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Court affirms judgments in pollution case, remands for determination of credit due

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The Indiana Court of Appeals found no errors in a trial court’s ruling in a dispute over insurance coverage to clean up a pollution spill at a westside Indianapolis business, but it sent the case back to the trial court for a determination of credit due an insurer.

In State Automobile Ins. Co., Meridian Security Ins. Co., and Indiana Farmers Mutual Ins. Co. v. DMY Realty Co., LLP and Commerce Realty, LLC, 49A05-1109-PL-486, the appellate court unanimously affirmed the trial court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of DMY and denying summary judgment in favor of State Auto, which had agreed to indemnify DMY, the owner of a retail building in the 7200 block of West 10th Street that once housed a dry cleaning business.

The court said that a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision, State Auto. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Flexdar, Inc., 964 N.E.2d 845 (Ind. 13 2012) spoke to whether pollution exclusions are ambiguous. “Flexdar is precisely on point on this issue, and consequently we conclude that the pollution exclusions and endorsements contained in DMY’s insurance policies with State Auto are ambiguous. Thus State Auto may not deny DMY the coverage it seeks based upon such language,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the unanimous panel.

But State Auto prevailed on another argument: that it was entitled to credit on compensation it paid when another insurer had already indemnified DMY, which reached a settlement with Indiana Farmers.

“We conclude that remand is warranted for the trial court to review any settlement agreement between DMY and Indiana Farmers and consider any valid contribution or credit issues,” due to State Auto.  
   
 

 

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  1. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  2. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  3. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

  4. Baer filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit on April 30 2015. When will this be decided? How many more appeals does this guy have? Unbelievable this is dragging on like this.

  5. They ruled there is no absolute right to keep a license, whether it be for a lifetime or a short period of time. So with that being said, this state taught me at the age of 15 how to obtain that license. I am actually doing something that I was taught to do, I'm not breaking the law breaking the rules and according to the Interstate Compact the National Interstate Compact...driving while suspended is a minor offense. So, do with that what you will..Indiana sucks when it comes to the driving laws, they really and truly need to reevaluate their priorities and honestly put the good of the community first... I mean, what's more important the pedophile drug dealer or wasting time and money to keep us off the streets?

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