In the case of Wilfong v. Batdorf the Ohio Supreme Court reexamined the issue of the retroactive application of Ohio's comparative negligence statute. Ohio's statute abolishing the defense of contributory negligence in a tort action was passed with an effective date of June 20, 1980, and the court faced the task of deciding whether comparative fault measurements could be used in an action arising prior to the effective date of the statute, but not coming to trial until after the effective date of the act. Previously the court had the opportunity to examine this issue in the case of Viers v. Dunlap, but had there ruled that comparative negligence was a change in substantive rights, hence, could not be given retroactive application under the provisions of the Ohio Constitution. Wilfong overruled Viers, concluding that comparative negligence modified only remedial aspects of a plaintiff's case, is procedural rather than substantive in nature, and its retroactive application is constitutionally permissable.
Olah, Michael J. and Meyerhoefer, Paul F.
"Judicial Application of Ohio's Comparative Negligence Statute,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 17:
4, Article 8.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol17/iss4/8