A Step in the Right Direction in Ohio: Allowing Greater Compensation for Childhood Abuse Survivors

A decision by The Supreme Court of Ohio is a step forward in the fight for justice for survivors of childhood sex abuse in that state. The Supreme Court of Ohio decided last month in Brandt v. Pompa that damage caps on financial awards violated the state’s constitution when applied to child sex abuse cases. This ruling, held 4-3 by the court’s justices, recognizes the catastrophic injuries caused by such abuse. 

In Brandt, the plaintiff was repeatedly raped as a child for two years, causing serious psychological injuries, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, nightmares, eating disorders and other long-term issues and disabling conditions. Despite the horrific abuse, the Defendant and his insurance company supporters argued on appeal that the survivor should be limited to only $250,000 under Ohio law regardless of what the jury awarded. These non-economic damages had come into question over the past 15 years due to the conflicting interpretations of the state legislature’s 2005 tort reform in Amended Substitute Senate Bill Number 80.

In ruling for Brandt, the Supreme Court of Ohio recognized the immense negative influences childhood sexual abuse has on an individual. In many cases, psychological and emotional damages can exceed the physical damages in personal injury cases, especially in the long term. The Court’s majority allows for people abused as minors to seek and receive verdict amounts commensurate with the serious injuries they sustained.

Please visit our minor child abuse page for more information about legal options for yourself or a loved one.



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