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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. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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