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Dale Emch
Dale Emch
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Parents of Findlay children injured in an accident have more time to file claims

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Findlay parents considering a lawsuit based on the loss of companionship of their children due to an auto accident or some other injury now have an expanded window in which to bring their claim.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled today that because the parent’s claim is inseparable from the claim a child might advance for an auto accident injury or another type of personal injury, the parent enjoys the same expanded statute of limitations as the child.

Generally, children have until their 18th birthday, plus the normal statute of limitations to file a lawsuit. So, a child injured in a car accident has until he’s 20 to file suit. Now parents have the same window in which to file a loss of companionship or services claim.

In the case before the Supreme Court, the defense argued that because the parents’ claim was separate from the child’s medical malpractice claim, the parents needed to file within the normal statute of limitations. The Court said taking that approach would require separate litigation of similar claims and would be a waste of judicial economy.

We hold that because a parent’s claim for loss of consortium against a third party for injuries to the parent’s minor child is an interest that is “joint and inseparable” from the child’s own claim for purposes of R.C. 2305.16, the parent’s claim may be tolled during the child’s disability.