Order for IBM to pay subcontractor in state suits affirmed

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An appeals court Tuesday affirmed trial court orders that IBM pay a subcontractor for costs it incurred related to lawsuits over the failed $1.3 billion Family and Social Services Administration modernization contract.

The panel upheld Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer’s ruling that ACS Human Services LLC was entitled to receive from IBM $709,398.95 in costs related to discovery and production of documents. The trial court also later imposed sanctions of $425,178.85 against ACS, reducing total net damages payable to ACS from IBM to $284,219.15.

ACS and IBM each appealed the ruling on abuse-of-discretion bases. IBM claimed ACS was so closely linked to IBM that it was not entitled to payment of costs related to third-party participation in discovery, and that the court’s award was unsupported by the evidence. IBM sought almost $900,000 in sanctions against ACS.

ACS’ cross-appeal asserted it was entitled to more than $1.67 million, that sanctions against the company in favor of IBM were impermissible under Indiana Trial Rules, and that the company didn’t engage in sanctionable conduct, among other arguments.

The court rejected arguments on appeal from both sides. In an opinion written by Judge L. Mark Bailey and joined by Judges Cale Bradford and Melissa May, the judges agreed that both sides impermissibly asked the court to reweigh the evidence.

“Thus, as we did with IBM’s appeal, we decline ACS’s invitation to second-guess the trial court’s judgment, and affirm the trial court’s determination of the amount of sanctions to be paid by ACS,” Bailey wrote in International Business Machines Corporation v. ACS Human Services, LLC, 49A02-1301-PL-49.

“The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded ACS some, but not all, of the damages it requested as a result of its participation in discovery as a non-party under Trial Rule 34. Nor did the trial court abuse its discretion when it awarded IBM some, but not all, of the attorneys’ fees and other damages it incurred as a result of ACS’s failure to comply with the trial court’s discovery orders. We therefore affirm the trial court’s orders on both matters.”

The decision came one day after a separate panel heard arguments in the appeal of Dreyer’s award of $62 million in favor of IBM in a related case, State of Indiana v. IBM.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.