Opinions March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012
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The Indiana Supreme Court issued the following opinion after IL deadline on Wednesday:
Loparex, LLC v. MPI Release Technologies, LLC, Gerald Kerber, and Stephen Odders
Certified question. Answers three questions certified from U.S. Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson in the Southern District of Indiana. Holds that Wabash Railroad Co. v. Young, 162 Ind. 102, 69 N.E. 1003 (1904), is no longer good law because it precludes individuals who’ve voluntarily left employment from pursuing a claim under Indiana’s Blacklisting Statute. The justices also held that attorney fees are not an element of compensatory damages under the Blacklisting Statute and that an employer’s suit against a former employee to protect trade secrets is not a basis for recovery under the statute.

Thursday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court
Sheila Perdue, et al. v. Michael A. Gargano, et al.
Civil plenary. Reverses in part Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer’s ruling on challenge to Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s automated system of processing claims for Medicaid, food stamps, and temporary assistance. Holds that the FSSA’s denial notices are insufficiently explanatory but that the agency may deny an application when that person fails to cooperate in the eligibility determination process. Affirms in part the trial court’s grant of Sheila Perdue’s summary judgment motion on the grounds that she’s entitled to reasonable accommodations in applying for benefits but that does not necessarily require a caseworker or case management services.

Hunt Construction Group, Inc., and Mezzetta Construction, Inc. v. Shannon D. Garrett
Civil tort. Reverses decision by Marion Superior Judge David Shaheed in case involving the employee of a concrete subcontractor injured in the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium. Finds construction manager did not have a legal duty by contract terms or action, and holds that construction manager cannot be held liable for workplace negligence. Justice Brent Dickson dissents, believing that material issues of fact exist about the construction manager’s duty of care and summary judgment is precluded for both parties.

State Automobile Mutual Insurance Co. v. Flexdar, Inc. and RTS Realty
Civil plenary. Affirms Marion Superior Judge Michael Keele’s judgment in favor of Flexdar, holding that the language of a pollution exclusion in a general commercial liability policy is ambiguous and should be construed against State Automobile Insurance Co. and in favor of coverage. Justice Steven David concurs in result, and Justice Frank Sullivan and Chief Justice Randall Shepard dissent in a separate opinion.

Indiana Court of Appeals
New Albany Historic Preservation Commission and City of New Albany v. Bradford Realty, Inc.
Civil plenary. Affirms and reverses in part ruling by Special Judge Daniel Moore, finding that Bradford Realty was not entitled to actual notice of potential historic district designation and was required to obtain a certificate when it replaced the property’s original siding. Appellate judges reverse trial court’s grant of summary judgment for Bradford Realty and grant summary judgment to the historic preservation commission. Affirm the judge’s denial of summary judgment for Bradford Realty on inverse condemnation claim. Judge Ezra Friedlander dissents in separate opinion.

Lawane Chaney on Behalf of Himself and All Others Similarly Situated v. Clarian Health Partners, Inc.
Civil. Court issues rehearing on an order on a motion for appellate fees and costs, affirming its original holding but finding that it made two errors – that the record does not support the finding that Ron Weldy informed the trial court of the stay in his motion to compel, and that the record does not support the court’s prior statement that Weldy persisted on the theory that Clarian Health had agreed to provide discovery after the trial court vacated its motion to compel. The court found those errors are insignificant and do not change the outcome of the original order. The judges also denied Clarian’s request for additional fees and costs incurred in responding to the rehearing petition.

Donald L. Webb, III v. Sheriff Kenneth A. Murphy and Town of Brookville, Indiana; Terry Mitchum (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s ruling in favor of Franklin County Sheriff and Town of Brookville on claims of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, finding the fundamental error doctrine does not apply and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in exempting the defendants’ expert from a separation of witnesses order.

In Re: The Marriage of Lisa Mae Slayback Gillispie v. Danny Lee Gillispie (NFP)
Divorce. Affirms trial court’s division of martial property.

The Marriage of: Donald J. Shaughnessy, Jr. v. Lyn A. Shaughnessy (NFP)
Divorce. Affirms trial court’s decision to deny an order for equal division of a marital estate.

Demitrus L. Grant v. The Bank of New York (NFP)
Mortgage foreclosure. Dismisses Demitrus Grant’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction, finding that the trial court’s denial of motion to dismiss the complaint against Grant is not a final appealable order and Grant didn’t ask the trial court to certify the issue for interlocutory appeal.

Kenny Green v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Class A felony rape and Class D felony auto theft convictions and aggregate 40-year sentence.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.