« Ind. Law - Last day nearing for tenant farmers wanting to renegotiate farmland leases for 2016 | Main | Ind. Decisions - "Indiana drops fines against Walsh Construction in Milton-Madison Bridge death" »

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 opinion(s) today (and 7 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (1):

In Mary K. Patchett v. Ashley N. Lee , a 26-page opinion, Judge Brown writes:

In this interlocutory appeal, Mary K. Patchett appeals the trial court’s order granting a motion in limine filed by Ashley N. Lee, and ordering that evidence of payments made by the Healthy Indiana Plan (“HIP”) to reimburse Lee’s medical providers in full satisfaction of Lee’s hospital bills, was barred by the collateral source statute, Ind. Code § 34-44-1-2, and is not admissible under Indiana caselaw. Patchett raises one issue, which we revise and restate as whether the court abused its discretion in ruling that such evidence was inadmissible. We affirm. * * *

The issue is whether the trial court abused its discretion in ruling that evidence of the amount HIP paid to reimburse Lee’s medical providers was inadmissible under the collateral source statute and caselaw. Evidentiary rulings such as in this case lie within the discretion of the trial court, and we may reverse such decisions only if a trial court abuses its discretion. * * *

We find the facts and reasoning in Butler to be distinguishable, and we do not believe that the Court’s mere reference to the collateral source statute in a footnote and the pending Stanley decision has an impact on the outcome of this case.

Finally, even if evidence of the HIP payment amounts are admissible under the collateral source statute and Stanley, such would not preclude the court, in its discretion, from excluding said amounts under Ind. Evidence Rule 403, which states that “[t]he court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.” “A trial court decision regarding whether any particular evidence violates Evidence Rule 403 will be accorded a great deal of deference on appeal; we review only for an abuse of discretion.” Tompkins v. State, 669 N.E.2d 394, 398 (Ind. 1996). Here, the court examined the dollar figure associated with the HIP payments and ruled that such amount “would only cause confusion to the jury on how such amounts should be used or considered.” Appellant’s Appendix at 14. To the extent Patchett suggests that the court abused its discretion because it misinterpreted the law in Stanley, we disagree. The court invoked Rule 403 in the alternative when it “further” found that evidence of the HIP payments would cause confusion, and we cannot say that the court abused its discretion in that regard.

NFP civil decisions today (3):

Horizon Bank, N.A. v. Centier Bank (mem. dec.)

Roger Tolentino and Repto, Inc. v. Sheldon J. Hermann and Cheryl A. Hermann (mem. dec.)

Kansas City Services, Inc. v. Bryan Connan, individually, Julie Connan, individually, and Connan's Zionsville Investore, LLC (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (4):

Joshua Tarazona v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Telly S. Bracey v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Zachary L. Ray v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Michael Taylor v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 19, 2015 11:10 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions