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Law school hosts appellate hearings

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Law School News is Indiana Lawyer’s new section that will highlight news from law schools in Indiana. While we have always covered law school news and will continue to keep up with law school websites and press releases for updates, we’ll gladly accept submissions for this section from law students, professors, alums, and others who want to share law school-related news. If you’d like to submit news or a photo from an event, please send it to Rebecca Berfanger, rberfanger@ibj.com, along with contact information for any follow up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington recently hosted two appellate hearings at the law school’s moot court room.

The Indiana Court of Appeals visited the law school Oct. 4 as part of the court’s “Traveling Oral Argument” series while the Indiana Supreme Court visited in early September.

The appeal for Paul Arlton v. Dr. Gary Schraut, M.D., et al., No. 79A02-0906-CV–541, from Tippecanoe Circuit Court, involved three issues according to a program for the hearing that was on the court’s website: “whether the trial court abused its discretion when it: (1) did not admit into evidence enlarged photographic exhibits of the plaintiff’s retina, (2) did not provide the jury with means to access certain digital evidence, and (3) refused the plaintiff’s tendered jury instruction regarding the jury’s ability to access digital evidence.”

The case resulted from a 2002 treatment Paul Arlton received from Dr. Gary Schraut that caused a blind spot in Arlton’s central vision.

Court of Appeals Chief Judge John G. Baker, along with Judges Edward W. Najam Jr. and Paul D. Mathias heard the arguments and stayed afterward to answer questions from the law students.

On Sept. 10, the Indiana Supreme Court traveled to Bloomington to hear arguments in the case of a teenage girl who was injured by a golf ball while driving the beverage cart at a golf outing.

In Cassie E. Pfenning v. Joseph Lineman, et al., No. 27S02-1006-CV-331, Cassie Pfenning was 16 years old when she attended a golf scramble with her grandfather, Jerry Jones, to work a beverage golf cart. Jones ended up playing in the scramble so he left Pfenning in the care of his sister. The two were in the golf cart without a roof or windshield when Joseph Lineman’s golf ball flew more than 70 yards before hitting Pfenning in the mouth, causing severe injuries to her teeth, mouth, and jaw.

Indiana Court of Appeals Judges Carr Darden and Melissa May had affirmed summary judgment for the defendants, which included the club, promoters, and Pfenning’s grandfather, ruling that the defendants didn’t have a duty to protect the teen from injury; weren’t negligent in their supervision of her; and there wasn’t a breach of duty of reasonable care under premises liability. The majority also extended the definition of participants from Geiersbach v. Frieje, 807 N.E.2d 114 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004), to include not only players, coaches, or players on the bench during the game, but also sporting event volunteers.

Judge James Kirsch had dissented because he believed that because Pfenning was on the property as a business invitee, the golf club had a duty of care; he also found her grandfather owed her a duty of reasonable care because she was entrusted into his care during the tournament. Judge Kirsch declined to extend the ruling in Geiersbach to include the facts of this case.

The Supreme Court had not handed down a decision at IL deadline.•
 

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