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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 today (and 3 NFP)

For publication opinions today (1):

In Kirstan Haub, d/b/a American Handyman Service v. Jenny Eldridge, a 12-page opinion, Judge Pyle writes:

Haub asserts that the trial court erred in denying his motion for summary judgment. Specifically, Haub argues that the Release is unambiguous in its release of Haub and AHS from any and all claims asserted by Eldridge and that the trial court erred in considering parol evidence to find the existence of an issue of fact. * * *

The plain language of the Release covers all claims Eldridge may have against Haub for faulty or defective work, arising up to and including October 8, 2010, the date Eldridge signed the Release, including, but not limited to, any claim that arose on or about September 29, 2008. Given that the Release makes no reference to the Policy or IFBI’s coverage under the Policy, we cannot say that the language in the Release limits it to only “claims arising from an ‘accident’ or ‘occurrence’ as defined by” the Policy.

The clear and plain language of the Release continues, providing that the terms of the Release “have been completely read and are fully understood by [Eldridge] . . . for the purpose of making a full and final compromise adjustment and settlement of all claims, disputed or otherwise, . . . against [Haub].” (App. 26) (emphasis added). In addition, the Release unambiguously provides that “it is the ENTIRE AGREEMENT between the parties . . . .” (App. 26). There is no contradictory language in the Release regarding its coverage that necessitates a factual determination. Accordingly, we find that the trial court erred in considering parol evidence, where the Release unambiguously releases Haub from any and all claims that Eldridge may have had against him on or before October 8, 2010. [cites omitted]

We therefore find that the trial court erred in denying Haub’s motion for summary judgment and that Eldridge is not entitled to summary judgment. We reverse and remand with instructions that the trial court enter summary judgment in favor of Haub.

NFP civil opinions today (1):

Monica Oevermeyer v. Dennis Steinbis (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (2):

Nicole Means v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Dennis Mikel v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 27, 2012 10:22 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions