May v. Tandy Corp

69 Ohio St.3d 415, 633 N.E.2d 810 (1994)

Mr. May was injured while making a delivery to a customer’s store. The jury found the customer negligent in maintaining a hazardous condition that caused May’s injury. The jury awarded damages, and the defendant asked the court to reduce the verdict by the amount of workers compensation benefits that May received to date and was reasonably certain to receive into the future.

The defendant’s request for this reduction was based on recently enacted “tort reform” legislation. The trial court found the statute to be unconstitutional and refused to make the deduction.

The Supreme Court of Ohio upheld the trial court based on its recent decision in Sorrell which held that the statute requiring the trial court to deduct from the total jury award any collateral benefits which had been or would be received by the plaintiff was unconstitutional. Statute violated the right to trial by jury, due process, equal protection, right to open courts, and right to a meaningful remedy.