Opinions May 12, 2020

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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline on Monday.
FMS Nephrology Partners North Central Indiana Dialysis Centers, LLC v. Meritain Health, Inc., et al.
Reverses grant of summary judgment in favor of Meritain Health, University of Notre Dame and Beacon Health. Finds the St. Joseph Superior Court erred in concluding FMS’s claims were preempted under the conflict-preemption provision of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. Determines FMS’s state-law claims survive the two-pronged compete preemption test developed in Aetna Health, Inc. v. Davila, 542 U.S. 200, 210, (2004). Rules the precedent set in Midwest Security Life Insurance Co. v. Stroup, 730 N.E. 2d 163 (Ind. 2000) was misconstrued and that FMS’s claim does not involve ERISA but rather is about a provider’s rate of payment under a separate contract with a health insurance plan. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Thomas DeCola v. Starke County Election Board
Miscellaneous. Dismisses Thomas DeCola’s request that the appellate court order the Starke County Election Board to “reinstate” his three candidacies “on the June 2, 2020 Starke County Republican Primary and absentee ballots.” Declines to do so with only three weeks before the primary election, which will be conducted largely via absentee ballot. Expresses no opinion on the merits of the Election Board’s decision to not allow DeCola to appear on the primary ballot in Starke County in 2020.

Daniel Wahl and Saundra Wahl v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Daniel Wahl and Saundra Wahl’s conviction of Class D felony involuntary manslaughter after a toddler died at their daycare facility. Finds that the Hamilton Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in excluding expert testimony, admitting a video reenactment, or issuing a restitution order. Holds that the state presented sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to sustain the Wahls’ involuntary manslaughter conviction. Judge Elizabeth Tavitas concurs with a separate opinion. Judge Paul Mathias dissents with a separate opinion.

Colt M. Bowling v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Colt Bowling’s aggregate four-year sentence for convictions under two separate causes in Allen Superior Court. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offenses and his character as an offender, such that it warrants revision under Appellate Rule 7(B).

In the Matter of MYR.D. and MYU.D., (Minor Children), Children in Need of Services, and A.N. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services, and Child Advocates, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the adjudication of A.N.’s minor children, Myr.D. and Myu.D. as children in need of services. Finds sufficient evidence supports the Marion Superior Court’s CHINS determination.

Lloyd A. Corner v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Lloyd Corner’s 3½-year sentence for conviction in Fayette Circuit Court of Level 5 felony burglary. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by determining that Corner was not a good candidate for placement in community corrections. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

In the Matter of the Marriage of: Toshisada Onishi v. Rachel E. House and State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Domestic relations, with children. Affirms the St. Joseph Superior Court’s denial of Toshisada Onishi’s motion to enter certain exhibits into the CCS and the dismissal of his petition to modify custody and a petition filed on behalf of his mother, Teruko Onishi, for grandparent visitation. Finds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it dismissed both the motion for grandparent visitation and father’s petition to modify child custody.

Cynthia Miller v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Cynthia Miller’s conviction in St. Joseph Superior Court of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person. Finds that evidence of probative value exists from which the court as the trier of fact could have found Miller guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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