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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 today (and 2 NFP)

For publication opinions today (3):

In William Klepper, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated v. Ace American Insurance Company, a 26-page, 2-1 opinion, Judge Bailey writes:

William Klepper, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated (“the Class”), appeals the trial court’s order adopting the special master’s reports and entering partial final judgment in favor of ACE American Insurance, Inc., (“ACE”). ACE cross-appeals, challenging the special master’s resolution of some of the issues and the entry of partial final judgment. This case also involves Pernod Ricard USA, LLC, d/b/a Seagram Lawrenceburg Distillery (“Pernod”), who was insured by ACE and XL Insurance America (“XL”). We affirm.

The Class and ACE raise several issues. We address the following dispositive issues:
I. whether the special master properly concluded that ACE was not bound by a settlement agreement between the Class, Pernod, and XL because Pernod breached its obligations under the ACE policy; and
II. whether ACE is entitled to final judgment on all outstanding claims. * * *

Conclusion. Because the “voluntary payment” and “legally obligated to pay” provisions preclude coverage, the trial court properly entered partial judgment in favor of ACE on this issue. Regarding the entry of final judgment on all claims, because of the distinct legal theories at play, the entry of final judgment in favor of ACE on the Class’s bad faith claim would be premature at the this stage of the proceedings. We affirm.

PYLE, J., concurs.
CRONE, J., concurs in part and dissents in part. [in an opinion which begins, at p. 25] I agree with the majority’s determination that ACE did not abandon Pernod or breach the Policy. I also agree that entry of final judgment on the Class’s bad-faith claim would be premature. I respectfully disagree, however, with the majority’s determination that ACE may avoid the settlement agreement based on the Policy’s “voluntary payment” and “legally obligated to pay” provisions. An insurer who defends an insured under a reservation of rights should not be able to use those policy provisions as both a shield and a sword.

In Old National Bancorp d/b/a Old National Trust Company, as Trustee of the Percy E. Goodrich Trust and the Hanover College Trust v. Hanover College, a 7-page opinion, Sr. Judge Darden writes:
Old National Trust Company (“Old National”) served as the trustee for both the Percy E. Goodrich Trust and the Hanover College Trust. In 2012, Hanover College petitioned the trial court to terminate both trusts. Following a hearing, the trial court entered judgments terminating both trusts and ordering the transfer of the trusts’ assets to Hanover College.

Old National, as Trustee, brought separate appeals from the trial court’s orders terminating both trusts. The two appeals were consolidated into one, and Hanover College filed a motion to dismiss the appeal alleging that Old National lacked standing. As this issue is dispositive, we need not and cannot consider the appeal on its merits, and, therefore, we dismiss. * * *

For the reasons stated, we are without jurisdiction to consider this appeal on the merits, and we dismiss.

In Katherine Ryan v. Larry Janovsky, an 11-page opinion, Chief Judge Robb writes:
The marriage of Katherine Ryan and Larry Janovsky was dissolved in 1991 pursuant to a settlement agreement that included a provision dividing Janovsky’s pension. Over twenty years later, Ryan presented a proposed Qualified Domestic Relations Order (“QDRO”) for Janovsky’s signature. Janovsky refused to sign, and Ryan filed a Verified Petition for Contempt and Rule to Show Cause, alleging Janovsky was in contempt of the parties’ settlement agreement for failing to sign the QDRO. Ryan appeals the trial court’s denial of her petition, raising one issue for our review: whether the trial court abused its discretion in finding her efforts to secure a QDRO were barred by the statute of limitations and the equitable doctrines of laches and waiver. Concluding the entry of a QDRO is not time-barred, we reverse and remand.
NFP civil opinions today (0):

NFP criminal opinions today (2):

Keimonte Jackson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Darryl L. Abron v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 5, 2013 12:16 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions