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. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

  3. Wake up!!!! Lawyers are useless!! it makes no difference in any way to speak about what is important!! Just dont tell your plans to the "SELFRIGHTEOUS ARROGANT JERKS!! WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ANOTHER MAN/WOMAN!!!!!!

  4. Looks like you dont understand Democracy, Civilized Society does not cut a thiefs hands off, becouse now he cant steal or write or feed himself or learn !!! You deserve to be over punished, Many men are mistreated hurt in many ways before a breaking point happens! grow up !!!

  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon