PNC entitled to summary judgment under res judicata

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the Marion Superior Court that granted summary judgment in favor of the defense in Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., f/k/a Wachovia Commercial Mortgage Inc. v. PNC Bank, N.A. f/k/a National City Bank of Indiana, 49A02-1111-PL-1004.

In this lawsuit, Wells Fargo alleged breach of contract, promissory estoppel, unjust enrichment, breach of duty to deal in good faith, tortious injury to property interest, slander of title, and bad faith. The Court of Appeals judges had to decide whether the trial court erred when it found that the claims asserted in Wells Fargo’s complaint are barred by res judicata.

On appeal, Wells Fargo maintained that res judicata did not bar its claims because claim preclusion does not apply because there is no privity of parties or mutuality of estoppel, and Wells Fargo is not asserting the same claims as decided in a prior matter and resolved by the Indiana Supreme Court.

The COA disagreed.

“In sum, National City and (Paula) Phillips are in privity for purposes of the instant action, and the issues are the same for purposes of res judicata. Wells Fargo does not dispute that the other two elements of claim preclusion are satisfied here. The trial court did not err when it concluded that National City is entitled to summary judgment under the doctrine of res judicata,” Judge Edward Najam Jr. wrote, with Judges Patricia Riley and Carr Darden concurring.

The facts and procedural history underlying the instant action were set out in Money Store Investment Corp. v. Summers, 849 N.E.2d 544 (Ind. 2006), in which Paula Phillips sued Neal Summers and the company in which he was sole shareholder regarding the ownership of the trademark/trade name “Paula’s Seafood.” They entered into a written settlement agreement in 1999 and the suit was later dismissed without prejudice. Money Store involves the foreclosure of mortgages owned by Summers.



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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.