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COA finds notice on out-of-state parties sufficient to affirm

September 8, 2016

Lawyers for a man injured in a crash involving a tractor-trailer sufficiently served the truck driver and the transport company, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in affirming a default judgment in favor of the injured driver.

George Rimer sustained several fractured ribs, a fractured sternum and knee injuries in the 2010 crash. He sued for $750,000 in damages, including medical bills of more than $93,000 and nearly $21,000 in lost wages. Rimes’ counsel spent months attempting to serve notice on the truck driver and transport company at addresses he had provided to law enforcement, which were returned as undeliverable as addressed.

Rimer filed for and was granted default judgment and ultimately served truck driver Jordache White while processing service for proceedings supplemental. Lawyers for Rimer also served American Transport LLC’s insurer, Canal Insurance, and those defendants unsuccessfully moved to set aside the default judgment.

The trial court denied the motion, and the COA affirmed in Jordache White and American Transport, LLC, and Canal Insurance Company v. George Reimer, 71A03-1602-CT-270.

Judge Edward Najam wrote for the panel, “under the facts and circumstance of this case, Reimer’s service on White at his Thebes, Illinois, address and service on American Transport through the Secretary of State was reasonably calculated to inform the Appellant that an action had been instituted against them, was effective under the Indiana Trial Rules, and was consistent with due process.”
 

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