ILNews

High court grants, vacates transfers

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case regarding whether the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund can introduce evidence of liability on an action seeking excess damages. The court also vacated a transfer in a case that involves an amendment to charging information that happened after the omnibus date.

The court granted transfer to Jim Atterholt, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance, as Administrator of theIndiana Patient's Compensation Fund v. Geneva Herbst, personal representative of the estate of Jeffrey A. Herbst, deceased, No. 49A04-0702-CV-106. At issue is whether the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund should have been allowed to argue that Jeffery Herbst had little chance of survival even absent any malpractice on the part of his healthcare providers. The estate countered that because the healthcare providers settled with the estate on its medical malpractice claim, the fund, by operation of statute, can't argue liability or causation and can only argue the amount of damages. The trial court granted partial summary judgment in favor of the estate, which the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.

The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to Michael Hill v. State of Indiana, No. 49S02-0804-CR-190, in April, but determined the transfer was improvidently granted after hearing arguments Thursday. Michael Hill appealed the trial court allowance of the state to amend charging information to add a count of attempted sexual misconduct with a minor against Hill after the omnibus date. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the trial court didn't err by allowing it; however, the state didn't present sufficient evidence to convict Hill on the charge, so it remanded to the trial court to vacate the conviction of attempted sexual misconduct with a minor.
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