COLUMBUS, Ohio –
The Ohio Supreme Court is considering a case stemming from a 2013 pursuit by a Coitsville Police cruiser that ended in a crash that injured a woman who wasn’t involved in the chase.
During a hearing before the justices Wednesday morning, the attorney for Coitsville Township will ask the court to exempt the township from liability in a lawsuit filed by Renee McConnell of Hubbard.
McConnell sued the township after her car was struck by a police cruiser that ran a red light in pursuit of two car theft suspects in September 2013, according to court records.
The cruiser struck a utility pole. McConnell’s car flipped over.
McConnell sued, claiming she suffered 17 broken ribs, several neck and lower back fractures, a detached retina and other serious injuries. The suit argues that the township shirked its duty to hire qualified officers and provide adequate training.
The township asked that McConnell’s lawsuit be dismissed, claiming immunity under Ohio law.
Both the local court and appeals court denied the township’s motion, sending the case to the state supreme court.
Fourteen Ohio cities, two villages, and five organizations that represent counties, townships, municipalities, and school boards filed briefs supporting Coitsville’s positions.