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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues two today

In Wendell E. Cox v. Northern Indiana Public Service Company, Inc., a 13-page opinion, Judge Robb writes:

Wendell Cox, a cable installer, filed a complaint against Northern Indiana Public Service Company, Inc. (“NIPSCO”) for negligence in the maintenance of the overhead high voltage electric wires and transformer affixed to a utility pole. NIPSCO filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that it had no duty to Cox and therefore was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The trial court granted NIPSCO’s motion for summary judgment and Cox now appeals. We affirm. * * *

Conclusion. Cox is charged with knowing the potential hazards of the electrical equipment with which he came into contact in the course of his employment. Because he has failed to designate any competent evidence of a defect or malfunction in that equipment that caused his injury, NIPSCO had no duty to him even though he was a member of a particular segment of the population that NIPSCO knew would be regularly exposed to its lines. The trial court properly granted summary judgment to NIPSCO on the issue of duty.

In Cleveland Townsley v. Marion County Department of Child Services, a 10-page opinion, Judge Sullivan concludes:
The court’s failure, in this CHINS adjudication, to comply with the requirements of I.C. § 31-34-13-3 to hold a separate hearing to determine the admissibility of child hearsay statements and its broad determination of the statements’ reliability in spite of the arguable inconsistencies in C.T.’s statements at issue undermine our confidence in its determination that C.T. is a CHINS. Accordingly, we reverse the CHINS adjudication and remand to the trial court with instructions to re-evaluate the CHINS petition consistent with the requirements of I.C. § 31-34-13-3. See J.Q., 836 N.E.2d at 967. C.T.’s placement shall remain in therapeutic foster care pending the court’s CHINS determination.

The judgment of the trial court is reversed, and the cause is remanded with instructions.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 6, 2006 01:06 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions