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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 10 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In Carol Sparks Drake v. Thomas A. Dickey, Craig Anderson, Charles E. Podell, and Duke Realty Corporation, a 21-page opinion, Judge Najam writes:

Carol Sparks Drake appeals the trial court’s entry of summary judgment for Thomas A. Dickey, Craig Anderson, Charles E. Podell, and Duke Realty Corporation (collectively, “Duke Realty”) on Drake’s claim that Duke Realty intentionally interfered with her partnership agreement with the law firm of Parr Richey Obremskey & Morton.[1] Drake and Duke Realty raise three issues for our review, which we consolidate and restate as follows:
1. Whether there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Duke Realty intentionally induced Parr Richey to terminate Drake’s partnership agreement.
2. Whether, if Duke Realty interfered with Drake’s partnership agreement, there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether such interference was justified. * * *

In sum, it is for a jury to weigh the evidence and competing inferences and to determine Duke Realty’s intent, including whether Duke Realty intended to interfere with Drake’s partnership agreement, whether Duke Realty reasonably contemplated that its threat was certain or substantially certain to interfere with that agreement without regard to whether Duke Realty actually intended or desired that result, or whether Duke Realty’s threat to withdraw all of its business from Parr Richey was merely an expression of a client’s legitimate concern about a conflict of interest. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings.
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[1] On October 5, 2012, the trial court granted Duke Realty’s motion to “Prohibit Public Access to Confidential Information” and excluded from public access the parties’ filings in the trial court. Appellant’s App. at 117. On appeal, both parties requested that this court maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings pursuant to Indiana Administrative Rule 9(G)(1.2), and our motions panel granted that request. The writing panel may reconsider a ruling of the motions panel. We have endeavored to maintain confidentiality on appeal and, thus, have omitted the names of nonparties. But an appellate judicial opinion that both decides the case and articulates the law requires consideration of the underlying facts. Thus, we have included a number of facts derived from confidential records in this opinion because “we deem such information to be public as essential to the resolution of the litigation and appropriate to further the establishment of precedent and the development of the law.” Recker v. Review Bd. of Ind. Dep’t of Workforce Dev., 958 N.E.2d 1136, 1138 n.4 (Ind. 2011) (citing Ind. Administrative Rules 9(G)(3) and 9(G)(4)(d)).

In John Kader v. State of Indiana, Department of Correction, and The Geo Group, Inc., a 9-page opinion, Judge Bailey writes:
In a textbook example of the differences between the Indiana and federal summary judgment standards, John Kader (“Kader”), an inmate with the Indiana Department of Correction (“the Department”), appeals the trial court’s entry of summary judgment against him in his negligence suit against The GEO Group, Inc. (“GEO”), the State of Indiana (“the State”), the Department (collectively, “the Defendants”).

Kader raises two issues for our review, which we restate as:
I. Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it struck an affidavit Kader submitted in opposition to GEO’s motion for summary judgment; and
II. Whether the trial court erred when it entered summary judgment against Kader when it concluded that:
A. GEO’s duty of care to Kader was that of a landowner to an invitee, and to the extent GEO had not been notified of any defects with the floor grates, its duty toward Kader did not include remedying any such defects;
B. Kader was contributorily negligent because he did not use a wheelchair and was walking without assistance of a cane;
C. Kader failed to produce competent evidence that falling on the floor grates was the medical cause of the injuries of which he complains; and
D. GEO had no duty of care as to Kader’s medical treatment. * * *

The trial court abused its discretion when it struck the entirety of Holland’s affidavit, which Kader designated as evidentiary material in response to the motion for summary judgment. The trial court erred when it entered summary judgment against Kader regarding his claims against GEO, except as to Kader’s claim that GEO was negligent in its procurement and supervision of his follow-up medical care. The trial court also erred when it entered summary judgment against Kader on his claim of negligent medical treatment as it pertained to the State and the Department. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded with instructions.

NFP civil opinions today (3):

In Re the Paternity of: L.M.J. b/n/f, D.R.D. v C.A.J. (NFP)

Kelli Alvarez, f/k/a Kelli Galanos v. Horizon Bank, N.A. (NFP)

L.M. Zeller, individually, and d/b/a Zeller Elevator Company v. Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (7):

Willie Huguley v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Joseph A. Harrell v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Kenneth Morton v. State of Indiana (NFP)

James B. Studabaker, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Julie Marie King v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Douglas A. Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Randy Winters v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 11, 2013 10:45 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions