This Note contends that if Ohio insists on retaining some form of joint and several liability, the recently adopted modified version is a desirable alternative to returning to the pure form. As compared to the pure form, the modified version promotes a more balanced tort system and represents a fair compromise to the competing interests of both plaintiffs and defendants. Part II of this Note reviews the history of joint and several liability and examines Ohio's application of this legal doctrine. Part III looks at prior constitutional challenges to various tort reform measures, and analyzes these challenges in light of Ohio's new law. It presents the likely parallel attacks against the constitutionality of the modified form of joint and several liability and provides insights as to how the new law will pass constitutional muster in the face of such challenges. Part IV examines policy arguments against a pure form of joint and several liability. It demonstrates how, as compared to the pure form, Ohio's new joint and several liability laws are more in accord with comparative negligence standards and how they help foster a growing economy. Finally, Part V concludes by advocating for the modified form of joint and several liability and proposes that Ohio's new laws will minimize the disparities and inadequacies that exist when joint and several liability is applied in its pure form.
Note, Ohio's New Modified Joint and Several Liability Laws: A Fair Compromise for Competing Parties and Public Policy Interests, 53 Clev. St. L. Rev. 333 (2005-2006)