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Friday, January 21, 2011

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 8 today (and 8 NFP)

For publication opinions today (8):

In Jodi McGookin, et al. v. Guidant Corporation, et al. , a 14-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:

After their newborn daughter was diagnosed with a heart defect, was given a Guidant pacemaker, and tragically passed away at the age of fourteen months, the appellants filed a state law complaint against Guidant. Among other things, they argue that Guidant should have put specific warnings on the pacemaker labeling related to its implantation into pediatric patients. Because the label had been preapproved by the Food and Drug Administration, however, and Guidant was not required to include the additional warnings, the trial court held that any state law-based failure-to-warn claims were preempted by federal law. Finding that the trial court properly found the claims preempted, we affirm.

Appellants-plaintiffs Jodi McGookin, as mother of the deceased, Samantha Arlene McGookin, Vicky McGookin, Jim McGookin, and Julian E. Smith (collectively, the Appellants) appeal the trial court's order denying their motion to correct error. The Appellants contend that the trial court erred by granting, in part, the motion for summary judgment filed by appellee-defendant Guidant Corporation (Guidant). Among other things, the Appellants argue that the trial court erred by finding a number of their claims regarding a Guidant pacemaker to be preempted by federal law. Finding no error, we affirm.

In Robert Hollis, et al. v. Defender Security Company , a 9-page opinion, Judge Barnes concludes:
We conclude that an employee's status at the time he or she files the claim is the relevant inquiry in determining whether to proceed under the Wage Payment Statute or the Wage Claims Statute. Robert was involuntarily separated from Defender when he filed his claims and, as such, his claims fell under the Wage Claims Statute.5 Instead of submitting his claims to the DOL, as required by Wage Claims Statute, Robert improperly filed a complaint based on the Wage Payment Statute. Because Robert did not allege any Wage Claims Statute violations and submit his claims to the DOL, the trial court properly dismissed Robert's claims.
In Darren Matlock v. State of Indiana , an 11-page opinion, Judge Barnes writes:
Matlock asserts that the trial court was required to dismiss the charging information where he was detained either by the Sheriff or in Richmond State Hospital for a period in excess of the maximum sentence that could have been imposed following conviction. * * *

In other words, where the possibility exists that a defendant accused of OWI may at some point in the future regain competency and be released back into society, which release also may include the defendant driving, the State may pursue an OWI conviction even if the defendant’s incompetency caused he or she to be detained for a period in excess of the maximum possible sentence for OWI. Here, Matlock’s incompetency never was alleged to be, and in fact was not, permanent. As such, the State was not precluded from pursuing an OWI conviction against Matlock. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Matlock’s motion to dismiss.

In Benjamin H. Steinberg v. State of Indiana , a 32-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:
On appeal, Steinberg raises the following issues: (1) whether the trial court violated the Federal and Indiana Wiretap Acts by admitting recordings of phone calls that Steinberg made to his parents while in jail; (2) if not, whether the trial court erred in not further redacting those recordings; (3) whether the trial court erred in admitting a 2003 email in which Steinberg asked whether there were any “extenuating circumstances relating to murder that negate personal liability”; (4) whether the prosecutor committed misconduct during closing argument when he stated that the lesser-included offense of involuntary manslaughter did not apply in this case; (5) whether the trial court committed fundamental error in admitting evidence of Steinberg's pretrial references to legal counsel; (6) whether the trial court erred in not finding Steinberg's mental health to be a mitigating factor at sentencing; and (7) whether Steinberg's sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character. Finding no reversible error and that Steinberg has failed to establish that his sentence is inappropriate, we affirm his conviction and sentence.
John P. Osburn v. State of Indiana - "We conclude that the State presented sufficient evidence to support Osburn's convictions but that his double jeopardy rights were violated because there is a reasonable possibility that the jury used the same facts to establish the essential elements of both theft and obstruction of justice. Therefore, we affirm Osburn's theft and insurance fraud convictions and vacate his obstruction of justice conviction and sentence on double jeopardy grounds."

Zachary K. Gootee v. State of Indiana "[W]e conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion upon resentencing by imposing the same aggregate sentence and by imposing consecutive sentences."

Brian Bronaugh v. State of Indiana - "Bronaugh's trial date of February 22, 2010, was scheduled on December 9, 2009, giving Bronaugh over two months to arrange for civilian clothing. Additionally, as stated above, the trial court told Bronaugh to have civilian clothing for his jury trial the Friday before his trial was set to begin. Accordingly, Bronaugh had ample time to arrange for civilian clothing and was clearly on notice that he needed to do so. And Bronaugh's failure to make arrangements demonstrates that he was not compelled to appear in jail clothing. See Shackelford v. State, 498 N.E.2d 382, 384 (Ind. 1986) (determining that the defendant was given ample time to obtain civilian clothing and his failure to do so did not result in him being compelling to appear to appear in jail attire); Bledsoe, 410 N.E.2d at 1314 (observing that defendant's failure to obtain civilian clothing during the five-week period preceding trial did not result in defendant being compelled to appear in jail attire). Therefore, Bronaugh was not denied due process when the trial court proceeded with his jury trial, and we affirm the decision of the trial court."

Christopher K. Washington v. State of Indiana

NFP civil opinions today (3):

Paternity of B.W.; D.W. v. T.P. (NFP)

S.R. v. T.R. (NFP)

Adoption of T.V. and M.V.; B.R. v. J.V. (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (5):

Bonnie Warren v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Brandy Lozier v. State of Indiana (NFP)

David D. Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Mark Phillips v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Josh R. Crager v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 21, 2011 11:22 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions