(A) As used in this section:

Terms Used In Ohio Code 3746.25

  • Another: when used to designate the owner of property which is the subject of an offense, includes not only natural persons but also every other owner of property. See Ohio Code 1.02
  • Common law: The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States. It is based on judicial decisions rather than legislative action.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Person: means any person as defined in section 1. See Ohio Code 3746.01
  • Petroleum: means oil or petroleum of any kind and in any form, including, without limitation, crude oil or any fraction thereof, petroleum, gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil, oil sludge, oil refuse, used oil, substances or additives utilized in the refining or blending of crude petroleum or petroleum stock, natural gas, natural gas liquids, liquefied natural gas, synthetic gas usable for fuel, and mixtures of natural gas and synthetic gas. See Ohio Code 3746.01
  • Property: means real and personal property. See Ohio Code 1.59
  • Release: means any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, migrating, dumping, or disposing of any hazardous substance or petroleum into the environment, including, without limitation, the abandonment or discarding of barrels, containers, or any other closed receptacle containing any hazardous substance, petroleum, or pollutant or contaminant. See Ohio Code 3746.01
  • state: means the state of Ohio. See Ohio Code 1.59
  • Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
  • Voluntary action: means a series of measures that may be undertaken to identify and address potential sources of contamination of property by hazardous substances or petroleum and to establish that the property complies with applicable standards. See Ohio Code 3746.01

(1) “Harm” means injury, death, or loss to person or property.

(2) “Tort action” means a civil action for damages for harm and includes a civil action under section 3746.23 of the Revised Code for recovery of the costs of conducting a voluntary action, but does not include a civil action for damages for a breach of contract or another agreement between persons or for a breach of a warranty that exists pursuant to the Revised Code or common law of this state.

(B) The state, and any officer or employee thereof as defined in section 109.36 of the Revised Code, is not liable in a tort action when the state inspects, investigates, removes, or remediates hazardous substances or petroleum unless an action or omission of the state, or an officer or employee thereof, constitutes willful or wanton misconduct or intentionally tortious conduct.

(C)(1) This section does not create, and shall not be construed as creating, a new cause of action against or substantive legal right against the state or an officer or employee thereof.

(2) This section does not affect, and shall not be construed as affecting, any immunities from civil liability or defenses established by another section of the Revised Code or available at common law to which this state, or an officer or employee thereof, may be entitled under circumstances not covered by this section.

(3) Section 9.86 of the Revised Code does not apply to an officer or employee of the state if the officer or employee is performing work in connection with inspecting, investigating, removing, or remediating hazardous substances or petroleum at the time that he allegedly caused the harm, or caused or contributed to the presence or release of hazardous substances or petroleum, for which damages, or the recovery of the costs of conducting a voluntary action, are sought in a tort action. Instead, the immunities conferred by division (B) of this section apply to that individual.