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Appellate court cites claim-splitting, res judicata in rejecting appeal

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In a life insurance case that has spanned eight years, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that an appeal from a widow is without merit.

In Bonita G. Hilliard, in her capacity as Trustee of the H. David and Bonita G. Hilliard Living Trust v. Timothy E. Jacobs, No. 28A04-1106-CT-284, Bonita Hilliard appeals the trial court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Timothy Jacobs.

Bonita Hilliard’s husband, David, and Jacobs were business partners from 1997 until they sold their company in 2002. In 1999, the two men executed a cross-purchase agreement that required each of them to take out a life insurance policy so that if one partner died, the other could use insurance policy proceeds to buy out the other’s interest in the company.

After the sale of the company, David Hilliard suggested that he and Jacobs swap policies; Jacobs declined and continued paying premiums, but David Hilliard stopped paying premiums for the policy on Jacobs.

David Hilliard filed suit in 2003, requesting the trial court to order Jacobs to terminate the policy or transfer it to David Hilliard. He allegedly feared for his life and did not assert all his claims of relief, hoping for a speedy trial. The court granted judgment in favor of David Hilliard, but the COA later reversed that decision, finding nothing in the cross-purchase agreement to warrant termination of the policy Jacobs owned. David Hilliard died in 2004. In this most recent appeal, his widow contends the trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of Jacobs.

The COA affirmed the trial court, holding that Bonita Hilliard’s claims are barred by res judicata. By withholding legal theories of relief and evidence, she has engaged in claim splitting in an effort to allow herself another chance to litigate her claims, the appellate court wrote.

 

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  1. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  2. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  3. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  4. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  5. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

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