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Published: Wednesday, 6/18/2008

Ruling says Ohio communities not liable for road ice


COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that Ohio communities can't be held liable for icy roads.

State law says local governments may be found negligent for roadway "obstructions," but the high court ruled 5-2 Wednesday that ice doesn't fit the definition.

The majority said an obstruction would be something blocking or clogging a public road, not merely hindering or impeding travel.

It's a defeat for a man who sued Miami Township near Dayton after his 16-year-old son crashed a car into a tree and died in Jan. 2004. Investigators said ice on the road from a firefighter training exercise nearby may have been a factor in the crash.

In a dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Thomas Moyer said oil in a road would be no less dangerous than a large oil drum.

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