ILNews

Justices vacate transfer to negligent design case

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The Indiana Supreme Court issued an order Monday vacating its grant of transfer to a case filed by a man rendered a quadriplegic after he fell out of a company truck’s utility bucket while working for Richmond Power.

The justices granted transfer in September to Anthony Wade v. Terex-Telect Inc., 29S05-1209-CT-557, and heard arguments in the case. But Chief Justice Brent Dickson and Justices Robert Rucker and Mark Massa decided that the Indiana Court of Appeals decision should stand.

A split Court of Appeals believed Anthony Wade was prejudiced by a jury instruction as to rebuttable presumption because it was unsupported by relevant evidence. The majority ordered a new trial. Wade sued Terex-Telect Inc., claiming the double-man bucket attached to the company truck was negligently designed under the Indiana Products Liability Act.

A jury allocated zero fault to Terex and 100 percent fault to Wade.
 
Wade’s counsel wanted to bring in a utility truck bucket at oral arguments, which the justices originally prevented, but later decided to allow such large exhibits as long as their setup and removal didn’t interfere with other arguments being heard.

Justice Loretta Rush dissented from the decision to deny transfer without opinion. Justice Steven David also dissented, writing he would affirm the trial court.

“The complained of instructions regarding State of the Art and Compliance with Government Regulations were proper statements of the law and were relevant to the allegations and the defenses raised. It did not require the jury to reach any particular conclusion and permitted counsel to argue that the evidence warranted its application or that the evidence did not warrant its application,” he wrote.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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