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Board of Trustees Not Liable for Tractor Impeding Roadway While Fixing Road

In the case of Hamilton v. Pike Twp. Bd. of Trustees, 2023-Ohio-2947, an appellate court held that the board of trustee’s statutory immunity was not waived when a tractor impeded part of the roadway.

In this case, the driver argued that the tractor was blocking over half of the roadway, constituting an obstacle in the roadway, an exception to political immunity under R.C. 2744.02(B)(3). In response, the board of trustees argued that the tractor was (1) performing a governmental function in furtherance of R.C. 5571.12 and (2) was currently operating, which would constitute as an impediment rather than an obstruction. The appellate court agreed with the board of trustees.

In support of its decision in favor of the board of trustees, the appellate court explained that a statutory requirement creates a governmental function, which is not an exception to liability under R.C. 2744.02(B)(2). The appellate court further explained that the tractor did not fully block the roadway, and that there was an opportunity to navigate around the tractor.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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