Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office File East Chicago Lead Poisoning Tort Claim Notices

Despite the growing awareness of the potentially devastating health effects of lead exposure in children, lead poisoning continues to be one of the most common health problems impacting children today. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notified over 1,000 residents of a West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, Indiana that the lead levels found in and surrounding their homes were dangerously high.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Pavlack Law LLC and Alvarez Law Office recently filed tort claims on behalf of hundreds of residents who were exposed to the lead contamination at the West Calumet Housing Complex.

Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office have set up a website,, for those who may have been exposed to lead at the West Calumet Housing Complex. If you have any questions regarding lead exposure and your rights, please contact the experienced team of attorneys at Pavlack Law 317-251-1100 or Alvarez Law Office 219-662-6400 for a free consultation.

Rumors of Drugs, Weapons, and Other Contraband Prompt Marion County Jail Shakedown

Following rumors of a massive drug problem and potential weapons inside the Marion County Jail II facility, Sheriff John Layton ordered 40 sheriff’s deputies to conduct a search on the facility this past weekend. The Jail II facility is located at 730 E. Washington Street, and is run by the private jail operator Corrections Corporation of America. Sadly, 27 year-old inmate Nicholas Grant passed away from a fatal overdose on Friday night following the search. A follow-up death investigation is underway, but it is suspected that Grant swallowed a balloon of heroin during the search, which ultimately resulted in his death.

Sheriff Layton will hold a press conference later this week to discuss the findings of the search and to outline possible solutions to protect inmates’ safety while the county awaits further criminal justice reform. The Marion County Jail has been operating in “crisis mode” since earlier this year, with all jail facilities operating at maximum capacity. Currently, other Indiana county jails are handling the Marion County overflow of inmates, and Mayor Hogsett has appointed a task force to analyze the situation. The task force is expected to present their findings in December.

Read more from Fox 59’s Russ McQuaid here:

Another Apparent Suicide At Marion County Jail

Another Marion County Jail inmate, Joshua Bellamy, was found dead in his cell at the Marion County Jail yesterday afternoon. The death is now being investigated as an apparent suicide. According to Sheriff John Layton, inmate jail deaths reached ‘epidemic proportions’ in 2015 with 3 inmate suicides, and 2016 is proving to be an even worse year for inmates with 4 probable suicides thus far. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has appointed a task force to study the jail and present its findings in December 2016. However, Hogsett’s 2017 public safety budget proposal did not earmark any funds for a new jail. Instead, the 2017 budget sets aside funds to pay other counties to handle overflow. Sheriff Layton has said a new jail is needed.

Is ITT Tech the Canary in the Coal Mine? For-Profit Colleges and the Student Loan Crisis

With the recent publicity surrounding the closure of the massive for-profit college ITT Technical Institute, many may be wondering why the business practices of ITT and other high profile for-profit colleges (FPCs) have come under such scrutiny in recent years. Being a consummate advocate for consumers, FPC abuses have long been of serious concern to Eric Pavlack. Just this past summer, Eric presented to the Sagamore American Inn of Court on the dramatic negative effect of student loan abuses by FPCs. So what are FPCs and why should students and taxpayers be concerned about their business practices?

Everyone has seen the endless FPC ads on television—ITT Tech, DeVry, University of Phoenix, and even Trump University, just to name a few— offering potential students an easy degree that will result in a lucrative job placement. Sadly, this promising scenario is a far cry from what many students at FPCs are left with: no degree and a crushing amount of student loan debt.

FPCs predominantly market to and prey on low-income people, minorities, and veterans who are struggling to make ends meet and looking to better their standard of living. Once a potential student is identified, FPCs utilize high-pressure sales tactics leading the student to believe they need to immediately enroll and acquire student loans or they may not qualify for the loans in the future. A U.S. Senate Committee report released in 2012 highlighted some of these unethical techniques recruiters were using to secure commitments and federal student loan money from students. These tactics included trolling for potential students at hair salons and Wal-Mart or “any stores that may have people that need to get an education,” asking probing questions that “slowly peel away pain layers,” and the “quick close” in which recruiters were instructed to create a sense of urgency and make candidates feel they would not be accepted unless they signed up that very moment.

In a whistleblowing case filed in 2007, it was found that admissions recruiters for Education Management Corporation were actually paid bonuses for enrolling students, an illegal and unethical strategy. The lawsuit alleged that because of these illegal incentives, recruiters were signing up students they knew would not succeed or finish the program despite incurring massive amounts of federal loan debt.

Unlike Private Non-Profit colleges, who receive most of their funding from student tuition and endowments and operate under the supervision of a board of trustees, FPCs may receive up to 90% of their revenue from federal student aid and are run by larger companies who answer to shareholders and investors. Simply put, FPCs exist largely in part to make profits for the shareholders and investors, and therefore driving revenues through obtaining federal student loans is more important than individual outcomes.

A 2015 report published by the Brookings Institute demonstrates how students attending FPCs disproportionately burden the student loan system and are overwhelmingly contributing to a “student loan crisis” that many believe is akin to the housing bubble that created the Great Recession of 2008. The amount of debt owed by those attending FPCs has grown from $39 billion in 2000 to $229 billion in 2014. Although FPC students represent only about 13% of all college enrollment, they make up over 30% of borrowing and approximately 50% of the defaults on student loans.

Additionally concerning are the tuition rates at FPCs. It is typical for an associate degree at a FPC to cost up to four times as much as the same degree from a comparable public college, while a bachelor’s degree may cost twice as much. So, while FPCs are charging top-dollar, the students are receiving an abysmal education and are unable to find jobs upon matriculation. Even worse, only 49% of those enrolling will actually complete their programs. The remaining 51% are much worse off than when they started: still no degree and substantial student loan debt. It is not difficult to see why the likelihood of a student at a FPC defaulting on their loans is four times greater than a student at a community college and three times greater than at a four-year public or non-profit college.

The Education Department tried to increase regulation of these colleges in 2009 by beefing up standards for an existing requirement know as the “gainful employment rule.” This rule would require colleges that receive federally subsidized loans to be able to demonstrate statistically that students receiving degrees were able to achieve gainful employment in their chosen field following matriculation. Unfortunately, like other big businesses desperate to protect their profits, a conglomeration of FPCs employed aggressive lobbying tactics in attempt to defeat the new requirements, and they were successful in watering down the regulations to the point of being meaningless.

For nearly 20 years, Indianapolis attorney Eric Pavlack has been a fierce advocate for consumers whose rights have been violated. Pavlack Law has extensive experience in representing consumers in class action cases who have been damaged by fraudulent sales tactics and statutory violations. If you feel you have been a victim of fraudulent sales tactics, contact an attorney at Pavlack Law now. The consultation is free, and there is never a fee until we are successful for you!

Lawsuit: Marion County Deputies Ignored Dying Inmate

As reported by the Indianapolis Star, Pavlack Law has brought suit in federal court on behalf of the estate of the late Marshall Carman. Carman died while confined at the Marion County Jail. As detailed in the Complaint, Carman was naked, facedown on the floor of his cell for over an hour with guards passing by on patrol. The guards took no action for at least an hour. Eventually, the guards entered Carman’s cell and picked him up and laid him naked atop the sheets of his bed. The guards then closed the cell. Carman never moved from his bed. More than an hour later, different guards noticed him unresponsive. A short while later, Carman was pronounced dead.

Pavlack Law: Utilizing Paperless Technology To Maximize Efficiency

As the owner of a fast-paced litigation law firm, Indianapolis attorney Eric Pavlack knows efficiency, flexibility, and preparedness are a must. Dave Stafford of the Indiana Lawyer recently stopped by Pavlack Law to find out how Pavlack uses paperless technology to maximize the firm’s efficiency and productivity.

Read Stafford’s full article here at

Another Marion County Jail Suicide and Attempted Suicide Despite New Zero Tolerance Initiative

Amidst a growing overcrowding crisis, Marion County Jail suicides and deaths continue to rise. Sadly, another Marion County inmate committed suicide last night, and another inmate attempted suicide but was rescued by deputies. This despite a new zero tolerance initiative announced in June by Sheriff John Layton in response to suicides reaching “epidemic proportions” at the Marion County Jail.


Marion County Jail Inmate Dies After Not Receiving Medical Attention

Tragically, our clients’ son, Marshal Carman, died from a heart attack while incarcerated at the Marion County jail in September 2014. As reported by Russ McQuaid of CBS 4 Indy, in the five days he was detained, Marshal was denied the medication he took for panic attacks and anxiety, causing him profound stress, and he subsequently suffered a heart attack.

On the day of his death, Marion County deputies walked past his cell repeatedly while Marshal was clearly suffering from an acute medical emergency, yet they failed to do anything about it. Due to their deliberate indifference to his obvious medical emergency, Marshal received no medical care.

Pavlack Law has filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of Marshal Carman’s family. When a person dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another, surviving members of the decedent’s family may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death claims can arise from various situations, such as automobile accidents, medical malpractice, death during supervised activity, occupational exposure to hazards, and defective products. If you feel a loved one may have died due to the negligent actions of another, please contact the Indiana wrongful death attorneys at Pavlack Law at 317-251-1100 for a free consultation, or submit a form on our website

Rob Cooper Receives 'New Member of the Year Award' From the Indiana Paralegal Association

On July 20, the Indiana Paralegal Association (IPA) recognized Pavlack Law paralegal Rob Cooper as its ‘New Member of the Year’ for his outstanding dedication to the organization.

In addition, Rob was installed as the Newsletter Director for the IPA. As the Indiana Paralegal Association’s Newsletter Director, Rob is responsible for designing, managing and editing The Precedent, IPA’s official publication. As a former military photojournalist, Rob ensures that Indiana’s paralegals have access to relevant, timely and essential news and information within the legal industry. As an IPA Board of Directors member, Rob’s top focus is to ensure that the needs of IPA’s membership are met in a professional, forward-thinking manner.

Currently, Rob is studying to test for the Core Registered Paralegal credentials through the National Federation of Paralegal Associates. Rob is a highly-valued and integral member of the Pavlack Law legal team, and we are proud to congratulate him on his achievements!

Diabetic Sues Henry County Jail For Negligent Care

As reported by the Indy Channel, Pavlack Law’s client, a 19 year-old inmate at the Henry County Jail, nearly died when jail staff initially denied and then provided incorrect types and dosages of his insulin, despite his rapidly failing health and repeated pleas for medical care.

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that inmates have the right to adequate medical care, and failure to provide such care violates an inmate’s Constitutional rights. When medical negligence results in death, the inmate’s family may have a wrongful death claim.

Eric Pavlack and the injury attorneys at Pavlack Law have successfully represented many inmates and families of inmates who have sustained injuries and even death due to negligent care. If you or a loved one have been harmed due to the negligence of others while incarcerated, you may have the right to sue for compensation. Call Pavlack Law today. 317-251-1100. The consultation is always free, and we do not take any fee until we succeed for you!

Safety First! Pavlack Law Second.

Medical Errors Now Estimated As Third Leading Cause Of Death In U.S

A shocking statistic that has been suspected for years has recently been confirmed in a study by patient-safety researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The study, which was published in The BMJ, a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal, revealed that “medical errors” may now be the third-leading cause of death in the United States. The study estimates that medical errors account for approximately 250,000 deaths per year. Only heart disease and cancer claim more lives on an annual basis.

The authors of the study, Martin Makary and Michael Daniel, believe that better data and tracking of medical errors leading to death are vital to reducing this statistic. Currently, the system used by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to track mortality statistics only indicates the “underlying cause of death”, which simply means the condition that caused that patient to seek treatment in the first place. As such, even if the death certificate of an individual indicates a potential human error in the cause of death, that data would not be included in the CDC’s statistics. In an open letter to the CDC, the study’s authors urge the CDC to expand the coding available to clinicians to include preventable complications. The authors argue that the accurate measurement and tracking of medical errors is the first step in reducing preventable deaths.

If you or a loved one have suffered injury or death as a result of the negligence of a medical provider, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the medical malpractice and wrongful death attorneys at Pavlack Law. 317-251-1100. The consultation is always free, and we do not take any fee until we succeed for you!

Department of Labor Issues New Overtime Rule For Salaried Workers

The Department of Labor announced that it will raise the threshold amount salaried workers must make to exempt them from being paid overtime. Beginning December 1, 2016, salaried workers making less than $47,476 will be eligible to receive time and a half pay when working overtime. The current threshold, $23,660, has been in place for over a decade. The labor department estimates the new rule will impact the wages of 4.2 million workers nationwide.

Overtime wages, as well as minimum wage requirements, are regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA). The FLSA was enacted to ensure that workers in the United States are fairly and adequately compensated for their work. If you feel you have not been properly compensated for your time at work, contact the Indiana employment attorneys at Pavlack Law. Through individual cases and class action lawsuits, Eric Pavlack has successfully represented employees with claims against their employers. Call Pavlack Law today, 317-251-1100. The consultation is always free, and there are no fees or expenses unless we win your claim.

Follow this link to read more about changes to the overtime rule and how it could possibly affect you:

Court Certifies Class Action by Employees Seeking Prevailing Wages


            On December 26, 2014, the Dearborn Circuit Court in Lawrenceburg, Indiana issued an order certifying a class action by construction workers and other laborers who have worked for Linkmeyer Development II, LLC. The case will now proceed on behalf of approximately one hundred persons. The class of persons is defined by the court as:

All current and former laborers and mechanics, as those terms are applied in the Davis-Bacon Act and the Indiana Common Construction Wage Act, of Linkmeyer Development II, LLC who worked in furtherance of the project called for by the November 30, 2009 Development Agreement Between the City of Lawrenceburg, Indiana and Linkmeyer Development II, LLC, except Michael Linkmeyer and Tracy Linkmeyer who are excluded from the class.

            The basic allegations of the case are that the defendants­–Linkmeyer Development II, LLC and its owners–violated the Davis-Bacon Act, the Indiana Common Construction Wage Act, and the Code of the City of Lawrencburg by failing to pay what is commonly known as “prevailing wages” for work on a public project. As was argued in the briefing in support of certification of the class (links to which are located below):

            The requirement to pay prevailing wages to the named Plaintiffs and the members of the proposed Class stems from the November 30, 2009 Development Agreement Between the City of Lawrenceburg, Indiana and Linkmeyer Development II, LLC (the “Development Agreement”). A copy of the Development agreement is attached as Exhibit A. Generally speaking, the Development Agreement required Linkmeyer to fill and level three tracts of land comprising a total of approximately 103 acres. As part of the Development Agreement, Linkmeyer was obligated to acquire two tracts of land referred to as the Ellis and Walters properties. Additionally, Linkmeyer was required to grant a first mortgage on the Ellis property to the City of Lawrenceburg, as well as a mortgage on any property conveyed to Linkmeyer by the City. Linkmeyer was also required to petition the City for annexation of the Ellis property and to fully cooperate in meeting that result.

            Among other things, the Development Agreement specifically required Linkmeyer to “comply with all appropriate codes, laws and ordinances including the payment of prevailing wages for labor as required by the State of Indiana and the City of Lawrenceburg.” (Emphasis added). In exchange for these and other terms, the City of Lawrenceburg was to provide a loan of up to three million dollars ($3,000,000) to Linkmeyer to be paid in one million dollar ($1,000,000) installments following three designated events. The loan was to be repaid within a five-year period at a rate of two percent (2%) per year against only the funds that were actually used. Additionally, the City of Lawrenceburg was to convey the approximately twenty-one and one-half (21.5) acres of City property to Linkmeyer.

            Linkmeyer readily admits that it has never made any effort to pay its employees prevailing wages. Deposition of Steven Linkmeyer, attached as Exhibit B, 30:4-21. Unsurprisingly, this resulted in Linkmeyer not paying prevailing wages to the named Plaintiffs or to the proposed Class members.

            Due to the requirement that Linkmeyer pay prevailing wages, and its failure to do so, Plaintiffs bring four causes of action by way of their Class Action Complaint: (i) breach of contract as intended third-party beneficiaries; (ii) a claim for violations of the Indiana Common Construction Wage Act; (iii) violations of Indiana’s wage statutes; and, in the alternative, (iv) unjust enrichment/quantum meruit. Because the claims for each named Plaintiff are identical to the claims of each member of the proposed Class, as is the evidence and factual circumstances to be proven, Plaintiffs request that the Court certify this matter as a class action pursuant to Ind. Trial Rules 23(A) and (B).

            Ultimately, the court agreed with the plaintiffs that this case is well suited to be handled as a class action. Consequently, the court certified the class and designated the six named-plaintiffs that have been the backbone of the case since day 1 as the representatives of the class. The court further designated the attorneys of Pavlack Law along with their co-counsel as counsel for the class.

            After a bit more procedural steps, the persons affected will be sent notice of this determination and will receive an explanation of their rights and obligations to remain part of the class.

            This result has been hard won after lengthy discovery and scores of pages of briefing in the case to date. It would not have been possible to get this far without the diligent efforts and commitment of the class representatives. Their efforts and the continued work of their attorneys will continue to drive this case toward accomplishing its goal of holding Linkmeyer Developoment II, LLC to its obligations to pay its workers fair wages.


Documents Filed in the Case


Court Certifies HHGregg Class Action by Employees

             Pavlack Law is pleased to report that the Marion County Superior Court recently certified a plaintiff class in the case of Dwain Underwood v. HH Gregg. The case will now proceed on behalf of a class of dozens of current and former employees of HH Gregg who were denied substantial annual bonuses as promised by the company at the beginning of the year.

            As was reported here and in the Indianapolis Business Journal, last year, Pavlack Law filed a class action suit  on behalf of former HHGregg employee Dwain Underwood. As a putative class action, Mr. Underwood and his counsel sought to certify a class of similarly situated valued HHGregg employees who were entitled to incentives based upon the performance of the company throughout its fiscal year. For the 2012 fiscal year, Mr. Underwood was presented with a form outlining his incentive targets. Under the express terms of the “Total Rewards Statement,” the incentive payments were tied to the company’s “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization” – better known as EBITDA.

            After the close of HHGregg’s FY2012, it informed the employees eligible for EBITDA based incentive payments that the company failed to meet its necessary EBITDA target and thus no payments would be made. This was untrue, as the company’s EBITDA for the year had exceeded the target specified in the Total Rewards Statements it provided to its employees, triggering HH Gregg’s obligation to pay bonuses.

        HH Gregg attempted to justify its non-payment of bonuses by saying that it based bonuses on something it calls “Adjusted EBITDA” – even though the Total Rewards Statements unambiguously used the term EBITDA. By utilizing “Adjusted EBITDA” the company has sought to remove a substantial windfall that it received as the result of a keyman life insurance policy that generated $40 million with only $600,000 going to the estate of the late Jerry Throgmartin and the remaining $39.4 million into HHGregg’s coffers. Pursuant to HHGregg’s accounting records and public filings, its EBITDA, properly calculated to include the keyman insurance proceeds, met the incentive threshold and entitled its eligible employees to incentive payments.

            As was reported earlier this week by the IBJ, on July 9, the case progressed through a key stage: a Marion County (Indianapolis), Indiana Superior Court Judge ordered that case should be certified as a class defined as:

All current and former employees of HHGregg who received Total Rewards Statements making them eligible for Incentive Payments for FY2012, and who were still employed by HHGregg at the conclusion of FY2012; but excluding Dennis L. May, Jeremy J. Aguilar, Gregg W. Throgmartin, Douglas T. Moore, and Michael G. Larimer.

The court also ordered that Mr. Underwood’s attorneys be appointed as class counsel. In making the determination, and based on records provided to Mr. Underwood and his attorneys by HHGregg, the Court concluded that there are 62 persons who meet this definition and would be eligible to seek recovery of the incentive payments sought in the case. Based upon the preliminary records provided thus far in the case, with further discovery soon to be developed in the wake of the class certification order, it appears that the aggregate recovery could be in excess of $5 million if Mr. Underwood and the class succeed at trial.

            This result has been hard won after numerous motions and hundreds of pages of briefing in the case to date. It would not have been possible to get this far without the diligent efforts and commitment of Mr. Underwood. His efforts and the continued work of his attorneys will continue to drive this case toward accomplishing its goal of holding HHGregg to its promises.



Pavlack Law Spearheads Class Action by HHGregg Employees


            As has been recently reported by the Indiana Business Journal, Pavlack Law has filed a class action complaint on behalf of former HHGregg employee Dwain Underwood. Mr. Underwood was a valued employee of HHGregg in its accounting department prior to his recent voluntary separation from the company. Mr. Underwood was part of a group of valued HHGregg employees who were entitled to incentives based upon the performance of the company throughout its fiscal year. For the 2012 fiscal year, Mr. Underwood was presented with a form outlining his incentive targets. Under the express terms of the “Total Rewards Statement,” the incentive payments were tied to the company’s “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization” – better known as EBITDA.

            After the close of HHGregg’s FY2012, it informed the employees eligible for EBITDA based incentive payments that the company failed to meet its necessary target and thus no payments would be made. The basis for the class action complaint is that this assertion was inaccurate. The error arises from HHGregg’s use of what it refers to as “Adjusted EBITDA.” By utilizing “Adjusted EBITDA” the company has sought to remove a substantial windfall that it received as the result of a keyman life insurance policy that generated $40 million with only $600,000 going to the estate of the late Jerry Throgmartin and the remaining $39.6 million into HHGregg’s coffers.

            Pursuant to HHGregg’s accounting records and public filings, its EBITDA, properly calculated to include the keyman insurance proceeds, met the incentive threshold and entitled Mr. Underwood to an incentive payment of at least $25,000. The class action complaint alleges that HHGregg’s use of Adjusted EBITDA is in direct violation of the clear and unambiguous terms of the incentive payment contract.

            As Mr. Underwood is not alone in having been injured by the misapplication of Adjusted EBITDA to his incentive payments, he has filed his complaint seeking to represent all those similarly situated to him. Specifically, the purported class would contain:

All current and former employees of H.H. Gregg who were subject to an EBITDA based Incentive Payment plan, and whose Incentive Based Payments or lack thereof were based on amounts that were less than HHGregg’s EBITDA for the applicable fiscal year. The class specifically includes, without limitation, current and former employees whose Incentive Based Payments or lack thereof were based upon HHGregg’s “Adjusted” EBITDA, which did not include the key man life insurance proceeds from the passing of Mr. Throgmartin in early 2012.     

            With the help of Pavlack Law, Mr. Underwood will vigorously pursue this case in an attempt to hold HHGregg to its legal and contractual obligations and the promises that it made to many of its most valued employees. We will bring you updates and developments in this matter as they become available.



Pavlack Law attorney speaks with students about elections and voting

            On October 29, Pavlack Law, LLC attorney Colin E. Flora had the privilege of speaking with the 6th graders of Allison Elementary about elections/voting. His presentation was part of Indiana Kids’ Election (IKE). IKE is a program dedicated to helping Indiana students understand elections and to develop a desire to actively participate in the voting process. Mr. Flora opted to participate in the program after being informed of the opportunity by the Indiana State Bar Association.

            In Mr. Flora’s words, “As the son of two teachers with a B.A. in political science, I could not envision a more rewarding way to give back to my community.” He found it extremely rewarding to work with the students and was amazed at not only how quickly the kids picked up the material but the quality of questions and understanding that were on display. One such area in which the kids were able to quickly grasp the issues was the topic of the electoral college. Mr. Flora split the students into groups of 3 and 5 with each group having 1 and 2 electoral votes respectively. The students had to make a hugely important decision with their votes – whether Coca Cola or Pepsi is better. Surprisingly, the class went overwhelmingly for Pepsi with the electoral votes following suit. However, in order to illustrate that elections are on more than a single issue, he switched the options to: Choice 1 – Coca Cola, Puppies, and Swimming & Choice 2 – Pepsi, Kittens, and Running. After serious deliberation, the votes were cast. The outcome . . . a popular vote that was more than 2:1 in favor of Choice 1, but an electoral college tie.

            After an hour and a half with an amazing group of kids and students, Mr. Flora had one last surprise in store. Thanks to the Indianapolis Bar Association and Indianapolis Bar Foundation, he was able to give each student a booklet with copies of the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and Indiana Constitution.  He also left the students with one great piece of advice. “An election is a lot like crossing the road. The most important thing to making an informed decision is to look both ways.” Mr. Flora loved every minute of it and looks forward to future involvement in similar programs. He would also like to express his gratitude to both the ISBA and Allison Elementary for allowing him the opportunity for such a rewarding experience.


Pavlack Law, LLC, Files Class Action for Fire at the Deer Chase Apartments

            On June 19, 2012, Eric Pavlack of Pavlack Law, LLC, filed a class action case on behalf of residents of the Deer Chase Apartments against the owner and management company of that complex. The case seeks damages for the devastating fire that occurred on June 10, 2012, and that burned out of control because the fire hydrants lacked adequate water pressure. The case was filed in the Marion County Superior Court and is captioned Susan Smith, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. Crestline Communities, LLC and Crestline Property Management, LLC, Cause No. 49D14-1206-CT-24518. Find a link to the filed copy at the bottom of this page.

            The lawsuit was brought by Susan Smith, a long-time resident of the Deer Chase Apartments, whose car and many other belongings were destroyed by the fire. The case was filed as a proposed class action on behalf of all residents of the Deer Chase Apartments who suffered losses due to the fire.

            As has been widely reported in media outlets, the Noblesville Fire Department was called almost immediately after the fire started in a car port at the complex. The fire engines arrived quickly and with what should have been ample time to contain and extinguish the fire. However, when they connected their hoses to hydrants that were owned by the apartment complex, the water pressure was almost non-existent. Apparently the apartment managers turned the pressure down sometime prior to the blaze, possibly in order to save money. The firefighters were forced to run their hoses nearly one mile, to hydrants outside of the complex, in order to obtain suitable water pressure. This delayed their efforts, and allowed the fire to spread out of control.

            Susan Smith, the named plaintiff in the lawsuit, watched helplessly as fire engines arrived at the scene well before her unit had caught fire. She wondered why the fire engines were not putting the fire out immediately upon their arrival, only to later learn that it was due to the lack of water pressure. Since the fire, the apartment managers have made no efforts to help her in this difficult time, and have not offered to pay for her losses in any way.

            It is preliminarily estimated that between 80 to 100 people were impacted by this fire and suffered losses. The class action lawsuit filed by Pavlack seeks damages on behalf of the affected Deer Chase residents.

            If you have any questions about this case, please contact Pavlack Law at (317) 251-1100 or