2307.71 Product liability definitions.

(A) As used in sections 2307.71 to 2307.80 of the Revised Code:

(1) "Claimant" means either of the following:

(a) A person who asserts a product liability claim or on whose behalf such a claim is asserted;

(b) If a product liability claim is asserted on behalf of the surviving spouse, children, parents, or other next of kin of a decedent or on behalf of the estate of a decedent, whether as a claim in a wrongful death action under Chapter 2125. of the Revised Code or as a survivorship claim, whichever of the following is appropriate:

(i) The decedent, if the reference is to the person who allegedly sustained harm or economic loss for which, or in connection with which, compensatory damages or punitive or exemplary damages are sought to be recovered;

(ii) The personal representative of the decedent or the estate of the decedent, if the reference is to the person who is asserting or has asserted the product liability claim.

(2) "Economic loss" means direct, incidental, or consequential pecuniary loss, including, but not limited to, damage to the product in question, and nonphysical damage to property other than that product. Harm is not "economic loss."

(3) "Environment" means only navigable waters, surface water, ground water, drinking water supplies, land surface, subsurface strata, and air.

(4) "Ethical drug" means a prescription drug that is prescribed or dispensed by a physician or any other person who is legally authorized to prescribe or dispense a prescription drug.

(5) "Ethical medical device" means a medical device that is prescribed, dispensed, or implanted by a physician or any other person who is legally authorized to prescribe, dispense, or implant a medical device and that is regulated under the "Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act," 52 Stat. 1040, 21 U.S.C. 301 - 392 , as amended.

(6) "Foreseeable risk" means a risk of harm that satisfies both of the following:

(a) It is associated with an intended or reasonably foreseeable use, modification, or alteration of a product in question.

(b) It is a risk that the manufacturer in question should recognize while exercising both of the following:

(i) The attention, perception, memory, knowledge, and intelligence that a reasonable manufacturer should possess;

(ii) Any superior attention, perception, memory, knowledge, or intelligence that the manufacturer in question possesses.

(7) "Harm" means death, physical injury to person, serious emotional distress, or physical damage to property other than the product in question. Economic loss is not "harm."

(8) "Hazardous or toxic substances" include, but are not limited to, hazardous waste as defined in section 3734.01 of the Revised Code, hazardous waste as specified in the rules of the director of environmental protection pursuant to division (A) of section 3734.12 of the Revised Code, hazardous substances as defined in section 3716.01 of the Revised Code, and hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants as defined in or by regulations adopted pursuant to the "Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980," 94 Stat. 2767, 42 U.S.C. 9601 , as amended.

(9) "Manufacturer" means a person engaged in a business to design, formulate, produce, create, make, construct, assemble, or rebuild a product or a component of a product.

(10) "Person" has the same meaning as in division (C) of section 1.59 of the Revised Code and also includes governmental entities.

(11) "Physician" means a person who is licensed to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery by the state medical board.

(12)

(a) "Product" means, subject to division (A)(12)(b) of this section, any object, substance, mixture, or raw material that constitutes tangible personal property and that satisfies all of the following:

(i) It is capable of delivery itself, or as an assembled whole in a mixed or combined state, or as a component or ingredient.

(ii) It is produced, manufactured, or supplied for introduction into trade or commerce.

(iii) It is intended for sale or lease to persons for commercial or personal use.

(b) "Product" does not include human tissue, blood, or organs.

(13) "Product liability claim" means a claim or cause of action that is asserted in a civil action pursuant to sections 2307.71 to 2307.80 of the Revised Code and that seeks to recover compensatory damages from a manufacturer or supplier for death, physical injury to person, emotional distress, or physical damage to property other than the product in question, that allegedly arose from any of the following:

(a) The design, formulation, production, construction, creation, assembly, rebuilding, testing, or marketing of that product;

(b) Any warning or instruction, or lack of warning or instruction, associated with that product;

(c) Any failure of that product to conform to any relevant representation or warranty. "Product liability claim" also includes any public nuisance claim or cause of action at common law in which it is alleged that the design, manufacture, supply, marketing, distribution, promotion, advertising, labeling, or sale of a product unreasonably interferes with a right common to the general public.

(14) "Representation" means an express representation of a material fact concerning the character, quality, or safety of a product.

(15)

(a) "Supplier" means, subject to division (A)(15)(b) of this section, either of the following:

(i) A person that, in the course of a business conducted for the purpose, sells, distributes, leases, prepares, blends, packages, labels, or otherwise participates in the placing of a product in the stream of commerce;

(ii) A person that, in the course of a business conducted for the purpose, installs, repairs, or maintains any aspect of a product that allegedly causes harm.

(b) "Supplier" does not include any of the following:

(i) A manufacturer;

(ii) A seller of real property;

(iii) A provider of professional services who, incidental to a professional transaction the essence of which is the furnishing of judgment, skill, or services, sells or uses a product;

(iv) Any person who acts only in a financial capacity with respect to the sale of a product, or who leases a product under a lease arrangement in which the selection, possession, maintenance, and operation of the product are controlled by a person other than the lessor.

(16) "Unavoidably unsafe" means that, in the state of technical, scientific, and medical knowledge at the time a product in question left the control of its manufacturer, an aspect of that product was incapable of being made safe.

(B) Sections 2307.71 to 2307.80 of the Revised Code are intended to abrogate all common law product liability claims or causes of action.

Cite as R.C. § 2307.71

History. Effective Date: 07-06-2001; 04-07-2005; 2006 SB117 10-31-2007