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Justices accept 2 civil cases

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Two civil cases got the go ahead from the Indiana Supreme Court this week to move up for consideration by the state's justices.

During its weekly conference on Thursday, the justices granted transfer in the cases Suzanne Eads, et al. v. Community Hospital, No. 45A03-0807-CV-350, and Sheehan Construction Co., et al. v. Continental Casket Co., et al., No. 49A02-0805-CV-420.

The Eads case involves the issue of whether the Journey's Account Statute applied to a woman's medical malpractice claim filed after the statute of limitations expired. A split Indiana Court of Appeals last year affirmed summary judgment in favor of the hospital in Eads' medical malpractice claim that resulted from a fall in the hospital while using crutches. Eads was in the hospital for an ankle injury and asked for a wheelchair to exit the hospital; personnel refused and gave her crutches. She fell in a foyer area and injured her back and left hand. Justices will decide how the Journey's Account Statute applies in a medical malpractice case that follows an underlying negligence claim against the hospital where a plaintiff was injured.

In Sheehan, the Court of Appeals last year affirmed a Marion Superior Court decision to enter summary judgment in favor of insurers and an insurance broker. The case involves a group of homeowners who alleged their homes were negligently constructed by Sheehan's subcontractors. Though the parties settled for about $2.8 million, that sparked a coverage issue relating to Sheehan's comprehensive general liability policy and whether the company should be indemnified. Ultimately, Sheehan asked the justices to take up the issue, which involves disputes about what coverage, if any, is provided by commercial general liability insurance policies after allegedly faulty workmanship by a subcontractor. Justices heard arguments Thursday morning and granted transfer later in the day.

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