The Indiana Supreme Court granted two transfers this week to cases involving a negligence claim against a grocery store and subordinated judgment liens.
In The Kroger Co. v. Lu Ann B. Plonski, No. 49A02-0807-CV-610, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of Kroger's motion for summary judgment in Lu Ann Plonski's negligence claim. Given the Indiana Supreme Court's holding in Paragon Family Restaurant v. Bartolini, 799 N.E.2d 1048 (Ind. 2003), the appellate court determined there was no need for a judicial re-determination of duty in the instant case. Kroger's duty was sufficiently established by evidence Plonski, a patron of the store, was assaulted in the store's parking lot as she was leaving. Kroger argued it didn't have a duty to protect her from a criminal act of a third party who was not a guest or patron of the store; that even if it had a duty to Plonski, it didn't breach that duty; and that it wasn't the proximate cause of her injuries.
In Gina Johnson v. Robert Johnson, No. 46A04-0810-CV-570, the Court of Appeals affirmed the order granting Robert Johnson's motion to have Gina Johnson's judgment lien subordinated. The appellate court ruled the trial court's order didn't constitute a modification. The line of credit at the bank existed at the time the parties filed the settlement agreement, so Gina's judgment lien was subordinate to the bank's. The parties also failed to address her lien or its priority, if any, over the other liens in the settlement agreement.