The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law released a study of the records of two Ohio Supreme Court Justices – Justices French and Kennedy – who are both running for re-election this year. The study found that Justice French voted with her top campaign contributors over 91% of the time, and that Justice Kennedy voted with her contributors 88% of the time. This study is really remarkable for a couple of reasons.
First, money in politics matters. We don’t want our government sold to the highest bidder. Second, the 1851 Center is affiliated with the tea party movement. One of their main issues is limited government. The fact they they, of all groups, are critical of two of the conservatives on the Court says something.
Most people are familiar with a statute of limitations, a law that gives you a certain amount of time to bring a claim starting from the date of the injury. That makes sense, since you know when you are injured. A “statute of repose,” on the other hand, is a limitation on the amount of time starting from the date a product is made, whether you have been injured yet or not.
What makes these laws – such as Ohio’s law – particularly vicious is that they can cut off the ability to file a claim BEFORE THE INJURY HAS EVEN HAPPENED. One a product had been made – whether that’s a medical device like a hip implant, a smoke detector, or a baby’s high chair – after 10 years, no claims can be made against the manufacturer.
What does this mean to you?
Not surprisingly, Ohio’s statute of repose has been described as “a victory for manufacturers.” If manufacturers won, who lost? And by the way, how does this make products safer?