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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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