Gov. John Kasich signed OSCPA-supported “right to cure” legislation into law this week. This legislation is designed to alleviate the congestion that currently plagues the civil court system by encouraging parties to consider settling consumer lawsuits against businesses.
The bill, Sub. H.B. 275, gives businesses the chance to make a “cure offer” – a fair market offer to the consumer for the product of service for which they seek remedy -- to the court when a consumer sues. This provides opportunity to settle the lawsuit early in the legal process. The consumer is under no obligation to accept the offer.
If the offer is not accepted and the court decides in the consumers' favor in an amount that is higher than the original cure offer, the court could still award the consumer triple damages and attorney's fees as specified in consumer-protection laws.
But if the court awards less than the business' cure offer, the consumer won’t be able to receive court costs, attorney’s fees or triple damages.
The bill was backed by the Ohio Alliance for Civil Justice, a tort reform coalition led in part by OSCPA. Opponents fought the effort, saying it will weaken consumer protections.
"This legislation does not hamper the ability for a consumer to be made whole, and it encourages businesses to make a realistic and reasonable best offer for a cure before trial," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine when the legislation was introduced last year.