In the first day of committee hearings of the 134th General Assembly, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce testified in support of legislation to improve the state’s business and legal climates. The bill – Senate Bill 13 – aids employers in the Buckeye State by shrinking the statute of limitation on written and oral contracts.
In our proponent testimony, the Ohio Chamber and our partners at the Ohio Alliance for Civil Justice shared with lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee how setting the limitation period for written contracts at six years and oral contracts at four years will benefit Ohio employers and the state’s legal climate.
A lower statute of limitation should also reduce employer operating costs through lower legal fees and document retention. Under current Ohio law, a business is subject to potential liability for eight years even when they have fulfilled their obligation under an agreement since the other parties retain a right to commence litigation during the statutory period regardless of how satisfactory performance may have been.
In addition to its benefits for individual employers, the legislation supports a stronger legal climate in Ohio that promotes job creation and stability. A reduced timeframe to file breach of contract claims, as proposed by SB 13, will encourage litigants to file their actions sooner which helps avoid issues that arise when a substantial amount of time passes from the breach and when litigation is brought such as lack of witnesses and loss of records. The quick action on this legislation is welcome after a prior version of this legislation from last General Assembly – HB 251 – had broad bi-partisan support in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate but failed to get enacted. At the Ohio Chamber, we will continue working with lawmakers to share why speedy adoption of the bill will assist the state’s economy by bringing more certainty and a better business climate for Ohio employers following a tumultuous 2020.