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Insurer loses appeal over matter litigated elsewhere

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An insurance company may not recover in Marion Superior Court claims paid for an auto accident after a St. Joseph court ruled a driver was not at fault in the crash.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a Marion Superior order to set aside an earlier entry of summary judgment in favor of the insurance company in Geico Insurance Company, as subrogee of Ralph Heitkamp v. Dianna Graham, 49A02-1310-CT-898.

Diana Graham and Janet Heitkamp were involved in an auto accident after which Heitkamp sued in a South Bend small claims court in an attempt to recoup her deductible. The court, though, found Heitkamp was at fault for the crash. Geico was notified of the ruling, according to the record, but later sued Graham in Marion Superior Court seeking to recover more than $7,500 it paid to Heitkamp, again claiming Graham was at fault.

Representing herself in Marion Superior Court, Graham presented no evidence or the prior ruling in her favor during a hearing at which the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Geico. Counsel later filed a motion to set aside, which was granted.

“Geico’s Marion Superior Court claim against Graham was derivative of Heitkamp’s St. Joseph county small claim against Graham,” Judge Paul Mathias wrote for the panel. “Accordingly, the trial court did not err in granting Graham’s motion to set aside the judgment on the grounds that Geico’s current claim against her is barred by the claim preclusion branch of the doctrine of res judicata.”
   
 

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  1. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  2. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  3. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  4. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  5. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

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