The Ohio Supreme Court struck a cap on noneconomic damages as unconstitutional when applied to permanent psychological injuries resulting from a sexual assault in a case argued by CCL President Robert S. Peck in March. Today's decision, by a 4-3 vote, found that the Ohio legislature acted irrationally by exempting permanent physical injuries from the cap but not permanent psychological injuries. 

      The case arose as a result of 34 sexual assaults, including eight instances of rape, on the plaintiff when she was 11 and 12 years old, after her friend's father had drugged her on repeated occasions during sleepovers. The father is now serving a life sentence in prison. 

      A jury awarded the plaintiff $20 million in damages subject to the legislative cap, which caused the trial court to reduce the verdict to $250,000. The Court of Appeals upheld the reduction, but with the new decision, the orginal verdict was restored because the majority found that the cap applied in this context violated the state constitution's due process guarantee. 

     The opinion can be found at Brandt v. Pompa.