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Client Outcomes

On October 23, 2015, the Indiana Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the defense verdict our client was awarded by a jury in a dump truck/pedestrian accident in July of 2014.  Bishop v. Parks, 2015 WL 6410189 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015)(unpublished disposition).  The case was tried by Scott Tyler and Eric Eberwine and was discussed in the “Featured Trial Report” of our website’s Spring 2015 newsletter.  Following the jury’s verdict apportioning her 80% fault for the accident which operated as a complete bar to her recovery, Bishop filed a motion to correct error.  The trial judge denied the motion to correct error, and Bishop appealed.  The sole issue on appeal was whether the trial court erred in admitting into evidence the narrative page of the Indiana Officer’s Standard Crash Report.  The narrative included statements provided to the investigating officer by witnesses, including  Bishop herself.  Because the officer described in his trial testimony each of the statements provided to him by witnesses, without objection by Bishop, the Court of Appeals concluded that the narrative report was cumulative of evidence already admitted and did not prejudice Bishop’s substantial rights.
 
Tricia Hofmann secured the voluntary dismissal of a client who was sued in her capacity as a supervisor within a government agency in Chilton v. Lambring, et. al.  This lawsuit stated a number of causes of action against the agency, various agency employees and supervisors, and law enforcement representatives, including negligence, abuse of process and civil rights violations.  After confirming that our client played no role in the activities alleged, and thus had no personal liability, we explained to Plaintiff’s counsel why she could not be found liable either in a vicarious or supervisory liability capacity.  Plaintiff’s counsel agreed to dismiss all claims against our client, with prejudice, prior to discovery.
 
John Hofmann procured the prompt dismissal of a Kentucky subrogation action in GEICO et al v. Burnworth.  Following a three-vehicle motor vehicle accident, GEICO made PIP, property damage and uninsured motorist (UM) payments on behalf of its insured driver and passenger.  It filed suit against the other two drivers - our client, who was insured, and a third motorist, who was not insured - seeking reimbursement.  We demanded dismissal of the suit for several reasons.  First, because GEICO had not taken the steps required by the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Reparations Act, it was not entitled to reimbursement of its PIP payments.  Second, GEICO could not prevail against our client with respect to reimbursement of UM benefits because our client was insured, and therefore was not the operator of an "uninsured motor vehicle."  The other driver, however, was uninsured, and therefore any UM benefits paid must have been determined to have been due as a result of the actions of the uninsured motorist.  Indeed, that was consistent with the police report, which attributed liability only to the uninsured motorist.  Because there was no evidence to show that our client was at fault for the accident, GEICO also agreed to dismiss its claims for reimbursement of the sum it paid for property damage.
 
Rodney Scott and Carli Clowers secured a court order excluding Plaintiff’s proposed causation evidence in Mitchell v. Monday.  Several weeks after she was in a motor vehicle accident, Plaintiff was diagnosed with a unique medical condition involving fluid on the brain.  Plaintiff sought to have her treating chiropractor testify that this condition was caused by the accident.  We filed a motion to preclude this proposed testimony, because the unusual condition can only be diagnosed through medical tests which a chiropractor is not licensed to order and not authorized to interpret.  In addition, treatment of such a condition is not within the field of chiropractic as defined by Indiana statute.  Dr. Daniel Eichenberger submitted an affidavit as a defense expert, opining that medical training would be required to diagnose Plaintiff’s condition, and that Plaintiff’s medical records also contained evidence of other possible causes of the condition which the chiropractor had failed to consider.  Thus, there was a problem both with the expert’s qualifications to render the opinion and with the science behind the opinion itself.  Although Plaintiff sought to correct the problem by retaining a second, more extensively trained, chiropractor, the court ruled that the causation opinions of both the treating chiropractor and the retained testimonial chiropractor were outside the scope of their expertise, and entered an order precluding them testifying that the medical condition was causally related to the motor vehicle accident.
 
Tricia Hofmann also obtained the voluntary dismissal, with prejudice, of an underinsured motorist claim in Gramlin v. State Farm.  After confirming that co-Defendant’s per-person liability limits equaled the per-person UIM limits – the comparison to be used in a case involving one tortfeasor and one injury claimant – we demanded dismissal.  After reading our explanation of why the recent cases of Masten v. AMCO, 953 N.E.2d 566 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011)(multiple tortfeasors) and Lakes v. Grange Mutual Casualty Company, 964 N.E.2d 796 (Ind. 2012)(multiple claimants) were inapplicable to the facts of our case, Plaintiff’s counsel agreed to dismiss all claims against State Farm, with no summary judgment motion required.
 
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