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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 4 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In Stephen W. Robertson, Ins. Comm. of the State of Indiana, on behalf of the Indiana Dept. of Ins. v. Ticor Title Ins. Co. of Florida, n/k/a Chicago Title Ins. Co. , a 22-page opinion, Judge Mathias writes:

The Insurance Commissioner of the State of Indiana initiated administrative proceedings against Ticor Title Insurance Company of Florida (“Ticor”) after an investigation revealed that Ticor was charging potentially excessive and discriminatory title insurance rates to its Indiana customers. A hearing was held and a hearing officer for the Indiana Department of Insurance (“the IDOI”) determined that Ticor’s title insurance rates were excessive and discriminatory. The hearing officer issued an order directing Ticor to, in part, refund excessive premiums, establish an internal control process to ensure that the appropriate premium is charged to Ticor’s customers, and pay unpaid premium taxes. Ticor subsequently filed a Petition for Judicial Review of Administrative Order in Marion Superior Court. After a hearing was held on the petition, the trial court issued findings of fact and conclusions of law reversing the administrative order. The IDOI appeals and raises the following issues:

I. Whether the trial court failed to appropriately defer to the IDOI’s interpretation of the Rate Statute when the court accepted Ticor’s interpretation of that statute in issuing its findings of fact and conclusions of law and,
II. Whether the trial court erred when it reversed the administrative order because the administrative hearing officer’s findings of fact and conclusions of law are supported by substantial evidence.

Concluding that the IDOI’s interpretation of the Rate Statute was reasonable and that the administrative hearing officer’s findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence, we reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion. * * *

We conclude that the trial court exceeded its authority when it reweighed the
evidence presented to the administrative hearing officer. Because there is substantial evidence to support the administrative hearing officer’s findings that Ticor allowed its agents to charge excessive and discriminatory rates to its Indiana customers, we reverse the trial court’s decision to set aside the Indiana Commissioner of Insurance’s September 3, 2010 order, and we reinstate the administrative order.

In LBM Realty, LLC, d/b/a Summer Place Apartments v. Hillary Mannia, a 15-page opinion, Judge Pyle writes:
After a fire broke out at an apartment building owned by LBM Realty, LLC d/b/a Summer Place Apartments (“LBM”), LBM’s insurance company, Greater New York Mutual Insurance Company (“Insurer”), paid LBM’s fire loss claim and then filed an insurance subrogation action, in LBM’s name, against LBM’s tenant, Hillary Mannia (“Mannia”), who is alleged to have negligently started the fire on her balcony patio. Mannia filed a Trial Rule 12(B)(6) motion to dismiss LBM’s claims of breach of contract and negligence, and the trial court granted her motion. LBM now appeals from the trial court’s dismissal of its complaint against Mannia. We reverse and remand. * * *

LBM argues that the trial court erred by granting Mannia’s motion to dismiss LBM’s complaint. Specifically, LBM contends that the trial court erroneously adopted the no-subrogation approach and concluded that Mannia was a co-insured under LBM’sinsurance policy.

NFP civil opinions today (1):

Sandra R. Peters v. Wal-Mart (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (3):

Larry Garmon v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Toby Hicks v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Toni L. Woods v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 19, 2012 10:28 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions