication Inc. in Columbus. Accurate Fabrication is a small custom metal business that employs 38 workers and has faced several lawsuits during its 16 years in operation.

“This new law removes big obstacles for small business owners who want to operate successfully in Ohio,” said Jerry Miller, president of Accurate Fabrications Inc.

Gov. Taft also signed into law House Bill 498, sponsored by state Representative Keith Faber (R-Celina), which brings clarity to intentional tort in Ohio’s workers’ comp system by eliminating double recovery for the same workplace incident.

“Senate Bill 80 and House Bill 498 are the first pieces of legislation I’m signing in 2005,” said Taft. “I cannot think of a better way to start the New Year for the workers and employers of Ohio.”

The bills go into effect 90 days after they are signed by the Governor and filed with the Secretary of State.

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