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Opinions Sept. 25, 2013

September 25, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven Harper and Rose Harper as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Steven Harper, Deceased v. Gerry Hippensteel, M.D.
42A04-1302-MI-95
Miscellaneous/medical malpractice. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of Dr. Gerry Hippensteel, concluding that he did not owe a duty to Steven Harper Jr. on the basis of a Collaborative Practice Agreement the doctor signed with a nurse practitioner who provided care. Because Hippensteel took no affirmative action with regard to Harper, he is entitled to summary judgment because no doctor-patient relationship existed or was imposed by the agreement.

Robert Fechtman, as Guardian of the Estate of Roberto Hernandez v. United States Steel Corporation, Zurich North America
45A04-1209-CT-474
Civil tort. Affirms jury findings in awarding damages of $4.65 million to the estate of Hernandez, who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning as a contractor working at the U.S. Steel plant in Gary, and its determination that U.S. Steel was 15 percent at fault, resulting in a judgment of $698,668 against U.S. Steel. Rejects Zurich North America’s cross-claim as moot. The trial court did not err in refusing to provide Hernandez’s tendered jury instruction regarding strict liability for an abnormally dangerous activity.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of D.P., Minor Child, and her Father, D.P.; D.P. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc.

49A02-1303-JT-245
Juvenile. Reverses termination of parental rights, finding that Father D.P’s due process rights were violated when a judge ruled on findings of fact prepared by a new magistrate who prepared findings based on the results of a hearing conducted by a magistrate who resigned. Remands to the juvenile court for a new evidentiary hearing.

In Re The Marriage of: David L. Fendley v. Misty L. Converse f/k/a Misty L. Fendley (NFP)
20A05-1212-DR-662
Domestic relation. Reverses former husband David Fendley’s motion to set aside a judgment against him for $128,104, holding that a prior agreement between him and ex-wife Misty Converse abated his obligation in 1994.

Brian L. Marchand v. State of Indiana (NFP)
87A01-1209-CR-431
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal two orders denying Brian Marchand’s motions for discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C).

Brian McGill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1211-CR-934
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony aggravated battery and finding of habitual offender.

Indiana Surpeme Court and Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline. U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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