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Property mortgagor, managers owed no duty in case of drowned girl

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A trial court correctly dismissed a wrongful death case the mother of a 5-year-old girl filed against a mortgage company and other defendants after the child drowned in the pool of a house that had been abandoned.

Sheyenne R. Jenkins drowned in the pool of a home in the Ian’s Pointe subdivision of Avon in 2008 after she wandered away from relatives’ home a couple of properties away. Her mother sued the mortgagor, management compnay and homeowners association, and a trial court granted summary judgment in favor of defendants. The appeal is Secrena D. Erwin, individually and as Mother of Sheyenne R. Jenkins, deceased v. HSBC Mortgage Services, Inc., Ian's Pointe Homeowners Association, Inc., and R&G Management Co., Inc., et al., 32A01-1202-CT-80.

The house’s former owner had filed for bankruptcy and abandoned the house in January of that same year. Neighbors eventually complained about the deteriorating and dangerous conditions of a pool and its partially submerged cover, and a neighbor said a representative of R & G Management Co. Inc., d/b/a Community Association Services of Indiana, represented in a phone call that the situation “would be taken care of.” Court records indicate nothing was done afterward.

“Even if we were to take the leap with Mother and infer that this was an assurance that CASI would go onto the property and secure the pool, the fact is that CASI did not act upon this promise in any way,” Judge Ezra Friedlander wrote for the court.

“The trial court correctly determined as a matter of law that this is not a case of gratuitous assumption of duty. The trial court properly granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants based upon lack of duty. Because we have affirmed the grant of summary judgment on this ground, we need not reach the attractive nuisance issue addressed by the parties,” Friedlander wrote.
 

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  1. It is amazing how selectively courts can read cases and how two very similar factpatterns can result in quite different renderings. I cited this very same argument in Brown v. Bowman, lost. I guess it is panel, panel, panel when one is on appeal. Sad thing is, I had Sykes. Same argument, she went the opposite. Her Rooker-Feldman jurisprudence is now decidedly unintelligible.

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  4. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  5. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

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