Brennaman v. R.M.I. Co.

70 Ohio St.3d 460, 639 N.E.2d 425 (1994)

Bechtel Corp. built a titanium metal plant for R.M.I. Co. in 1958. In 1986, a valve began to leak and Brennaman and others died while trying to repair it.

Brennaman’s estate and others sued Bechtel Corp. for negligent design and construction. Bechtel Corp. convinced the trial court and the Ohio Court of Appeals that this case should be dismissed.

This was based on a statute, which bars suits against designers and engineers of improvements to real property, filed more that 20 years after the design or construction is completed. Nurenberg Paris successfully argued that the 10 year architect’s and engineers’ statute of repose for improvements to real property was unconstitutional. The statute violated the right to a remedy by depriving the plaintiff and other Ohio citizens of the right to sue before they knew or could have known about their injuries.