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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. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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