In 2005 Ohio passed a law limiting monetary damages in personal injury lawsuits. Lost wages are not affected but other damages were limited at $350,000 a person and $500,000 per incident. After the law was a passed a woman was afflicted with blood clots from using Ortho Evra, the birth control patch. She sued the manufacturer of the patch, Johnson & Johnson.
Arbino’s lawsuit sought damages of at least $75,000, to be determined by a jury. But she never got to one. Instead, her case became the vehicle for challenging the constitutionality of Ohio’s damage limits.
The case has attracted significant attention. Among other groups, the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers and the Ohio Conference of the NAACP are calling on the Supreme Court to void the 2005 law, while the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce want to keep the limits.
“You can’t put an amount on someone’s life,” Arbino said.
The case is currently before the Ohio Supreme Court. Her lawyers must present their case to prove the 2005 law is unconstitutional.