Wrongful Death

Justices agree amendment adding defendants was timely filed

July 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday granted transfer to a case and adopted the Court of Appeals opinion in the matter involving a wrongful death claim stemming from a mower accident.
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Woman loses appeal over stillbirth medical malpractice claim

July 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman who claimed medical malpractice contributed to a stillborn child failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that a trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of defendants.
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Justices reverse, reinstate wrongful death claim against nursing home

June 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
The estate of a woman who died in a nursing home after an attack by another resident may pursue a wrongful death claim, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The family was initially told the woman suffered a fall but learned of the attack years later.
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Justices affirm judgment in favor of national fraternity in wrongful death action

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A national fraternity assumed no duty to protect local chapter pledges and is not vicariously liable for the negligence of local chapter officers and representatives, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. The justices affirmed summary judgment for Delta Tau Delta in a wrongful death action brought by a deceased pledge’s family.
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Justices grant transfer in 2 wrongful death cases

April 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider whether attorney fees awarded as damages in wrongful death cases from the Indiana Patients Compensation Fund are subject to a 15 percent cap of the total reward. It’s one of two appeals justices accepted last week, both involving wrongful death cases.
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Timing of wrongful death claim disputed

December 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In a wrongful-death claim filed nearly five years after a nursing home death, the Indiana Supreme Court is considering whether in instances of fraudulent concealment the two-year limitation clock starts over or if giving plaintiffs “reasonable time” to file is an acceptable standard.
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Muncie church did not invade on grieving couple’s privacy

August 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A church that issued a press release and held a press conference following the sudden death of a baby boy was found to not have interfered with the parents’ reasonable expectation of solitude and seclusion. 
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COA clarifies jury issue in Richmond student death case

July 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted a rehearing in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against a public school corporation by the family of a student with Down syndrome who died after choking at school, refining a question to be presented to a jury.
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Family did have notice that expert pulmonologist was going to testify as pathologist

July 31, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In reviewing a dispute over testimony given by expert witnesses, the Indiana Court of Appeals sees no reason to hold a new trial. 
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Judges disagree on whether Rhode Island law applies in wrongful death case

July 25, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Court of Appeals judge dissented from her colleagues’ decision that Rhode Island law should apply in awarding a wrongful death settlement because she believed that the Rhode Island court would have found Indiana law applies.
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Question remains as to whether son is ‘child’ under Wrongful Death Statute

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of the defendants on two parents’ claims under the Child Wrongful Death Statute regarding their 21-year-old son who died in a car accident. The appellate court found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the informal apprenticeship the son was participating in at the time of his death would be considered a vocational program under the CWDS.
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Complex wrongful-death legal fee appeal puzzles judges

May 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Judges on a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals were stumped at times Friday in a case regarding legal fees due from the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund to the estate of a woman who won a wrongful death judgment after she died from burns at a care facility.
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National fraternity not entitled to summary judgment in wrongful death case

May 8, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The national organization of a Wabash College fraternity where a freshman pledge died after a night of heavy drinking is not entitled to summary judgment on the student’s parents’ claims arising from his wrongful death, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit affirms for employer in rental equipment fatality

April 9, 2013
Dave Stafford
An employer bears no liability in a lawsuit brought by the estate of a man who died operating a rented 40-foot boom lift, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Fraudulent concealment tolls Wrongful Death Act’s limitations period

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Wrongful Death Act’s two-year limitations period is tolled by fraudulent concealment, and plaintiffs whose wrongful death claims have been fraudulently concealed beyond the act’s limitations period have a full two years after the concealment is or should be discovered with reasonable diligence to file their claims, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a case of first impression.
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Property mortgagor, managers owed no duty in case of drowned girl

January 15, 2013
A trial court correctly dismissed a wrongful death case the mother of a 5-year-old girl filed against a mortgage company and other defendants after the child drowned in the pool of a house that had been abandoned.
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Nurses may be expert witnesses in some standard of care disputes

August 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined Wednesday to create a blanket rule that nurses cannot qualify as expert witnesses under the Indiana Evidence Rule and testify as to whether a health care provider breached a standard of care or whether an alleged breach caused an injury.
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Justices reject jurisdiction in 'bizarre' fatal helicopter crash

July 31, 2012
Dave Stafford
The family of a man killed by a falling helicopter that crashed in British Columbia will not have their case heard in Indiana where the helicopter engine was built, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Monday.
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Appeals court clears hotel in guest's death outside

July 31, 2012
Dave Stafford
The family of a hotel guest who died after falling and hitting his head outside on a cold night may not proceed with a wrongful death suit against the hotel, the Court of Appeals held in a ruling Tuesday.
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Mother of man shot to death at Kroger files suit

July 19, 2012
Scott Olson
The mother of an Indianapolis man fatally shot in December by a Kroger manager during what police determined was an attempted robbery is suing the supermarket chain for wrongful death.
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Justices will hear arguments in Floyd County

March 28, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will visit New Albany Thursday to hear arguments in a case involving Rolls-Royce Corp.
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Justices disagree on whether jury instruction requires new trial

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The majority of Indiana justices ordered a new trial on liability for a school corporation being sued for wrongful death, finding one of the jury instructions could have misled the jury about a key issue regarding liability.
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7th Circuit remands Section 1983, wrongful death suits

March 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the trial court to take another look at two cases combined on appeal, which stem from the death of an inmate at the Elkhart County jail.
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Parents cannot each recover under policy's underinsured motorist provisions

February 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The parents of a teenager killed in a crash during a drag race cannot recover funds in their individual capacities under their automobile insurance underinsured motorist provisions, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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Child's disability has no bearing on wrongful death suit filed by adult

December 29, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
A woman who filed a belated wrongful death suit as personal representative for her son’s estate is bound by the two-year statute of limitations, regardless of the fact that her grandchild has a disability.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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