Opinions Dec. 19, 2012

December 19, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Norman W. Bernstein, et al. v. Patricia A. Bankert, et al. and Auto Owners Mutual Insurance Co.
11-1501, 11-1523
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Reverses dismissal of counts I, II, III and VII. In Count I, the trustees have made a timely CERCLA claim, under 42 U.S.C. § 9607(a)(4)(B), to recover costs incurred pursuant
to the 2002 AOC. The trustees’ Count II “companion claim” for a declaratory judgment of CERCLA liability is therefore also reinstated. Finds that the Indiana ELA claim contained in Count III is timely, and that the declaratory judgment claim contained in Count VII is not
moot. The District Court committed no abuse of discretion in its handling of the summary judgment briefing process. Finally, affirms the District Court’s denial of Auto Owners’ motion for summary judgment on preclusion grounds. The trustees’ suit is reinstated and remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Indiana Supreme Court
John Kimbrough, III v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Grants transfer and affirms aggregate sentence of 80 years for multiple convictions of Class A felony child molesting. Because the trial court correctly entered its sentencing statement in compliance with the dictates of Anglemyer and because the “appropriateness” of a sentence has no bearing on whether a sentence is erroneous, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in imposing Kimbrough’s sentence. Further, Kimbrough did not seek review and revision of his sentence under Indiana Appellate Rule (7)(B).

Abby Allen and Walter Moore v. Clarian Health Partners, Inc.
Civil tort. Affirms trial court grant of Clarian’s motion to dismiss a putative class-action complaint alleging breach of contract and seeking a declaration that rates the hospital billed were unreasonable and unenforceable. Holds the patients’ agreement to pay “the account” in the context of Clarian’s contract to provide medical services is not indefinite and refers to Clarian’s chargemaster. Because patients’ complaint states no facts on which the trial court could have granted relief, the court properly granted Clarian’s motion to dismiss.

Hugh David Reed v. Edward Reid; Reid Machinery, Inc.; North Vernon Drop Forge, Inc.; Jennings Manufacturing Co., Inc.; Reid Metals, Inc.; Glen White; Douglas Dibble; et al.

Civil plenary. Affirms in part and reverses in part regarding summary judgment motions on Hugh David Reed’s complaint seeking damages against multiple parties on multiple grounds, including a claim for an environmental legal action after a steel fabrication company deposited solid waste onto his property. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Stephen W. Robertson, Ins. Comm. of the State of Indiana, on behalf of the Indiana Dept. of Ins. v. Ticor Title Ins. Co. of Florida, n/k/a Chicago Title Ins. Co.
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court’s reversal of the administrative order directing Ticor to refund excessive premiums, pay unpaid premium taxes, and establish an internal control process to ensure the appropriate premium is charged to Ticor customers. The Indiana Department of Insurance’s interpretation of the rate statute was reasonable and the administrative hearing officer’s findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence. Remands for proceedings consistent with the opinion.

LBM Realty, LLC, d/b/a Summer Place Apartments v. Hillary Mannia
Civil plenary. Reverses grant of Mannia’s motion to dismiss LBM’s claims of breach of contract and negligence regarding a fire. Because Indiana law does not currently preclude a landlord’s insurer from bringing a subrogation claim against a tenant and because the allegations in LBM’s complaint establish a set of circumstances under which it would be entitled to relief, LBM’s complaint states claims upon which relief could be granted. Remands for further proceedings.

Larry Garmon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Toby Hicks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder and Class C felony robbery.

Sandra R. Peters v. Wal-Mart (NFP)
Agency appeal. Affirms denial of claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

Toni L. Woods v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms order Woods serve half of her previously suspended sentence following a probation violation.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.