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Indiana Supreme Court takes two cases

May 8, 2012

The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to two cases for the week ending May 3 – one involving a physician, and one involving a man convicted of child molesting.

In Mary Alice Manley and Gary Manley v. Ryan J. Sherer, M.D., and Sherer Family Medicine, P.C., No. 59A01-1104-PL-190, Gary and Mary Alice Manley appealed a trial court’s award of summary judgment for Dr. Ryan Sherer and Sherer Family Medicine, and the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court. Mary Manley was involved in a head-on crash with one of Sherer’s patients, Kimberly Zehr. The Manleys claimed that Sherer was negligent in failing to warn Zehr that she should not drive due to her medical condition and a medication she was taking at the time of the crash.

The other case that the high court accepted on transfer is Gerald P. VanPatten v. State of Indiana, No. 02A03-1103-CR-113, in which VanPatten was convicted of two counts of Class A felony child molesting and one count of Class C felony child molesting.

In that case, Gerald VanPatten appealed his convictions, claiming that he had been denied his request for new counsel, but the Court of Appeals held that while a right to counsel is guaranteed, a right to counsel of choice is not necessarily guaranteed. VanPatten also claimed evidence was insufficient to support the molesting convictions, saying that testimony from a nurse who examined both children in the case should not have been admitted in court. One of the alleged victims – S.D., VanPatten’s biological daughter – later recanted her claims against him. The appellate court agreed that evidence was sufficient to support charges that VanPatten molested S.D.’s friend, but Judge John Baker disagreed that evidence supported the claim that VanPatten molested S.D.

The Supreme Court denied transfer to 18 other cases.  

 

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