ILNews

Split court upholds $3.9 million workplace injury judgment

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

ADVERTISEMENT