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Ohio Court Backs 2-Trial System for Lawsuit Claims

The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld a law allowing either side in personal injury lawsuits to request separate trials for damages meant to compensate victims and those meant to punish a company.

Lawmakers enacted the two-trial system as part of sweeping 2005 changes to how such lawsuits are conducted in Ohio that included controversial limits on the size of awards.

The court ruled 5-2 Wednesday that the law was constitutional and did not violate the separation of powers.

The court said the law was a substantive matter that took precedence over court rules for how trials are conducted.

At issue was a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit brought against two Northeast Ohio nursing homes by the estate of a resident who died following surgery for ulcers.

Stories from the Associated Press.