High court clarifies evidence designation

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court upheld a trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of a defendant and also clarified the designation of evidence in regards to Indiana Trial Rule 56(C).

In Idan (John) Filip and Valaria Filip v. Carrie Block and 1st Choice Insurance Agency, No. 75S05-0704-CV-149, the Filips filed a suit against Block and 1st Choice, alleging negligence in the selection of insurance on an apartment building they purchased in 1999.

Block was the insurance agent of the previous owner, and when the Filips purchased the building they worked with Block and told her they wanted the same coverage as the previous owner. The Filips lived in the building and rented out the other five units. During the following four years, the Filips made several changes to their policy. In April 2003, a fire substantially damaged the building, and because of insurance limitations, a major part of the loss was uninsured - the Filips discovered their non-business personal belongings were not covered in the fire.

Block and 1st Choice filed for summary judgment Aug. 1, 2005. The Filips had 30 days to respond and did not file their response until the end of September. The trial court struck the Filips' untimely designation of evidence and limited the Filips' evidence in opposition to the lines and paragraphs specified in Block's memorandum. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Block and 1st Choice because the two-year statute of limitations for negligence started on the date of the initial insurance coverage in 1999.

The Court of Appeals held the Filips could rely on the pages identified in the defendant's motion and were not limited to lines and paragraphs specified in the memorandum. Also, the Court of Appeals held the statute of limitations did not bar the Filips' complaint because the statutory period for negligence against an insurance agent starts to run when the claim is denied.

In the Supreme Court decision, Justice Theodore Boehm held the designation of evidence in support or opposition to a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 56(C) may be accomplished in several places, but must be done so consistently. The entire designation of evidence must be in a single place, whether as a separate document or appendix, or as a part of a motion or other filing. And, a party may rely on designations by an opposing party, even if inconsistently designated in different places. Block tried to allow only specific lines and paragraphs to be used by the Filips; however, the Filips can rely on the entire designated pages identified in the defendants' motion in opposing summary judgment, Justice Boehm wrote.

In regards to when the accrual date for a negligence action against an insurance agent begins, the Supreme Court agreed with the trial court. The trial court determined the statute of limitations began to run at the time of coverage. The Filips argued their negligence claim began when the fire occurred. Justice Boehm wrote in this case, all of the alleged problems the Filips claim their policy lacked could have been ascertained by reading the policy at any point before the fire. With the exception of their nonbusiness personal property, the limitations in this case began with the activation of the policy.

The Filips and Block both erroneously believed the Filips policy covered the Filips' nonbusiness personal property, and the Filips claim they relied on Block's statements they were covered.

"In sum, for the purposes of the summary judgment, there is evidence that Block breached the duty of care because she incorrectly believed nonbusiness personal property was covered. There are no damages from this breach, however," wrote Justice Boehm.

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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.