State Farm v. Radcliff - 8/20/14

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Wednesday  August 20, 2014 
10:00 AM  EST

10 a.m. 29A04-1311-CT-542. This largest defamation verdict in Indiana’s history is once again before this court as an appeal to the trial court’s denial of State Farm’s Trial Rule 60(B) motion.  In its T.R. 60(B) motion, State Farm requested the trial court to grant a new trial on the limited issue of defamation based on State Farm’s discovery of new evidence purportedly establishing that Radcliff had procured the verdict by committing fraud on the court.

In its appeal, State Farm presents this court with four procedural issues which we restate as follows:

1.     Characterizing its T.R. 60(B) motion as solely a T.R. 60(B)(3) motion based on fraud and misconduct, State Farm asserts that the trial court abused its discretion by interpreting its T.R. 60(B) motion as a T.R. 60(B)(2) motion based on newly discovered evidence and applying T.R. 60(B)(2)’s requirements to its T.R. 60(B)(3) motion.

2.    Whether the trial court abused its discretion by concluding that State Farm’s T.R. 60(B)(3) motion was barred by the law of the case due to this court’s denial of State Farm’s Appellate Rule 37 motion for remand in the first appeal where this court addressed State Farm’s request for alternative relief based on “waiver notwithstanding” and our supreme court subsequently denied State Farm’s request for emergency relief based on its T.R. 60(B) motion.

3.    Whether the trial court abused its discretion by denying State Farm’s T.R. 60(B) motion as a matter of law.

4.    Whether the trial court abused its discretion in declining to allow State Farm to engage in further protracted discovery pursuant to T.R. 60(D) and in ruling on the motion without an evidentiary hearing when Radcliff elected to respond to State Farm’s T.R. 60(B) motion on legal grounds as opposed to factual grounds and therefore no further pertinent evidence would need to be submitted to the trial court to aid in its ruling. 

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