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Subcontractor's suit belongs in Hamilton County

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The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday reversed the denial by an Allen Circuit judge to remove a lawsuit brought in that county to Hamilton County, where two parties to the lawsuit had agreed in a contract any legal claims would be handled.

In City of Carmel, through its Redevelopment Commission v. Crider & Crider, Inc., Hagerman Construction Corporation, 02A04-1208-PL-416, the city of Carmel argued that the lawsuit brought in Allen County by Crider & Crider Inc. against Hagerman Construction Company and the Carmel Redevelopment Commission, which involved a cross-claim brought by Hagerman against the CRC, should be heard in Hamilton County. The CRC and Hagerman entered into a contract for the company to be the prime contractor to perform limestone and concrete work during the construction of the Carmel Performing Arts Center. Their contract dictated that lawsuits should be filed in Hamilton County.

Crider, who was hired as a subcontractor by Hagerman to perform excavation work, sued Hagerman and CRC, alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Allen Circuit Judge Thomas Felts denied the CRC’s request the complaint be transferred to Hamilton County. Hagerman filed a cross-complaint against the CRC alleging it should be liable for any damages recovered by Crider on its complaint against Hagerman.

Hagerman and Crider claim that Allen County is the preferred venue under Trial Rule 75; the CRC maintains Trial Rule 21 applies.

“While the preferred venue analysis in Trial Rule 75 would normally govern a case where the plaintiff has not contractually agreed to a particular venue, Trial Rule 75 is trumped in this case by Trial Rule 21(B),” Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote. “After Crider filed its complaint against CRC and Hagerman, Hagerman filed a cross-claim against CRC. Due to the venue selection clause between Hagerman and CRC, it is clear that venue lies in Hamilton County as to the cross-claim between them.”

“All of the parties here agree that the original complaint and the cross-claim are ‘inextricably intertwined’ and should be decided together. Thus, Hamilton County is the appropriate venue for the entire matter,” the court concluded.
 

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  1. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

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