An Ohio girl repeatedly raped as a toddler suffered accidents so extreme that she’s owed thousands and thousands in compensation regardless of a state cap on pain-and-suffering awards, an legal professional informed the state Supreme Courtroom.
At challenge earlier than the court docket is a Cuyahoga County choose’s 2020 resolution to chop a portion of a $20 million jury verdict to $250,000. That call was based mostly on a 2005 regulation meant to restrict the dimensions of awards in lawsuits.
Greater than 5 years in the past, the state Supreme Courtroom cited that very same regulation, generally generally known as tort reform, when it threw out a $3.6 million jury award to a lady raped by her pastor at age 15. The court docket decreased the award to about $385,000 based mostly on the 2005 regulation.
The excessive court docket heard arguments Wednesday that such limits are unconstitutional after they contain underage victims of sexual assault. The court docket additionally heard an general problem to the caps on damages created by the 2005 regulation.
The 2005 regulation did enable for exceptions to the caps, such because the lack of a limb or an damage from an accident that stops an individual to stay independently. That exception ought to apply to the girl raped as a toddler, her legal professional, Robert Peck, informed the justices.
“The implications listed here are so catastrophic that they’re definitely greater than a everlasting scar on the hand or the lack of a finger or the sorts of issues that the statute carves out as exceptions,” he mentioned.
A lawyer representing the person who raped the girl famous that the identical jury awarded the girl $114 million _ $14 million for pain-and-suffering for rapes that occurred earlier than the 2005 took impact, and $100 million in punitive damages. That quantity stands, legal professional Marion Little informed the court docket.
“You can not say she was denied her day in court docket,” Little mentioned. “You can not recommend she was denied a significant treatment.”
He added that lawmakers crafting the 2005 regulation anticipated “info of this nature” by permitting punitive damages with out caps.
A court docket resolution isn’t anticipated for months.
Home Democrats have efficiently proposed laws focusing on the difficulty that might elevate caps on pain-and-suffering awards for youngster rape victims.
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