The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld a law allowing either side in personal injury lawsuits to request separate trials for damages meant to compensate victims and those meant to punish a company.
Lawmakers enacted the two-trial system as part of sweeping 2005 changes to how such lawsuits are conducted in Ohio that included controversial limits on the size of awards.
The court ruled 5-2 Wednesday that the law was constitutional and did not violate the separation of powers.
The court said the law was a substantive matter that took precedence over court rules for how trials are conducted.
At issue was a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit brought against two Northeast Ohio nursing homes by the estate of a resident who died following surgery for ulcers.