Ohio’s Supreme Court upholds police immunity in chase case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that says five law enforcement officers sued by a woman injured during a high-speed chase are immune from legal liability.

There was disagreement among the justices on immunity standards. The majority ruled officers chasing suspects receive the same level of immunity provided by state law to all government employees. Justice Judith French wrote officers couldn’t be held liable unless they acted “in a wanton or reckless manner.”

Justice Sharon Kennedy agreed with the court’s judgment, but disagreed with some of the ruling. Two justices dissented.

The ruling stemmed from a 2011 lawsuit by a woman hurt when burglary suspect Andrew Barnhart’s vehicle hit hers head-on as he fled from Miami Township and Montgomery County officers. Barnhart died in the crash.