District Courts

GM avoids some claims in suits over faulty ignition switches

July 18, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A federal judge dismissed a swathe of customer claims in the nationwide litigation over General Motors Co.’s deadly ignition switch defect that triggered the recall of millions of vehicles two years ago.
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Official to plead guilty to tax assessment shakedown

July 12, 2016
 Associated Press
A northwest Indiana assessor's office employee will plead guilty to allegedly shaking down businesses in exchange for reducing their tax assessments.
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State appeals ruling for deaf litigant denied mediation interpreter

June 7, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office has appealed a federal court ruling that found a Marion County court discriminated against a deaf man in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act when it rejected his request for an American Sign Language interpreter at a court-ordered mediation session during his child custody case.
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Republicans Zoeller, Walorski slam Trump on judge comments

June 7, 2016
 Associated Press
Two top Indiana Republicans have condemned GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's comments about the impartiality of a Latino federal judge presiding over lawsuits involving Trump University.
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Federal judges decide themselves on conflicts of interest

June 6, 2016
 Associated Press
Donald Trump contends the federal judge presiding over a class lawsuit against Trump University has a conflict of interest and must step aside because of his "Mexican heritage." Yet nothing in federal law or codes of judicial conduct requires a judge to withdraw from a case because of his race, ethnicity, gender or other identifying criteria.
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IU challenges part of new abortion restrictions law

May 26, 2016
 Associated Press
The Indiana University board of trustees and three of the school's research officials filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking to block part of the state's new abortion law that bars them from acquiring fetal tissue for scientific purposes.
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IndyCar sues organizers of canceled Boston race

May 25, 2016
 Associated Press, IBJ Staff
IndyCar has filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the organizers of the canceled Grand Prix of Boston, which had been planned for Labor Day weekend this year and again each year through 2020.
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Handcuff injury claim against Alexandria officers proceeds

May 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who claims he was injured after he asked Alexandria police not to handcuff him during a compliant arrest because he'd had recent rotator cuff surgery that limited his shoulder mobility may proceed with a federal lawsuit against the officers, a judge ruled Wednesday.
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Surgery centers sue No.1 insurer UnitedHealthcare

May 18, 2016
Dave Stafford
Several Indiana surgery centers are suing the nation's largest health insurance company, claiming it violated state and federal law by failing to pay for services the centers' doctors provided to patients. In a similar lawsuit against the insurer, a key dispute is what the word "pay" means.
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Insurer who paid wrong party doesn’t have to pay correct one

May 17, 2016
Scott Roberts

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for an insurance company that acknowledged paying a death benefit to the wrong party but successfully argued that the proper recipient waived its right to the proceeds by allowing the wrong party to claim the money.

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Donnelly, Coats pleased nomination hearing set for Ong

May 16, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Senators Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats are applauding the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's decision to consider the nomination of Hoosier Winfield D. Ong for the federal bench.
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Illinois turf company disputes Westfield's lawsuit

May 13, 2016
Lindsey Erdody, IBJ Staff
The out-of-state turf company that Westfield is suing for unsatisfactory work at Grand Park Sports Campus is disputing the lawsuit, arguing the city wrongfully terminated its contract.
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Southern District proposes mandatory pro bono

May 13, 2016
Dave Stafford
A proposed rule change would for the first time obligate lawyers to provide mandatory pro bono service to litigants in civil cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the court announced Friday.
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Judge awards ex-Lilly manager $500,000 after lawsuit

May 9, 2016
John Russell, IBJ Staff
A federal judge has awarded more than $500,000 to a former manager at Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. who quit for health reasons and was later dropped from the company’s extended disability plan.
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Judge blocks Bartholomew court policy barring political activity

May 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Friday blocked a Bartholomew County policy that broadly barred court services employees from political activity.
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Settlement conference set in bungled Evansville SWAT raid

May 6, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal court has scheduled a settlement conference later this month in the case of an Evansville woman who sued the city after her home was violently raided by an armored phalanx of SWAT officers who found no evidence of a crime.
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St. Joe Circuit judge named as new federal magistrate

April 27, 2016
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael G. Gotsch is moving from one court to another this year. The judge, who decided not to run for re-election, has been selected to serve as a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Investiture ceremony set for Magistrate Judge Matthew Brookman

April 18, 2016
IL Staff
The investiture ceremony for the newest magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will take place this week in Evansville.
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Women allege gender, race discrimination at Salesforce

April 8, 2016
Jared Council, IBJ Staff
Two women employed in the Indianapolis offices of Salesforce.com Inc. have filed federal discrimination lawsuits against the cloud-software giant, claiming the company passed them over for promotions on multiple occasions because of their race and gender.
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Planned Parenthood files suit challenging new Indiana abortion law

April 7, 2016
Scott Roberts
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky challenging the recently enacted legislation that does not allow women to get abortions if the fetus may have a disability or potential diagnosis of a disability.
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Bagel company sues gas station over trademark infringement

March 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Great American Bagel Enterprises Inc. has filed suit in federal court against The Great American Eagle after Great American Eagle recycled an old sign of the bagel company and used it on the front of its store.
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Southern District launches initiative to help pro se litigants

March 23, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In response to a series of cases remanded from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Southern District of Indiana is attempting to recruit more volunteer attorneys and, in what one observer called a “very progressive” approach, enlist medical professionals to offer expert testimony.
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Conour resentenced to 10 years, minus supervised release

March 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge rejected ex-attorney and convicted fraudster William Conour’s bid to reduce his prison sentence Wednesday but lifted the condition of supervised release after he serves his time.
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Northern District case filings plummet, federal courts report shows

March 15, 2016
Dave Stafford
Case filings in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana fell 43.9 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to statistics released Tuesday in the 2015 Judicial Business of the United States Courts report.
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Judge blocks Indiana's Syrian refugee order

March 1, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal judge in Indianapolis on Monday blocked Republican Gov. Mike Pence's order that barred state agencies from helping Syrian refugees resettle in Indiana, saying the governor's directive "clearly discriminates" against refugees from the war-torn country.
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