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State v. Budd Co.

Citation: 12 ELR 20131
No. No. W.D.-79-9, 425 N.E.2d 935/67 Ohio App. 2d 23, (Ohio Ct. App., 01/04/1980)

The Ohio Court of Appeals for Wood County upholds appellant's conviction and $150 fine for the misdemeanor of disposing of oil into state waters. The statute, which states that no "person shall place or dispose of in any manner, any . . . oil . . . in any ditch, stream . . . or other watercourse" except in compliance with the state permit program, was violated when oil was spilled on appellant's property during delivery by a third party and carried by stormwater runoff into a ditch and eventually into a nearby stream. Rejecting appellant's third-party defense, the court rules that the burden of proving such a defense falls upon, but was not carried by appellant. The court also finds that while the statute imposes strict criminal liability, the record includes sufficient evidence to show that the appellant acted recklessly. Finally, the court rejects appellant's argument that it is entitled to an "Act of God" defense because the discharge was carried by normal stormwater runoff.

Counsel for Appellant
Richard Kerger
Marshall, Melhorn, Cole, Hummer & Spitzer
Nat'l Bank Bldg., Toledo OH 43604
(419) 243-4200

Counsel for Appellee
Warren J. Lotz
318 N. Main St., Bowling Green OH 43402
(419) 353-6261

BROWN and CONNORS, JJ., concur.