Change in Ohio Law Regarding Aiding and Abetting Tortious Conduct

In late August 2012 the Ohio Supreme court ruled that Ohio does not recognize a cause of action for aiding and abetting tortious conduct. See DeVries Dairy, LLC v. White Eagle Coop. Ass’n., 132 Ohio St. 3d 516, 2012-Ohio-3282 (Ohio 2012). The question was certified to the Ohio Supreme Court from the District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. This was a departure from existing Ohio common law—as noted in the lone dissent. Prior to this ruling, both state and federal courts in Ohio recognized that aiding and abetting tortious conduct was also a separate tort, in and of itself. But following the Supreme Court’s ruling in DeVries, several courts—both state and federal—have dismissed aiding and abetting claims under the new interpretation of Ohio law.