ILNews

Federal judge: No new jury trial, judgment

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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A federal judge in Fort Wayne won't give a former train conductor a new trial relating to injuries he sustained during work.

The decision from U.S. District Judge William C. Lee in the Northern District came Thursday in Terry Lee Wilcox v. CSX Transportation. The case involved claims by the 30-year employee that he couldn't work following injuries he developed over time that resulted in more specific injuries in 2002 and 2004. After a five-day trial in October, the jury decided in favor of the railroad company.

But Wilcox asked Judge Lee to set aside the verdict, maintaining that it was contrary to the clear weight of the evidence and that the "evidence adduced at trial of this action points so strongly and overwhelmingly in favor of Plaintiff that reasonable jurors could only arrive at a verdict in Plaintiff's favor."

Judge Lee declined to do that, saying that Wilcox failed to provide any evidence supporting negligence, the issues were not overly complex, the evidence was not in dispute, and there was no "pernicious or undesirable occurrence at trial."

"The true crux of Wilcox's argument in his motion for a new trial or judgment as a matter of law is that the jury's verdict was simply wrong," Judge Lee wrote. "Wilcox is understandably disappointed with the outcome at trial, as any losing party would be. No doubt this disappointment is compounded by the fact that a plaintiff in a FELA (Federal Employers' Liability Act) action carries a rather 'featherweight' burden of proof."

The judge added, "In this case, Wilcox has not met his burden of establishing that he is entitled either to a new trial or to a judgment as a matter of law. He has not raised any issue that establishes that the jury's verdict was clearly erroneous or that the trial - or any part of it - was manifestly unfair to him."
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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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