An Ohio jury awarded $3.65 million dollars to a 21-year-old woman who had been raped twice by a church pastor when she was 15, she believed that the legal system had rendered justice.
However, the trial judge ruled that the victim’s award must be reduced by 3.15 million dollars because of a Republican law which limits pain and suffering to innocent victims like her to $350,000. The law was upheld as “facially constitutional” by a Republican majority on the Ohio Supreme Court.
John Fitch of The Fitch Law Firm , the victim’s lawyer, said one damage cap was applied even though the 15 year old was raped twice. Under this is partisan legislation, 50 rapes, “in a single course of conduct” equals a “cap” of $7500 per rape. Furthermore, the cap applies without consideration of the child’s legal fees and expenses, Fitch said.
Fitch called the tort “reform” statute that slashed his client’s recovery “a moral outrage.” He said that the law protects the assets of sexual predators and others who or contribute to children being sexually abused, while severely restricting the civil rights of children.
The insurance industry was a prime supporter and beneficiary of the law. Fitch said there was a million dollar policy in this case, and it appears the law saved the insurer several hundred thousand dollars.