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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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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