Ohio Supreme Court Rules Cities Aren't Liable If Foliage Obscures Sign But Doesn't Block It Entirely
In 2013, Judy Pelletier ran a stop sign in Campbell near Youngstown and hit another car. She sued the city, claiming she couldn’t see the sign because of trees and shrubs in the privately owned devil strip near it. Her attorney Gregg Rossi told the Ohio Supreme Court in February that the city was at fault for not removing the foliage. “They erected the stop sign, they have a duty to make sure, to keep it in repair.”
But the city’s attorney James Mathews said the sign could be seen from other angles. “A complete blockage is required for there to be an exception from immunity triggered.”
The justices overruled a lower court and sided with the city, saying that since the foliage wasn’t on the sign, the city had no obligation to remove it.
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