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Court grants transfer to uninsured motorist case

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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to a case about whether an insurance company's automobile policy violates the state's uninsured motorist statute.

The issue in Maggie and Leonard Bush v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 71A03-0706-CV-286, is whether State Farm's policy violates the state's uninsured motorist statute because it requires an insured person sustain bodily injury and not just damages because of the conduct of an uninsured driver before uninsured motorist benefits are available.

The Bushes' son was killed in a car accident in New Mexico in which he was the passenger in a car driven by an uninsured motorist. The driver was negligent in the accident. The son didn't live with his parents nor did he have his own auto insurance policy, but the Bushes had a policy with State Farm.

They filed a claim for uninsured motorist benefits to compensate them for the damages they suffered as a result of their son's death; State Farm denied the claim because the son wasn't insured under the policy because he didn't live with his parents at the time of his death. The claim was also denied because the Bushes didn't suffer "bodily injury" as defined under the policy.

The trial court granted State Farm summary judgment on the Bushes' complaint for breach of contract and declaratory judgment. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed, with the majority finding State Farm's policy, which purports to limit recovery of uninsured motorist benefits only to situations when the insured sustains bodily injury, violates Indiana's uninsured motorist statute. The majority remanded with instructions to enter summary judgment in favor of the Bushes.

Judge Michael Barnes dissented because he didn't believe the Bushes were covered under Indiana's uninsured motorist statute under the set of facts in this case.

The case was granted transfer Oct. 9 but wasn't released until Oct. 15.

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  1. This is easily remedied, and in a fashion that every church sacrificing incense for its 501c3 status and/or graveling for government grants should have no problem with ..... just add this statue, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Capitoline_she-wolf_Musei_Capitolini_MC1181.jpg entitled, "Jesus and Cousin John learn to suckle sustenance from the beloved Nanny State." Heckfire, the ACLU might even help move the statue in place then. And the art will certainly reflect our modern life, given the clergy's full-bellied willingness to accede to every whim of the new caesars. If any balk, just threaten to take away their government milk … they will quiet down straightaway, I assure you. Few, if any of them, are willing to cross the ruling elite as did the real J&J

  2. Tina has left the building.

  3. Is JLAP and its bevy of social "scientists" the cure to every ailment of the modern practitioner? I see no allegations as to substance abuse, but I sure see a judge who has seemingly let power go to her head and who lacks any appreciation for the rule of law. Seems that she needs help in her legal philosophy and judicial restraint, not some group encounter session to affirm she is OK, we are OK. Can’t we lawyers just engage in peer professionalism and even peer pressure anymore? Need we social workers to tell us it is wrong to violate due process? And if we conduct ourselves with the basic respect for the law shown by most social workers .... it that good enough in Indiana? If not, then how is JLAP to help this 2003 law school grad get what her law school evidently failed to teach her? (In addition .... rhetorical question … I have a theory that the LAP model serves as a conduit for governmental grace when the same strict application of the law visited upon the poor and the powerless just will not do. See in the records of this paper ... can the argument be made that many who save their licenses, reputations, salaries by calling upon that font of grace are receiving special treatment? Who tracks the application of said grace to assure that EP and DP standards are fully realized? Does the higher one climbs inside the Beltway bring greater showers of grace? Should such grace be the providence of the government, or the churches and NGO's? Why, we would not want to be found mixing the remnants of our abandoned faith with the highest loyalty to the secularist state, now would we?)

  4. Is JLAP and its bevy of social "scientists" the cure to every ailment of the modern practitioner? I see no allegations as to substance abuse, but I sure see a judge who has seemingly let power go to her head and who lacks any appreciation for the rule of law. Seems that she needs help in her legal philosophy and judicial restraint, not some group encounter session to affirm she is OK, we are OK. Cannot we lawyers not engage in peer professionalism and even pressure anymore? Need we social workers to tell us it is wrong to violate due process? And if we conduct ourselves with the basis respect for the law shown by most social workers .... it that good enough in Indiana?

  5. Judge Baker nails it: "Russell was in a place he did not have a right to be, to take an action he did not have a right to take. Russell neglected to leave that property even after engaging in a heated argument with and being struck with a broom handle by the property owner." AS is noted below ... sad to think that the next shoe to drop will be the thief suing the car owner. That is justice?

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