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Correctional Facility Immune from Liability for an Inmate’s Slip and Fall

In the case of Kemps v. Monday Community Corr. Institute, 2023-Ohio-2797, an appellate court held that the correctional facility was immune from liability under R.C. 2744.02 and R.C. 2744.03 when the correctional facility negligently left a wet floor that the inmate slipped and fell on.

In this case, the inmate argued that (1) the employees’ negligence in not cleaning the floor was in connection to a proprietary function of the correctional facility; (2) the spill constituted a physical defect of the building in the use of a governmental function; and (3) the correctional facility was liable under R.C. 3746.24 as no exceptions applied. In response, the correctional facility argued that (1) the operation of a detention facility is a governmental function rather than a proprietary function; (2) the physical defect exception does not cover detention centers; and (3) the building was not a contaminated property that the correctional facility voluntarily cleaned up, and therefore R.C. 3746.24 was inapplicable. The appellate court agreed with the correctional facility.

In support of its decision in favor of the correctional facility, the appellate court explained that the correctional facility was used in a governmental function, not a proprietary function, so the first exception cannot apply. The appellate court next explained that R.C. 2744.02(B)(4) expressly states that the exemption from immunity does not apply to detention facilities. The appellate court finally explained that the building was not contaminated and the inmate failed to identify any other source of liability.

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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