Opinions Jan. 22, 2015

January 22, 2015

Indiana Supreme Court
Jason Young v. Hood's Gardens, Inc.
Civil plenary.  Reverses summary judgment in favor of Hood’s Gardens that it had no secondary liability to pay workers’ compensation benefits to Jason Young, who was severely injured while removing a tree from Hood’s Gardens’ property. The "value" that triggers secondary liability under Indiana Code 22-3-2-14(b) may include the value of other property transferred in connection with the performance of services and the designated evidence shows that the contract Hood’s Gardens entered into with the tree removal company may have been more than $1,000 once the value of firewood is considered.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Sin-Mi Ward v. University of Notre Dame
Agency action. Affirms denial of application for adjustment of claim against Notre Dame for disability benefits arising from a work-related injury. The single hearing member and the full board considered all the evidence presented and found certain evidence credible. The full board’s determination that Ward presented insufficient medical evidence to support her claim that Notre Dame should bear the expense of her treatment for depression, anxiety and cardiac issues is supported by the record.

Daniel Lee and Hui Luo Lee v. GDH, LLC
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of GDH LLC, the construction manager, on the Lees’ lawsuit after Daniel Lee, an employee of an independent contractor, was injured on the job at a construction site. Based on the plain language of the contracts at issue, GDH did not contractually assume a duty of care for the employees of contractors. Rather, the contractors were responsible for the safety of their employees.

Brian Weigel v. April Weigel
Domestic relation. Affirms valuation of Brian Weigel’s hoof trimming business upon the dissolution of his marriage. The trial court neither abused its discretion in valuing the business nor in ordering Weigel to pay a portion of the expert’s fee for valuation of the business and presentation of testimony at the final hearing.

Arthur Barnard III v. Menard, Inc.; Menard, Inc., and Blue Line LP, Inc. v. Capitol Specialty Insurance Corp.
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Menard Inc. on Barnard’s complaint after he was allegedly physically attacked by a Blue Line loss prevention officer outside a Menard store. Reverses summary judgment with respect to the third-party complaints against Capitol Specialty Insurance Corp. and remands for summary judgment to be entered in favor of Menard and Blue Line on their complaint invoking the insurer’s duties to defend and indemnify.

Santiago Valdez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms denial of Valdez’s motion to proceed pro se.

Thomas Allen Beavers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony aggravated battery.

Joshua Adam Spears v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony battery.

Malcolm L. Russell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine and Class D felony possession of marijuana.

Shawn J. Riggle v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections.

Jason Lee Schwartz v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for convictions of five counts of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor, three counts of Class A felony child molesting, and one count each of Class A felony attempted child molesting and Class B felony attempted sexual misconduct with a minor. Remands for the abstract of judgment to be corrected.

Bogunia Electric, Inc., d/b/a Mr. Electric and Steven Bogunia v. James Yakym (NFP)
Civil collection. Affirms judgment in favor of Yakym on his complaint against Bogunia Electric for breach of contract.