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High Court accepts 7 transfers

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The Indiana Supreme Court has taken seven cases on transfer, including a case in which the lower appellate court was split on a construction manager’s duty to an injured worker.

In The Hunt Construction Group, et al. v. Shannon D. Garrett, No. 49S02-1106-CT-365, the Indiana Court of Appeals found that many provisions of the contracts Hunt Construction entered into gave the company significant duties regarding safety on the jobsite, so it owed a duty to Shannon Garrett. Garrett, an employee of Baker Concrete, was injured while working on Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Judge Ezra Friedlander dissented on this point, believing the majority disregarded the provisions that limited Hunt Construction’s duties regarding safety and that their holding “will fundamentally alter contracts” of this nature and make it “virtually impossible for a contractor taking on the role of construction manager to limit its liability so as not to become an insurer of safety for workers of other contractors.”

The justices also accepted:
-    McCord Investments, LLC, et al. v. Sawmill Creek, LLC, et al., No. 49S02-1106-CV-364, in which the Court of Appeals affirmed the order granting the motion filed by Sawmill Creek to set aside a tax deed the auditor issued to McCord Investments because Sawmill Creek’s owner wasn’t provided constitutionally adequate notice of the tax sale;

-    Phyllis Hardy, et al. v. Mary Jo Hardy, No. 51S01-1106-PL-366, in which the COA held that the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Act preempts state law claims brought by Phyllis Hardy seeking to keep her and her grandchild as beneficiaries of her ex-husband’s life insurance policy;

-    Thomas Dexter v. State of Indiana, No. 79S05-1106-CR-367, in which the COA affirmed Thomas Dexter’s conviction of Class A felony neglect of a dependent and determination of his habitual offenders status, finding expert witness testimony was admissible and the jury was properly instructed;

-    Richard S. Emmons v. State of Indiana, No. 79S04-1106-CR-368, in which the appellate court upheld the decision to deny Richard Emmons’ motion for sentence modification in a not-for-publication opinion;

-    Troy R. Smith v. State of Indiana, No. 35S02-1106-CR-369, where the COA reversed the revocation of Troy Smith’s probation for not paying child support weekly, which was a condition of his probation. The judges held that a trial court may revoke probation for not satisfying a financial obligation only if the state proves by a preponderance of the evidence that there is less than full payment and the probationer submitted that smaller payment recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally. They found the state didn’t meet this burden of evidence to revoke Smith’s probation; and

-    Lamar M. Crawford v. State of Indiana, No. 49S05-1106-CR-370, in which the high court issued an opinion June 23.

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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