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Arbino v. Johnson & Johnson

Supreme Court of Ohio

May 1, 2007, Submitted; December 27, 2007, Decided

No. 2006-1212

Opinion

 [*468] MOYER, C.J.

I. Introduction

 [**P1]  Petitioner Melisa Arbino initiated a product-liability action against respondents Johnson & Johnson, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., and Johnson [*469]  & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. (collectively, "Johnson & Johnson") in 2006. She alleges that she suffered blood clots and other serious medical side effects from using the Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch, a hormonal birth-control medication that Johnson & Johnson created.

 [**P2]  The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Arbino's complaint contains challenges to the constitutionality of four tort-reform statutes  [****5] implemented by Am.Sub.S.B. No. 80 of the 125th General Assembly ("S.B. 80") and made effective on April 7, 2005. Arbino then filed a motion for partial summary judgment on these challenges, leading respondent state of Ohio to intervene in the matter. While this motion was pending, the federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated the case with other claims relating to the Ortho Evra patch before Judge David A. Katz in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division.

 [**P3]  Judge Katz certified four questions of state law for review pursuant to S.Ct.Prac.R. XVIII. We accepted three 1 of the questions:

 [**P4]  1. "Is Ohio Revised Code § 2315.18 [limiting noneconomic damages in tort actions], as amended by Senate Bill 80, effective, April 7, 2005, unconstitutional on the grounds as stated by the Plaintiffs?"

 [**P5]  2. "Is Ohio Revised Code § 2315.20 [admissibility of collateral-benefit evidence in tort actions], as amended by Senate  [****6] Bill 80, effective, April 7, 2005, unconstitutional on the grounds as stated by the Plaintiffs?"

 [**P6]  3. "Is Ohio Revised Code § 2315.21 [limiting punitive damages in tort actions], as amended by Senate Bill 80, effective, April 7, 2005, unconstitutional on the grounds as stated by the Plaintiffs?" 110 Ohio St. 3d 1462, 2006 Ohio 4288, 852 N.E.2d 1212.

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116 Ohio St. 3d 468 *; 2007-Ohio-6948 **; 880 N.E.2d 420 ***; 2007 Ohio LEXIS 3354 ****

ARBINO v. JOHNSON &JOHNSON ET AL.

Prior History:  [****1] ON ORDER from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division, Certifying State Law Questions, No. 3:06 CV 40010.

Arbino v. Johnson & Johnson, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41032 (N.D. Ohio, June 20, 2006)

Disposition:  Questions related to the constitutionality of R.C. 2315.18 and R.C. 2315.21 were answered in the negative, and a question related to the constitutionality of R.C. 2315.20 was not answered. The matter was remanded to the trial court.

CORE TERMS

Assembly, punitive, noneconomic, rational-basis, infringes, flawed, remittitur, common-law, noneconomic-damages, compensatory, collateral, abolish, modify, fact-finding, single-subject, predictable, Jefferson, frivolous, maximum, dollar, treble, recoverable, lawsuits, biased, safeguarding, due-process, invalidated, tort-reform, prevailing, inviolate

Constitutional Law, Separation of Powers, Governments, State & Territorial Governments, Legislatures, Courts, Judicial Precedent, Case or Controversy, Constitutionality of Legislation, General Overview, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Inferences & Presumptions, Torts, Types of Damages, Compensatory Damages, Measurements, Types of Losses, Lost Income, Medical Expenses, Pain & Suffering, Future Pain & Suffering, Emotional Distress, Loss of Enjoyment, Loss of Consortium, Fundamental Rights, Criminal Process, Right to Jury Trial, Bill of Rights, Trial by Jury in Civil Actions, Procedural Matters, Civil Procedure, Remedies, Damages, Fundamental Freedoms, Freedom to Petition, Procedural Due Process, Scope of Protection, Authority to Adjudicate, Legislation, Equal Protection, Nature & Scope of Protection, Judicial Review, Standards of Review, Initiative & Referendum, Collateral Source Rule, Employment Benefits & Workers Compensation, Insurance Payments, The Judiciary, Advisory Opinions, Punitive Damages, Measurement of Damages, Statutory Requirements, Punitive Damages