The decision thus promulgates three principal rulings: (1) that sovereign immunity does not provide a bar to bringing an action against the State of Ohio, (2) that the state is liable by virtue of the doctrine of respondeat superior for the authorized activities of its officers, employees and other agents, and (3) that freedom of individual agents from civil liability arising out of authorized activities for the state is retained. The effects of these rulings are far from obvious, in large part because of the confused prior state of the law upon which they are engrafted. Furthermore, the grounds given for abrogation of the state's immunity to suit can be subjected to severe criticism. It was to be expected that the events at Kent State in the spring of 1970 would produce litigation which would subject the judicial system as well as other parts of the established order of society to penetrating re-examination. Few could have anticipated the far-reaching changes announced by this decision, which must challenge the record for the number of controlling precedents that would have to be abandoned to sustain it in its entirety. The court was undoubtedly speaking for the people of Ohio in broadening the remedy for injuries resulting from operations of the state and its subsidiaries. The difficulties it encountered in that attempt suggest that the General Assembly would serve the people well by exercising its own more flexible authority in this field.
James B. Wilkens,
Sovereign Immunity Abrogated in Ohio: Krause v. State,
21 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol21/iss1/4