Justices deny previously granted transfer

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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Despite a previous decision to accept a case, the Indiana Supreme Court has decided to revoke its previous order to consider whether Indiana or Illinois law should apply to a dram shop suit.

Now, a Court of Appeals decision from March will stand, meaning Indiana law applies to the case.

Justices this week vacated its July decision to accept transfer in Rebecca Shaw, Individually, and for the Estate of Kayla Nichole Hughes, and Stephen Hughes v. LDC Enterprises d/b/a I&I Steakhouse, et al., in which the court heard arguments Sept. 13.

During arguments, justices expressed concern about issuing injunctive relief to force the establishment to close or to delve into jurisdictional issues with other states.

The Court of Appeals had reversed a lower court decision from Fountain County, holding that Indiana law should apply to a complaint against a steakhouse owner in Illinois for an accident that happened in Indiana and resulted in the death of a teenager.

The owner moved to dismiss the counts on grounds that Illinois law should control the disposition of the action, and the trial court granted the motion. On appeal, the appellate court ruled, "The last event necessary to make LDC liable for its alleged wrong took place in Indiana with Kayla's death, and application of Illinois law would leave (mother Rebecca) Shaw without a remedy. The substantive law of Indiana therefore applies."

Illinois dram shop law is one of the strictest in the nation, allowing plaintiffs to essentially recover if they can prove the sale happened and some type of connection between the furnishing, intoxication, and injury - not knowledge of intoxication. But unlike Indiana, the neighboring state has no common law clause of action for injuries arising out of sale or gift of alcoholic beverages, and the legislature has restricted it to only a "person who is injured within this State."

This would leave the family without a remedy, as Kayla Hughes died in Indiana, and the court applied the principle of lex loci delicti in its decision - the last act necessary to make LDC liable for nuisance was the place of injury in Indiana, the appellate court ruled.The case now goes back to Fountain Circuit Judge Susan Orr Henderson for further proceedings.

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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.