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Decisions Restrict Intentional Tort Lawsuits Against Employers

The Ohio Supreme Court issued two decisions Tuesday that significantly restrict the ability of employees to recover for employer workplace intentional torts.

In the cases of Kaminski v. Metal & Wire Products Company (2010-Ohio-1027) and Stetter v. R.J. Corman Derailment Services, LLC (2010-Ohio-1029), the court upheld as constitutional a 2005 law, Ohio Revised Code 2745.01, which significantly limits lawsuits by employees against employers for “intentional tort” claims.

That statute requires that before an employee can recover damages against an employer, the employee must prove that the employer committed a tortious act with the intent to injure another or the employer acts with deliberate intent to cause an employee to suffer an injury, subject to sections C and D.

These decisions are important for employers because prior versions of the intentional tort statute in years past have been declared unconstitutional. The decisions in Kaminiski and Stetter significantly limit lawsuits for employer intentional torts. 

We believe the decisions will make it more difficult for an employee to establish an intentional tort claim against an employer for injuries occurring on or after April 7, 2005.

For more information on these recent decisions and their impact on Ohio employers, contact Martin Boetcher at mboetcher@hhmlaw.com.