In the case of Schlegel v. Summit Cty., 2023-Ohio-2866, an appellate court held that the county was not liable for flood damages to the citizen’s basement under R.C. 2744.02(B)(3) when the damage resulted from a sinkhole in the road but not from the citizen utilizing the road.
In this case, the citizen argued that R.C. 2744.02(B)(3) makes no mention of liability only applying to damages that occur on the road itself. In response, the county argued that R.C. 2744.02(B)(3) only applies when a person uses the road as a motorist. The appellate court agreed with the county.
In support of its decision in favor of the county, the appellate court explained that, while the current version of R.C. 2744.02(B)(3) does not mention that the damage must occur while using the road, Ohio Supreme Court interpretations of former versions of the statute do require the damage to occur while using the road. The appellate court further explained that, if the Ohio General Assembly wanted to include damage to adjacent property without a person using the road, the General Assembly would have made that clear when R.C. 2744.02(B)(3) was amended after the Ohio Supreme Court interpreted the former versions as limiting liability exclusively to motorists.
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.