In December 2006, the Ohio General Assembly approved legislation that:

  • Clarified that a city’s ability to sue product manufacturers, including paint companies alleged to have contributed to lead poisoning, can only be brought under the Ohio Product Liability Law;
  • Permitted consumer to recover $5,000 of noneconomic damages under Ohio’s Consumer Sales Protection Act; and
  • Revised Ohio law as it relates to attorney-client privilege.

Prior to leaving office, former Governor Bob Taft indicated that he would allow this legislation, Senate Bill 117 to become law without his signature, which pursuant to Ohio’s Constitution happens after 10 days. Governor Taft filed Senate Bill 117 with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office before his final day in office. However, on Governor Strickland’s first day in office, the incoming Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, retrieved the bill and sent it back to Governor Strickland, who promptly vetoed it.

In February 2007, a complaint seeking a writ of mandamus was filed by the Ohio Senate and House Republican Leaders against Secretary of State Brunner in the Ohio Supreme Court. This challenge involves two issues: (1) whether Secretary of State Brunner had the authority to send Senate Bill 117 back to Governor Strickland after it was filed with the Secretary of State and (2) when the 10-day constitutional deadline for gubernatorial action actually expired.

The Supreme Court granted the alternative writ filed against the Secretary of State in April and oral argument was held in May 2007. This case awaits decision from the Ohio Supreme Court.

State ex rel. Ohio General Assembly v. Brunner, 2007-Ohio-0209.