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Texas Roadhouse fire suit among 4 justices take

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A lawsuit over liability for a fire that destroyed an Indianapolis steakhouse because hydrants were frozen and unusable will proceed to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Justices granted transfer in Veolia Water Indianapolis LLC, City of Indianapolis Department of Waterworks, and City of Indianapolis v. National Trust Insurance Company and FCCI Insurance Company a/s/o Ultra Steak, Inc. d/b/a Texas Roadhouse, 49S04-1301-PL-8. It was one of four cases granted transfer for the week ending Jan. 4. The transfer list may be viewed here.  

In the Texas Roadhouse case, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court, finding that the city of Indianapolis and water company – which contracts with the city to operate the water utility – are entitled to common law immunity from a lawsuit brought by the restaurant and its insurers because of the fire. The plaintiffs argued that the frozen hydrants, which delayed firefighters’ ability to put out the fire, were a result of the hydrants not being properly closed by private parties who paid the defendants for water use.

The trial court had concluded that the commercial sale of water took the city’s and utility’s actions outside the scope of common law immunity for firefighting. The trial court also held that the insurers were third-party beneficiaries of Veolia’s contract with the city.

The justices also granted transfer to:

•    Andrew McWhorter v. State of Indiana, 33S01-1301-PC-7, in which a man convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Henry Circuit Court won a reversal from the Court of Appeals and a remand for retrial on a charge of reckless homicide;
•    Ronald G. Becker v. State of Indiana, 45S03-1301-CR-9, in which a Lake Superior Court and the Court of Appeals affirmed an order vacating a determination that Ronald Becker was entitled to relief from registering as a sexually violent predator on the Indiana Sex Offender Registry.
•    Kevin Clark v. State of Indiana, 20S05-1301-CR-10, in which the Court of Appeals affirmed admission of evidence and police testimony that led a jury to convict Kevin Clark of Class A felony attempted dealing in methamphetamine and sentence him to 45 years in prison.

Justices denied transfer in 26 cases.

 

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  1. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

  2. What a fine example of the best of the Hoosier tradition! How sad that the AP has to include partisan snark in the obit for this great American patriot and adventurer.

  3. Why are all these lawyers yakking to the media about pending matters? Trial by media? What the devil happened to not making extrajudicial statements? The system is falling apart.

  4. It is a sad story indeed as this couple has been only in survival mode, NOT found guilty with Ponzi, shaken down for 5 years and pursued by prosecution that has been ignited by a civil suit with very deep pockets wrenched in their bitterness...It has been said that many of us are breaking an average of 300 federal laws a day without even knowing it. Structuring laws, & civilForfeiture laws are among the scariest that need to be restructured or repealed . These laws were initially created for drug Lords and laundering money and now reach over that line. Here you have a couple that took out their own money, not drug money, not laundering. Yes...Many upset that they lost money...but how much did they make before it all fell apart? No one ask that question? A civil suit against Williams was awarded because he has no more money to fight...they pushed for a break in order...they took all his belongings...even underwear, shoes and clothes? who does that? What allows that? Maybe if you had the picture of him purchasing a jacket at the Goodwill just to go to court the next day...his enemy may be satisfied? But not likely...bitterness is a master. For happy ending lovers, you will be happy to know they have a faith that has changed their world and a solid love that many of us can only dream about. They will spend their time in federal jail for taking their money from their account, but at the end of the day they have loyal friends, a true love and a hope of a new life in time...and none of that can be bought or taken That is the real story.

  5. Could be his email did something especially heinous, really over the top like questioning Ind S.Ct. officials or accusing JLAP of being the political correctness police.

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