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Snow-tubing negligence suit may proceed

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Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg must answer a federal negligence lawsuit arising from a snow-tubing accident almost three years ago that resulted in a brain injury for a child who was 10 years old at the time, a judge ruled Friday.

District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt of the Southern District of Indiana denied a motion for summary judgment for Perfect North Slopes but dismissed from the lawsuit five individual snow-tubers who collided with the children who had tubed downhill before them. The suit is James Stephen Sauter and Piper Sauter, Individually and as the Natural Guardians of M.S., a minor v. Perfect North Slopes, Inc., et al., 4:12-cv-00027.

All of the parties had signed releases of liability, including the Sauters who signed on behalf of their children, before tubing. The Sauters asked the court to invalidate the release on public policy grounds, an issue Pratt declined to consider because she wrote that the Indiana Supreme Court hasn't addressed it.

But Pratt agreed with the Sauters that the language of the release doesn't contain a waiver of claims on behalf of minors and that it was ambiguous. “The release does not include a clear, unambiguous waiver of M.S.'s claim against Perfect North Slopes for its alleged negligence,” Pratt wrote in denying summary judgment and allowing the claim to proceed.
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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