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Inmate loses negligence suit on appeal

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the Adams County sheriff, finding an inmate was unable to make a prima facie case for negligence. The inmate sued after contracting a methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus – or MRSA – infection after visiting the hospital.

Adams County Jail inmate Christopher Halterman submitted medical requests concerning boils on his buttock. He went to Adams Memorial Hospital in 2009 for an outpatient surgery. A follow-up check by a nurse practitioner at the jail led to the discovery that Halterman had developed MRSA. This led to multiple surgeries, including a colostomy.

Halterman filed a lawsuit for negligence and included Adams County Sheriff Charles Padgett as a defendant. The defendants moved for summary judgment, which was granted.

At issue in Christopher Halterman v. Adams County Board of Commissioners, Adams County Sheriff, Charles Padgett, Adams County Sheriff's Dept. and Adams County Jail, 01A04-1211-CT-558, is the grant of summary judgment in favor of Padgett and the allowance of an affidavit of Dr. Bev House. The COA ruled that trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Halterman’s motion to strike the doctor’s affidavit. The doctor reviewed Halterman’s complaint, jail records, hospital records and depositions to make the decision that any different action by the jail would not have prevented the MRSA infection.

“Dr. House relied on the kinds of designated evidence we determined in Bunch (v. Tiwari, 711 N.E. 2d 844, 848 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999)) was appropriate in the medical field, and therefore the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Halterman’s motion to strike Dr. House’s affidavit,” Judge Melissa May wrote.

The judges also agreed with the trial court that the defendants did not cause Halterman’s injuries.

“Halterman has not directed us to any designated evidence that would permit an inference that his injuries were caused by Sheriff Padgett,” May wrote. “In addition, he did not designate any evidence indicating earlier medical intervention or a different treatment strategy would have changed the outcome of his situation.”

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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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