The Ohio Supreme Court in Wood v. Shepard had occasion to interpret Ohio's wrongful death statute in conjunction with Ohio's uninsured and underinsured motorist statute (UUM). The court held that the wrongful death of an insured creates separate claims that are not subject to a single person limit of liability in the deceased insured's UUM coverage. Wood is a nebulous decision. It overcompensates the deceased insured's surviving family members and turns the deceased insured's UUM coverage into a bottomless well from which the surviving family members may draw compensation. The full effect of Wood is yet unknown. What is known, however, is that the state of the law after Wood is a mess. This article discusses the propriety of Wood. Starting with the facts and holding of the Wood case, and moving into the background of the law in this area, before analyzing the current situation.
Gary D. Plunkett,
Unknown Effects of Wood v. Shepard on Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Ohio,
39 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol39/iss1/5