Bell v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

An inmate filed a negligence action against an agency, seeking to recover $2500, the statutory maximum award amount under Ohio Rev. Code Ann. Sec. 2743.10, as compensation for his alleged injuries after being assigned for one day to a housing unit where smoking was permitted.  The court rendered a judgment in favor of the agency, ruling that the State is not an insurer of inmate safety, and the special relationship between the State and the inmate did not expand or heighten the duty of ordinary reasonable care.  The court also held that Bell failed to prove that he suffered any damages as a result of the agency’s act.

810 N.E.2d 467, 128 Ohio Misc.2d 4, 2004 Ohio 2627, 2004 Ohio Misc. LEXIS 200.