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Appeals court affirms order for expert witness to indemnify past employer

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An expert for a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case who was ordered to execute a release indemnifying a former employer must do so, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

Ann Rachelle Johnson filed a proposed complaint against two unnamed doctors and an unnamed medical provider in 2008. Disputes over discovery ensued, including the defense’s request of the practice and educational background of a plaintiff’s expert, Illinois Dr. Hansel DeBartolo Jr.

The court ordered DeBartolo to execute a release indemnifying a prior employer, Delnor Community Hospital, but DeBartolo declined to do so, and Johnson appealed the court’s order.

“We only very rarely issue advisory opinions, though we observe that on at least one occasion, this Court has issued an opinion reversing a trial court’s order on a pretrial matter where it appeared that the court’s interpretation of a prior order would clearly prejudice parties not immediately affected by the appealed-from order. See Travelers Indem. Co. v. P.R. Mallory & Co., 772 N.E.2d 479 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002),” Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote in a unanimous opinion in Ann Rachelle Johnson v. Dr. A., Dr. B., and Medical Provider.

“Here, however, Johnson has not yet been subject to any order that has actively prejudiced her case. We therefore cannot conclude that Johnson’s appeal is properly perfected. … Yet neither are we certain that the defendants’ decision to pursue the order and the trial court’s grant of the order are acceptable discovery practices under our trial rules,” Bailey wrote.

“It is not clear to us that the trial court could sanction Johnson for Dr. DeBartolo’s failure to comply with the Order without abusing its discretion. Nevertheless, because Johnson does not yet face actual prejudice from the trial court’s order, we dismiss her appeal.”

 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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