Written By: Joe Lahav, Esquire,
Last modified: June 14, 2021

Filing a Claim in Ohio

Over the past two decades, Ohio was one of the nation’s most active states in the area of asbestos litigation reform. By 2000, Ohio was one of only five states that accounted for more than two-thirds of the country’s new asbestos-related case filings.

This distinction prompted Ohio lawmakers to tackle asbestos tort reform. They are considered leaders in limiting the number of active asbestos claims, which include personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits, in its state courts.

Trust fund claims operate outside of the state court system, but certain laws in Ohio affect plaintiffs who qualify to file a lawsuit and a trust claim.

Veterans in Ohio who develop mesothelioma from asbestos exposure in the military may file a VA claim for benefits. They also have access to VA health care in the state.

Asbestos litigation in Ohio is complex. Plaintiffs who work with experienced mesothelioma lawyers have the best chance of receiving the compensation they need.

You should not rely on any information herein to make a determination about your legal rights. Please speak to an attorney licensed to practice law in your area to best understand your legal options.

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Asbestos Exposure in Ohio

Ohio is No. 6 in the U.S. for mesothelioma and asbestosis deaths. The state’s high ranking is attributed to Ohio’s rich industrial and manufacturing history.

Workers in Ohio have been exposed to asbestos products in manufacturing plants, power generation plants, refineries, factories, mills and construction sites.

Family members of asbestos workers faced the risk of secondary exposure when their loved ones unknowingly brought asbestos fibers home on their work clothes.

Ohio Industries Known for Asbestos Exposure

  • Asbestos product manufacturing
  • Automotive manufacturing
  • General manufacturing
  • Power generation
  • Oil refining
  • Chemical production
  • Insulation installation
  • Metal works
  • Paper mills
  • Construction

Law Firms Practicing in Ohio

Nationwide firms know the best state in which to file your claim because they’ve handled many different types of cases across the country.

Nationwide Mesothelioma Law Firms

  • Weitz & Luxenberg
  • Cooney & Conway
  • Simmons Hanly Conroy
  • Nemeroff Law
  • Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman

Approximately 54% of mesothelioma plaintiffs in the U.S. file their claims outside of the state they live in, according to a 2019 KCIC industry report. Most mesothelioma plaintiffs in Ohio file out-of-state because Ohio lawmakers passed laws that favor asbestos defendants.

Because of these circumstances, mesothelioma patients in Ohio should consider a nationwide mesothelioma law firm because a local firm is unlikely to win your case in Ohio courts.

Residents who live in central Ohio are close to a Cooney & Conway office in Columbus, Ohio.

A perk of selecting a nationwide mesothelioma law firm is that they’ll travel to you. You don’t have to drive near or far, and this is important if you’re coping with health complications from mesothelioma.

Hiring one of the nation’s best mesothelioma law firms will help you get the compensation you deserve. Lawyers at these firms have a strong record of holding asbestos manufacturers liable for the pain and suffering they’ve caused many families across the country.

Asbestos Verdicts Awarded in Ohio Courts

  • $8.2 Million in 2018: A Cuyahoga County jury awarded $8.2 million to a former electrician who died of mesothelioma after exposure to Union Carbide’s asbestos fibers that were used in Georgia Pacific’s Ready-Mix joint compound.
  • $27.5 Million in 2013: An Ohio jury awarded $27.5 million to a man who developed mesothelioma after secondary exposure to asbestos through his father, who worked with asbestos brake pads manufactured by National Friction Products Corporation. It is the largest asbestos verdict ever awarded in Ohio.
  • $1 Million in 2016: An Ohio jury ordered Honeywell to pay more than $1 million to the estate of a woman who developed peritoneal mesothelioma after exposure to Bendix asbestos brakes (Honeywell is the successor to Bendix).

Multimillion-dollar mesothelioma verdicts are not the norm in Ohio. The vast majority of Ohio residents chose to file their claim in states that are more favorable to mesothelioma plaintiffs.

While these verdicts represent some of the highest ever recovered in Ohio, most mesothelioma lawsuits reach a settlement before trial. The top mesothelioma law firms regularly recover mesothelioma settlements worth more than $1 million dollars.

These firms are also known to recover six-figure payouts from asbestos trust funds, but make sure they’re familiar with Ohio’s trust transparency laws.

Ohio Asbestos Laws and Regulations

Ohio has a mix of federal and state laws that regulate asbestos and aim to protect the public from exposure.

Regulations Governing Asbestos in Ohio

  • Ohio Revised Code Title 37, Health Safety Morals, Section 3710.01: Statutes that define asbestos fibers, asbestos abatement and asbestos abatement specialists in Ohio.
  • Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3745-20, Asbestos Emission Control: Defines Ohio’s laws and regulations of asbestos abatement, disposal and management.

Departments Overseeing Ohio’s Asbestos Laws

  • Ohio Environmental Protection Agency: Oversees and enforces asbestos regulations as outlined by the Ohio Administrative Code.
  • Ohio Department of Health: Certifies and provides licensing for asbestos contractors, inspectors and abatement professionals.

Ohio Laws Affecting Asbestos Lawsuits

  • Ohio Revised Code Section 2315.19: Defines Ohio’s negligence laws.
  • Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.11: Defines Ohio’s statutes of limitations.

Asbestos Litigation Trends in Ohio

Ohio enacted several litigation reforms in 2004. The measures limited who could file asbestos claims and who could be liable for asbestos-related injuries.

Medical Criteria

Ohio state law requires claimants to demonstrate physical impairment in order to move forward with their lawsuits. The law permits claimants who were exposed to asbestos, but are currently unimpaired, to file claims later if medical symptoms develop. The immediate effect of this legislation was to prioritize the claims of the sickest plaintiffs.

Substantial Factor Test

Ohio law requires that an asbestos plaintiff prove that the defendant’s conduct was a “substantial factor” in causing an alleged injury or loss. Plaintiffs who allege injury from asbestos exposure must also prove that they were exposed to “asbestos that was manufactured, supplied, installed, or used by the defendant.”

Successor Liability

In general, Ohio law also limits the liability of a company (the successor) that buys or merges with, and assumes the asbestos liabilities of, another company (the predecessor). The successor’s liability is limited to the fair market value of the predecessor’s total gross assets or the acquired stock or assets. The law is intended to cap the liability of successor companies who have not engaged in activities that cause asbestos-related diseases.

Premises Liability

In Ohio, a premises owner may be held liable for injuries resulting from exposure to asbestos on its property. Under state law, whether a premise owner is liable depends on when the alleged exposure occurred. An Ohio mesothelioma attorney has the expertise to interpret how this may apply to your case.

Piercing the Corporate Veil

If a plaintiff sues a bankrupt company, it can get compensation from shareholders’ assets in some cases. This legal doctrine is known as “piercing the corporate veil.” It allows plaintiffs to get compensation for mesothelioma damages from a shareholder who controls a bankrupt defendant and in certain other circumstances.

The doctrine is usually found in case law rather than state statutes. As part of its 2004 reforms, Ohio incorporated the corporate veil doctrine into its statutory law.

Bankruptcy Trust Transparency

In 2013, Ohio lawmakers passed legislation to improve transparency among plaintiffs filing lawsuits and trust fund claims. Ohio was the first state in the U.S. to pass this kind of law. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer is familiar with this law and can help you file a mesothelioma lawsuit and a trust fund claim without violating Ohio law.


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