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Monday, September 12, 2011

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 today (and 1 NFP)

For publication opinions today (1):

In Katherine Farley and James Paul v. Hammond Sanitary District , an 18-page, 2-1 opinion, Sr. Judge Barteau writes:

Plaintiffs-Appellants Katherine Farley and James Paul, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated (collectively, “Farley and Paul”), appeal the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Defendant-Appellee Hammond Sanitary District (“HSD”). We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

Farley and Paul raise three issues, which we restate as: I. Whether the trial court abused its discretion by striking portions of an expert witness’ affidavit that Farley and Paul submitted in opposition to HSD’s Amended Motion for Summary Judgment. II. Whether the trial court erred by granting summary judgment to HSD on Farley and Paul’s tort claims.III. Whether the trial court erred by granting summary judgment to HSD on Farley and Paul’s individual claims for unconstitutional taking of personal property. * * *

BROWN, J., concurs.
VAIDIK, J., dissents with separate opinion. [that begins, at p. 15 of 18, and that concludes] To make out a claim of negligent maintenance, the plaintiffs must establish that HSD breached an existing standard of care and that the breach proximately caused them injury. Williams may be qualified to testify that HSD breached a duty to properly maintain its non-scouring sewer lines. But without evidence of resulting obstructions at the plaintiffs’ households, Williams’ opinion that HSD’s negligence caused the plaintiffs’ flooding becomes nothing more than speculation. And with no competent evidence of causation in the record, the non-scouring sewer plaintiffs are unable to sustain a prima facie negligence claim. Accordingly, I believe there remains no genuine issue of material of fact and the defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

For these reasons I respectfully dissent and would affirm summary judgment in favor of the defense.

NFP civil opinions today (1):

Maria Lopez Garcia v. Agile Resources Inc. (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (0):

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 12, 2011 11:16 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions