ORC Ann. 2744.03
Liability: Governmental or Proprietary Functions
An individual who is considered a state employee and who carries out a governmental function will not be held legally responsible for acting or for failing to act. They can be held legally responsible if acting outside of the scope of official responsibilities, with extreme carelessness, or intent to cause harm.
Defenses or immunities of subdivision and employee
(A) In a civil action brought against a political subdivision or an employee of a political subdivision to recover damages for injury, death, or loss to person or property allegedly caused by any act or omission in connection with a governmental or proprietary function, the following defenses or immunities may be asserted to establish nonliability: (1) The political subdivision is immune from liability if the employee involved was engaged in the performance of a judicial, quasi-judicial, prosecutorial, legislative, or quasi-legislative function. (2) The political subdivision is immune from liability if the conduct of the employee involved, other than negligent conduct, that gave rise to the claim of liability was required by law or authorized by law, or if the conduct of the employee involved that gave rise to the claim of liability was necessary or essential to the exercise of powers of the political subdivision or employee. (3) The political subdivision is immune from liability if the action or failure to act by the employee involved that gave rise to the claim of liability was within the discretion of the employee with respect to policy-making, planning, or enforcement powers by virtue of the duties and responsibilities of the office or position of the employee. (4) The political subdivision is immune from liability if the action or failure to act by the political subdivision or employee involved that gave rise to the claim of liability resulted in injury or death to a person who had been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a criminal offense and who, at the time of the injury or death, was serving any portion of the person’s sentence by performing community service work for or in the political subdivision whether pursuant to section 2951.02 of the Revised Code or otherwise, or resulted in injury or death to a child who was found to be a delinquent child and who, at the time of the injury or death, was performing community service or community work for or in a political subdivision in accordance with the order of a juvenile court entered pursuant to section 2152.19 or 2152.20 of the Revised Code, and if, at the time of the person’s or child’s injury or death, the person or child was covered for purposes of Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code in connection with the community service or community work for or in the political subdivision. (5) The political subdivision is immune from liability if the injury, death, or loss to person or property resulted from the exercise of judgment or discretion in determining whether to acquire, or how to use, equipment, supplies, materials, personnel, facilities, and other resources unless the judgment or discretion was exercised with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner. (6) In addition to any immunity or defense referred to in division (A)(7) of this section and in circumstances not covered by that division or sections 3314.07 and 3746.24 of the Revised Code, the employee is immune from liability unless one of the following applies: (a) The employee’s acts or omissions were manifestly outside the scope of the employee’s employment or official responsibilities; (b) The employee’s acts or omissions were with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner; (c) Civil liability is expressly imposed upon the employee by a section of the Revised Code. Civil liability shall not be construed to exist under another section of the Revised Code merely because that section imposes a responsibility or mandatory duty upon an employee, because that section provides for a criminal penalty, because of a general authorization in that section that an employee may sue and be sued, or because the section uses the term “shall” in a provision pertaining to an employee. (7) The political subdivision, and an employee who is a county prosecuting attorney, city director of law, village solicitor, or similar chief legal officer of a political subdivision, an assistant of any such person, or a judge of a court of this state is entitled to any defense or immunity available at common law or established by the Revised Code. (B) Any immunity or defense conferred upon, or referred to in connection with, an employee by division (A)(6) or (7) of this section does not affect or limit any liability of a political subdivision for an act or omission of the employee as provided in section 2744.02 of the Revised Code.