I saw this article this morning about a third tragic death down at Hocking Hills State Park. What a beautiful area, such sad events.
The tragedy of these incidents is only compounded by the fact that in Ohio, if families of victims wish to make a claim against the State for something it may have done wrong (whatever the facts may be), they face an uphill challenge. All cases against the State of Ohio must be filed in a special court called the Court of Claims, where the only cases that are heard are cases involving the state. The Judges are employees of the State, and there are usually no juries allowed. That is, the case is decided by the Judge – an employee of the State that is being sued. These and other special rules make claims against the State more difficult than if the same injuries were caused by a private individual.
What does this mean to you:
Injuries caused by the State versus injuries caused by a private party are treated quite differently under Ohio law. Check with an Ohio lawyer to find out the difference.