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Summary judgment affirmed for casino in collapsing chair suit

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The manufacturer of a chair that came down on a patron’s leg as she sat on it appealed the denial of its summary judgment on the woman’s complaint, arguing the northern Indiana casino shouldn’t have been granted summary judgment. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Friday, but ordered more proceedings on Horseshoe Casino’s third-party complaint against Gasser Chair Co.

Marlene Nordengreen was at Horseshoe Casino when the chair she sat on while playing a slot machine collapsed down and hit the back of her leg, injuring her. The chair uses a gas cylinder for height adjustment, and the cylinder on her chair appeared to fail. The casino inspected the chairs daily, and Gasser gave Horseshoe no warning about what might happen if the gas cylinder failed.

In Gasser Chair Company, Inc. v. Marlene J. Nordengreen, Horseshoe Hammond, LLC, d/b/a Horseshoe Casino, 45A03-1210-CT-435, Gasser argued the trial court shouldn’t have granted summary judgment for the casino because it didn’t provide evidence the Gasser chair was the proximate cause of Nordengreen’s injury, the court didn’t apply the correct standard of care by Horseshoe to its invitees, and there were issues of fact as to Horseshoe’s knowledge of a defect on its premises.

“We decline to accept Gasser’s apparent premise that evidence of one element of a tort is necessarily required on summary judgment in order to negate a different element. Specifically, we decline to hold a premises owner’s knowledge of a dangerous condition on its premises cannot be determined without first knowing the dangerous condition was the ‘sole proximate cause’ of an injury,” Judge Melissa May wrote.

The trial court noted that other chairs at the casino had failed before the incident with Nordengreen and none of those problems caused injuries to patrons. Gasser didn’t demonstrate the casino had actual knowledge the chair was dangerous nor did it have constructive knowledge.

The judges ordered more proceedings on Horseshoe’s third-party complaint against Gasser alleging negligence, breach of contract and breach of warranty. The trial court in a footnote said by granting summary judgment for Horseshoe, it rendered moot the casino’s third-party complaint. But the breach of contract and breach of warranty claims remain, so the trial court should resolve these issues, the appeals court ruled.

 

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  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.

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