Justices to hear arguments in stoplight outage crash suit against IPL

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Oral arguments in a negligence case brought by a family severely injured in a crash in a traffic intersection after a 2016 storm will be heard by Indiana Supreme Court justices this week. Per an order issued Monday, attendance at the argument will be limited to parties and counsel, but the argument may be viewed online.

Justices agreed to consider the case of Kenyon Tyus, Jr., et al. v. Indianapolis Power & Light Co., et al., 18A-CT-00828, in which Kenyon and Amber Tyus, along with their children Kenyon Jr., Kyrie and Keyon, sued IPL after Amber and her children were involved in a catastrophic accident. Traffic signals at an intersection were inoperable for roughly eight hours after a 2016 storm and Amber’s vehicle was T-boned by another driver as she was passing through.

The accident left two of the children with severe traumatic brain injuries and a third child with severe emotional damage and bodily injuries. Amber suffered “severe fractures and other orthopedic injuries.”

The Tyuses sued IPL for being negligent or careless and for not restoring power to the intersection for more than 13 hours. The Marion Superior Court granted judgment on the pleadings to IPL on the negligence claim, finding that the Indiana Legislature, “through the IURC, had the power to restrict the Tyuses’ common law right to bring an ordinary negligence action against IPL … .”

However, it did not grant judgment on the family’s claim for gross negligence.

Members of an Indiana Court of Appeals panel unanimously affirmed the trial court’s determination that the Tyuses’ gross negligence action may proceed and reversed its grant of judgment on the pleadings as to the negligence action, prompting IPL to appeal before the Supreme Court.

Arguments will be heard in the case at 9 a.m. on Thursday.

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