The Ohio Supreme Court in a split decision has ruled that a utility company will not be liable for injuries stemming from a motorcycle accident in which the rider was struck by a deer before being tossed into a utility pole close to the road.
The issue was not so much the presence of the utility pole a where it was located.
In the case of Link v. FirstEnergy Corp., plaintiffs alleged the utility company and its parent corporation should be liable for the motorcyclist’s injuries because the poles were not moved back to a position farther from the road during a previous road-widening project. This failure to move the poles – even at the request of the township that contracted the work – amounted to negligence because the “Clear Zone” roadway design standards set by the Federal Highway Administration weren’t followed, plaintiff alleged. Continue reading →