Wymsylo v. Bartec, Inc.Annotate this Case
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued several notices of violations of the Smoke Free Act to Appellants, a privately owned bar and its CEO. ODH subsequently filed a complaint seeking injunctive relief ordering Appellants to comply with the Smoke Free Act. Appellants filed a counterclaim for declaratory and injunctive relief against ODH and a cross-claim against the attorney general, alleging that the Smoke Free Act operated in violation of Appellants' constitutional rights, that the Act was invalid as applied to them, and that ODH engaged in rulemaking that exceeded its authority. The trial court held that ODH had exceeded its authority in implementing a policy of strict liability for violations of the Act by issuing fines regardless of whether Appellants were at fault and denied ODH's request for a permanent injunction. The court of appeals reversed and granted a permanent injunction to ODH. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) because Appellants failed to exhaust their administrative remedies and could not use declaratory judgment to vacate final orders, the previous violations of the Act were res judicata; and (2) the Act was a valid exercise of the state's police power and did not amount to a regulatory taking.