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What is a Political Subdivision

Insurers are barred from pursuing a subrogation claim against a political subdivision

Government immunity pertains to various legal doctrines that afford municipalities, local government entities, and political subdivisions immunity from tort, as well as exceptions and limitations to that immunity. Under Ohio Revised Code 2744.05(B)(1), insurers are barred from pursuing a subrogation claim against a political subdivision.

The immunity standard for a political subdivision has evolved over the years from a mildly detailed and consistent definition to a flexible and subjective guide. Of course, the definition contained in ORC 2744.01(F) is lengthy. In fact, it is so lengthy it is impressive.

What is a political subdivision

The general rule for the definition of a political subdivision is broad and includes every political body responsible for governmental activities in a geographic area smaller than that of the state. Examples of political subdivisions include cities, counties, villages, and towns.

Some interesting highlights from the statute include county hospitals along with their commissioners and trustees, port authorities, fire and ambulance districts, waste management districts, and correctional facilities. Further, identical language is contained in ORC 3345.50(B)(2) which applies to state universities and colleges.

When determining whether an entity qualifies as a political subdivision, it is important to consult 2744.01(C), which defines “governmental functions”. If an entity is providing services that fall under the definition of governmental functions, then it cannot be pursued for subrogation.