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Trial set in Carmel's complaint on Palladium construction

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Mediation is scheduled for May 21 in a 2-year-old lawsuit the city of Carmel brought over defects discovered during construction of its signature Palladium concert hall.

Barring a last-minute settlement between the Carmel Redevelopment Commission and Michigan-based contractor Steel Supply & Engineering Co. or a delay, Hamilton Superior Judge Steven Nation will begin a two-week bench trial June 10.

Construction of the $119 million Palladium stopped for about three months in 2009 after an inspection revealed a rip in the structural steel supporting the venue’s domed roof. Work resumed after extensive repairs.

Carmel filed suit in 2011, saying Steel Supply failed to properly fabricate steel for the project. It is seeking about $5 million in damages.

Steel Supply has denied liability, laying the blame on a flawed design it says caused some of the steel columns supporting the roof to fail. Design duties were the responsibility of the project engineer, who is not named in the lawsuit, according to a statement from defense attorney Pfenne Cantrell.

“All fabrication drawings were approved by the construction manager, the architect and the engineer of record prior to fabrication, and the steel that was supplied and erected conformed with those approved drawings,” said Cantrell, of Indianapolis-based Kightlinger & Gray LLP.

Palladium roof problems have persisted, and the city last month said the venue would undergo another $140,000 in repairs. Crews were to retrofit the roof trusses, a news release said, welding additional stiffeners and small plates into place.

Court records show those deficiencies were identified by the defense team during the legal discovery process. Steel Supply notified the city of “potential issues with certain trusses … at locations other than the dome roof” on Jan. 30, and Carmel responded with a remediation plan in late March.

But the city did not disclose details of its consultant’s analysis, an explanation of the plan or an estimate of the remediation costs, Steel Supply said in asking the court to exclude any truss-related claims from the trial.

Nation granted that request, issuing an April 29 order making it clear he would sustain defense objections related to evidence concerning the trusses.

CRC Executive Director Les Olds did not return a phone call from the Indianapolis Business Journal this week, but the city reportedly told the court that the truss damage is “independent from the issues raised by the complaint,” according to Nation’s order.

It was not immediately clear whether Carmel would take additional legal action related to the trusses.

The Indianapolis Business Journal is a sister publication of Indiana Lawyer.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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