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Ohio Court Rejects Wrongful Death Appeal


An Ohio company will not be allowed to appeal the ruling in a lawsuit that is set to cost the firm more than $3.66 million in damages. The lawsuit revolves around a wrongful death claim filed by the widow and estate of an Ohio truck driver who was killed when a 2,600 pound cradle full of propane tanks fell on him when he was attempting to unload them from his vehicle. While the suit originally named the man's employer as the defendant, that company is no longer in business.

After a trial that stretched nearly three weeks, a jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, ordering the company to pay the victim's estate more than $3.66 million in what has been called one of the largest verdicts in the county's history. Soon after the verdict was announced, the defendant requested that the Ohio 5th District Court of Appeals review the case, but that request was denied.

The company now has 45 days to file an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court, though the state's highest court has no obligation to consider the case. The court generally only hears cases which it believes to be "of public or great general interest" or those that raise issues of constitutionality. While the company called the victim's death "a tragic accident," it argued that the court improperly applied the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and that the victim was responsible for properly securing the cargo of his truck.

The plaintiff's legal team announced that they were pleased by the ruling, saying that the victim's family deserves a conclusion after six years of legal battles.

Source: Times Reporter, "Court rejects Worthington appeal of wrongful-death award," Lee Morrison, Jan. 31, 2012