130th Ohio General Assembly
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(122nd General Assembly)
(Amended Substitute Senate Bill Number 25)



AN ACT
To enact section 2305.34 of the Revised Code to provide immunity from civil liability for certain nonprofit corporations that own or operate a rural water supply and for regional water and sewer districts in connection with the failure of a hydrant controlled by such a corporation or district to provide sufficient water to suppress a fire.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1 .  That section 2305.34 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 2305.34. (A) Neither a nonprofit corporation organized under Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code that owns or operates a water supply or waterworks that regularly serves persons located outside a municipal corporation nor a regional water and sewer district organized under Chapter 6119. of the Revised Code is liable in damages in a civil action for injury, death, or loss to person or property that allegedly arises from the failure of a hydrant controlled by the corporation or district to provide a sufficient quantity of water or sufficient water pressure to adequately suppress a fire of any size, regardless of whether the hydrant was designed for use as a fire hydrant or whether a fire department uses the hydrant with the permission of the corporation or district. All low-pressure hydrants in a municipal corporation or regional water and sewer district shall be designated as such by being painted a conspicuous color distinguishing low-pressure hydrants from high-pressure hydrants in the municipal corporation or regional water and sewer district.

(B) This section does not create, and shall not be construed as creating, a new cause of action against or substantive legal right against a nonprofit corporation described in division (A) of this section or a regional water and sewer district.

(C) This section does not affect, and shall not be construed as affecting, any immunities from civil liability or defenses established by any other provisions of the Revised Code, including, without limitation, Chapter 2744. of the Revised Code in the case of a regional water and sewer district, or any immunities from civil liability or defenses available at common law, to which a nonprofit corporation described in division (A) of this section or a regional water and sewer district may be entitled under circumstances not covered by this section.

SECTION 2 .  Section 2305.34 of the Revised Code, as enacted by this act, applies only to causes of action against nonprofit corporations described in division (A) of that section and regional water and sewer districts organized under Chapter 6119. of the Revised Code for injury, death, or loss to person or property that allegedly arise from an action or omission that occurs on or after the effective date of this act in connection with the use of a hydrant controlled by such a nonprofit corporation or district by a fire department to provide water for fire suppression. With respect to causes of action against such a nonprofit corporation or district occurring prior to the effective date of this act that have not been barred by a statute of limitations, the liability or immunity from liability of such a corporation or district, and the defenses available to them, shall be determined as if section 2305.34 of the Revised Code had not been enacted.

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