Monday, March 18, 2013
Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 today (and 0 NFP)
For publication opinions today (1):
In Carmeuse Lime & Stone and Carmeuse Lime, Inc. v. Illini State Trucking, Inc., a 15-page opinion, Judge Brown writes:
Carmeuse Lime & Stone and Carmeuse Lime, Inc. (collectively, “Carmeuse”) appeal from the trial court’s order dismissing their complaint in favor of Illini State Trucking, Inc. (“Illini”). Carmeuse raises one issue which we revise and restate as whether the court erred in dismissing its complaint. We affirm. * * *ILB irrelevant observation: Hmmm, I've driven to Allegheny County Pennsylvania and it took quite a bit longer than "several hours".
This court has observed that “forum selection provisions are enforceable if they are reasonable and just under the circumstances and if there is no evidence of fraud or overreaching such that the agreeing party, for all practical purposes, would be deprived of a day in court.” Dexter Axle Co. v. Baan USA, Inc., 833 N.E.2d 43, 48 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005). Additionally, the provision must have been freely negotiated. Id. “Moreover, ‘[e]ven where the forum-selection clause establishes a remote forum for resolution of conflicts, the party claiming [unfairness] should bear a heavy burden of proof.’” Id. (quoting Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v. Shute, 499 U.S. 585, 592, 111 S. Ct. 1522, 1526 (1991)) (internal quotations omitted). * * *
Here, by contrast, Carmeuse has already settled with Ruiz, the party who would have not been bound by the forum selection clause contained in the contract between Carmeuse and Illini. Thus, there is no possibility of multiple lawsuits. Also, as noted above the party claiming unfairness from a forum selection clause due to the remoteness of the forum bears a heavy burden of proof. On that score, we also note that the distance between Lake County, Indiana, and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, may be traversed by automobile in several hours, and accordingly we cannot say that Allegheny County, Pennsylvania is too remote. See Horner, 650 N.E.2d at 764 (noting that the distance between Marion County, Indiana and Peoria County, Illinois “may be traversed by automobile in several hours” and accordingly “it cannot be said that, in the context of the issue before us, Peoria County, Illinois is a remote forum”). We cannot say that enforcing the forum selection clause is unjust and unreasonable, and accordingly we conclude that the court did not err in dismissing Carmeuse’s lawsuit.
NFP civil opinions today (0):
NFP criminal opinions today (0):
Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 18, 2013 12:54 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions