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Carrel v. Allied Prods. Corp.

Supreme Court of Ohio

October 15, 1996, Submitted ; April 23, 1997, Decided

No. 95-1773


 [**798]   FRANCIS E. SWEENEY, SR., J. This case presents three issues for our review. First, we are asked to decide whether a common-law cause of action, negligent design, survives the enactment of R.C. 2307.71 et seq., the Ohio Products Liability Act. In addition, the court is asked to determine whether the law applicable to assumption of the risk as set forth in Cremeans v. Willmar Henderson Mfg. Co. (1991), 57 Ohio St. 3d 145, 566 N.E.2d 1203, is available under R.C. 2307.71 et seq. Finally, we must decide whether summary judgment was erroneously entered in the manufacturer's favor. For the following reasons, we answer these questions in the affirmative. Accordingly, the judgment of the court of appeals is reversed.

We must first decide whether a common-law cause of action for negligent design survives the enactment of the Products Liability Act. The court of appeals found that the General Assembly, by codifying products liability [***7]  law, had abrogated  [*287]  the common-law negligent design claim. 1 In reaching this determination, the appellate court considered the General Assembly's failure to specifically mention the common-law negligent design cause of action in either R.C. 2307.72 or R.C. 2307.78(A)(1). 2 The court concluded that the statutes' silence meant that the General Assembly had chosen to eliminate this type of action against a manufacturer.

Although Allied agrees with the court of appeals' determination that the Act abrogates common-law causes of action against a manufacturer for products liability, it bases its argument on R.C. 2307.71(M) and 2307.73, in addition to R.C. 2307.72.

We find these assertions and conclusions contrary to well-established rules of statutory construction, as well as this court's recent decision in McAuliffe v. W. States Import Co., Inc. (1995), 72 Ohio St. 3d 534, 651 N.E.2d 957.

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78 Ohio St. 3d 284 *; 677 N.E.2d 795 **; 1997 Ohio LEXIS 973 ***; 1997-Ohio-12


Prior History:  [***1]  APPEAL from the Court of Appeals for Marion County, No. 9-94-24.

Disposition: Judgment reversed and cause remanded.


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Governments, Courts, Common Law, Legislation, Interpretation, Business & Corporate Compliance, Sales of Goods, Remedies, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Damages, Compensatory Damages, Contracts Law, Warranties, Torts, Products Liability, Defenses, Assumption of Risk, Procedural Matters, Elements & Nature, Voluntariness