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An agricultural society's demolition derby rough truck competition was not a governmental function and could not seek protection under sovereign immunity for a political subdivision.

July 1, 2010
Devaux v. Albrecht Trucking Co., 2010 Ohio 1249 (Ohio Ct. App. March 29, 2010)

This action arises out of a personal injury claim for sustained injuries. The trucking company constructed an obstacle course for a demolition derby-type rough competition at a fair hosted by the agricultural society. The family members filed suit against the trucking company and the agricultural society due to a competitor's injury. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's denial of the defendants' motion for summary judgment based on assumption of the risk and sovereign immunity. Without addressing the assumption of the risk argument, the appellate court held that the trial court did not err by failing to grant summary judgment in favor of the trucking company and the agricultural society, as conducting a rough truck competition constituted a proprietary rather than governmental function. Therefore, the agricultural society was not immune from suit for injuries caused by the negligent acts of its employees under R.C. 2744.02(B)(2).

Case Law Alert - 3rd Qtr 2010

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