« Law - "Charges officially dropped against NY photographer arrested for taping police" | Main | Ind. Courts - More on: The Indiana Public Defender Commission’s annual report for 2010-2011 is now available online »

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 today (and 8 NFP)

For publication opinions today (3):

In Thomas R. Crowel v. Marshall County Drainage Bd. , a 19-page, 2-1 opinion, Judge Mathias rules that "the trial court erred in concluding that the Drainage Board's decision was not arbitrary, capricious, unlawful, or not supported by substantial evidence." The majority opinion concludes:

Because the trial court's findings were insufficient to support its conclusion that the Drainage Board's assessment was not arbitrary, capricious, unlawful, or not supported by substantial evidence, we must vacate the trial court's order. However, because evidence was presented at trial that might support the conclusion that Crowel's land was benefitted by the reconstruction project, we remand to the trial court with instructions to reconsider the evidence in the record and enter new findings and conclusions, if warranted and as supported by the record. If, on remand, the trial court determines based on the evidence in the record that Crowel's land will be benefitted by the reconstruction project, its findings and conclusions should reflect the evidence that supports that determination. If, however, the trial court determines that Crowel's land will not be benefitted, as defined by statute and case law, it should enter judgment in favor of Crowel. We stress that neither Crowel nor the Drainage Board are to be given the opportunity to retry the case or present additional evidence on remand; the trial court's judgment should be based solely on the evidence in the record. Reversed and remanded with instructions.

KIRSCH, J., concurs.
VAIDIK, J., dissents with opinion. [that begins, at p. 16 of 19]I respectfully disagree with my colleagues that the trial court's findings were insufficient to support its conclusion that the Drainage Board's assessment was not arbitrary, capricious, unlawful, or otherwise not supported by substantial evidence. My colleagues' opinion is premised upon the assumption that Crowel's land was not benefitted by reconstructing this drain. I disagree.

In Raymond Flores v. Juan P. Rocha Gutierrez , a 15-page opinion, Judge Bradford writes:
Following an automobile accident, Appellant-Plaintiff Raymond Flores brought a personal injury action against Appellee-Defendant Juan Rocha Gutierrez in which Gutierrez was determined to be liable, but the jury awarded Flores no damages. The trial court subsequently denied Flores's motion to correct error alleging that the verdict was inconsistent with the evidence and inadequate as a matter of law. Upon appeal, Flores claims that the trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion to correct error. In addition, Flores challenges the trial court's admission of certain evidence, specifically a photograph of property damage and his claim for worker's compensation benefits relating to a subsequent fall. He also challenges the trial court's exclusion of certain of his medical records. We affirm.
In Thomas Kornelik v. Mittal Steel USA, Inc., et al. , a 14-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:
Today we decide whether an injured employee who settles with a third party for substantially less than the damages value of his claim without the consent of his employer or his worker's compensation carrier can subsequently reduce his lien arising under the Indiana Worker's Compensation Act by attorney fees and pro rata costs pursuant to Indiana Code section 22-3-2-13 and in the same proportion that his full recovery was reduced pursuant to Indiana Code section 34-51-2-19. We answer the first question in the affirmative, and the second in the negative.

Plaintiff-appellant Thomas Kornelik appeals the trial court's denial of his motion to correct error following the dismissal of his motion to adjudicate lien and for declaratory judgment. Specifically, Kornelik contends that the trial court erred in failing to reduce his worker's compensation lien by attorney fees and a pro rata share of costs as well as in the same proportion that his full recovery was reduced. Concluding that the trial court erred in failing to reduce Kornelik's lien by attorney fees and pro rata costs, but properly refused to reduce the lien in the same proportion that Kornelik's full recovery was reduced, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand with instructions for the trial court to reduce the lien by attorney fees and a pro rata share of costs.

Affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded with instructions.

NFP civil opinions today (2):

Javier Soto v Monaco Coach Corp. (NFP)

D.R., Alleged to be C.H.I.N.S.; J.R. v. I.D.C.S. & Child Advocates (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (6):

Freddie McKnight v. Curtis T. Hill, Jr., et al. (NFP)

R.C. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jose Lozano v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Christopher Richmond v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Yasmin Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Tradell Marzette v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 10, 2011 12:10 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions