ILNews

Split court upholds $3.9 million workplace injury judgment

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrint

Whether a general liability carrier could intervene in a workplace injury lawsuit that awarded a plaintiff $3.9 million is a question that divided the Indiana Court of Appeals, which affirmed the lower court ruling.

Granite State Insurance Company was the carrier for Pulliam Enterprises, where Robert Lodholtz was seriously injured. When he sued, Granite State assigned the matter to a claims administrator who failed to respond to Lodholtz’s claim. The court entered a default judgment on his behalf and later a $3.9 million damages award.

Granite offered to represent Pulliam in an effort to vacate the default judgment and settlement while reserving the right to deny judgment – an offer Pulliam did not accept. Pulliam settled with Lodholtz.

“In a case that brings to mind the admonition, ‘Be careful what you wish for, you may receive it[,]’” we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Granite State leave to intervene,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote in an opinion joined by Chief Judge Margret Robb in Granite State Insurance Company v. Robert Lodholtz and Pulliam Enterprises, Inc., 71A04-1111-CT-635.

The majority held that because Granite State reserved a right to deny coverage in its offer to represent Pulliam, it had an interest that was at best contingent and insufficient to support intervention.

Dissenting Judge John Baker said Granite State had demonstrated an interest sufficient to support intervention. “Its interest is not currently being protected, thus satisfying the requirements of Indiana Trial Rule 24(A)(2).

“I part ways with the majority’s view that Granite State sought to intervene simply ‘because it did not like the results’ when Pulliam and Lodholtz settled,” Baker wrote.

 



 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

ADVERTISEMENT