Seventh Circuit Provides Guidance on Certifying Class Definition and Claims Differing from Those Proposed in Complaint

Seventh Circuit Provides Guidance on Certifying Class Definition and Claims Differing from Those Proposed in Complaint

This week we discuss the Seventh Circuit’s opinion in Beaton v. SpeedyPC Software, which weighed in on the propriety of certifying a class narrower than the definition proposed in the complaint and upon claims not specifically identified in the complaint. We also briefly look at eight other appellate decisions from the past two weeks that include: (i) holding that the misuse defense under Indiana’s Products Liability Act can be a complete defense; (ii) a party’s complete about-face can be a basis for surprise to obtain relief from a judgment under Trial Rule 60(B)(1); (iii) multi-year assertion that a defendant is subject to the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act and numerous delays to await a medical review panel determination can be sufficient to estop a plaintiff from arguing that the defendant is not subject to the Medical Malpractice Act; (iv) contracts attached to complaints are admissible as evidence at trial even if not specifically identified in final exhibits list; (v) a claim for unjust enrichment can be made even if the benefits are provided by a third-party; (vi) courts may commit reversible error when elevating formality over substantial justice with overly rigid application of procedure at trial; (vii) illustrating considerations in applying the doctrines of apparent authority and apparent agency; and (viii) citations to the record along with other citations count toward the word limit in federal appellate filings despite no rule specifically stating that citations are included in the word count.

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Indiana Court of Appeals: $1.3M Verdict Not Excessive for Rear-End Collision & Not Reversible Error to Exclude Evidence of Prior Discipline of Medical Expert

Indiana Court of Appeals: $1.3M Verdict Not Excessive for Rear-End Collision & Not Reversible Error to Exclude Evidence of Prior Discipline of Medical Expert

This week we look at Tunstall v. Manning, in which the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a $1.3M verdict for a woman who suffered spinal injuries in a rear-end collision and further ruled that it was not reversible error, if error at all, to exclude evidence of the plaintiff’s medical expert’s prior professional discipline because he was no longer subject to discipline at the time of trial.

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Indiana Supreme Court: Evidence of Prior Alcohol Convictions Are Admissible to Support Punitive Damages Claim

Indiana Supreme Court: Evidence of Prior Alcohol Convictions Are Admissible to Support Punitive Damages Claim

This week we look at the final decision from long-serving Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker, which held that evidence of prior alcohol convictions are admissible in a drunk driving case to support a claim of punitive damages. We also look briefly at two other decisions this week from the Court of Appeals of Indiana. One of those decisions held that an expert in a medical malpractice case who testifies on the applicable standard of care may be cross-examined on his personal practices. The other examined the scope of the duty to warn and affirmed a jury verdict for a passenger injured when the vehicle she was in struck a semi on the side of the road, despite the driver of the car dying and being unable to testify whether he would have taken different actions had the truck driver turned on his emergency flashers.

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Indiana Supreme Court Answers Questions of Admissibility of Immigration Status in Tort Cases

Indiana Supreme Court Answers Questions of Admissibility of Immigration Status in Tort Cases

This week we look to a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision, which held that unauthorized-immigration status does not prohibit recovery of damages for diminished earning capacity in tort cases. The court also created a test that requires a finding that the probability that the plaintiff will be deported to be more likely than not in order for evidence of immigration status to be admitted.

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Indiana: Failure to Wear Seatbelt Not Admissible in Personal Injury Case

Indiana: Failure to Wear Seatbelt Not Admissible in Personal Injury Case

This week's discussion focuses on a recent Indiana appellate decision affirming a motion in liming to exclude evidence that the plaintiff in personal injury case was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision. We use this platform to discuss more expansively the admission of evidence of whether an injured person was wearing a seatbelt in the context of a personal injury trial.

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7th Circuit Holds Lack of OSHA Regulation Cannot Provide Negative Inference in FLSA Case

7th Circuit Holds Lack of OSHA Regulation Cannot Provide Negative Inference in FLSA Case

This week's discussion looks back at a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision from the end of October that rejected the proposition that the absence of an OSHA regulation requiring showering and changing of clothing by foundry workers meant that it was not required by the nature of the work. The case also advances a position of the Seventh Circuit against courts trying to handle complexity through simplified means.

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7th Circuit Holds Expert Testimony Based on Aspirational Industry Guidelines Admissible

7th Circuit Holds Expert Testimony Based on Aspirational Industry Guidelines Admissible

This week we discuss the recent 7th Circuit decision in Lees v. Carthage College that found an expert's testimony based in large part upon aspirational industry guidelines that are not the "community standards."

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