Group photo of Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse LLP
Badges and Certifications of Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse LLP
Why Choose Us
A Nationally Acclaimed
Law Firm

Devoted to your personal injury or accident case.

Our Successes
Million Dollar
Verdicts & Settlements

For injury victims throughout Indiana and the Midwest.

Our Firm History
Our Firm
was founded in 1899

On the highest of ethical, moral, and legal standards.

On November 29, 2023, the Indiana Court of Appeals published its Opinion in Brummett v. Bailey, 23A-CT-683, slip op. Brummett is the latest case in a string of Indiana Court of Appeals decisions following the Indiana Supreme Court’s Goodwin v. Yeakle’s Sports Bar & Grill, Inc., 62 N.E.3d 384, 389 (Ind. 2016). In these cases, the courts have been grappling with the question of whether a landowner or businessowner owes a duty of care to its invitees (what the law calls customers) for the criminal acts of other parties. The key determining factor in these cases has consistently been whether the owner knew or had reason to know of the imminent harm.

On the evening of January 4, 2020, at a bar in Muncie, Indiana, Plaintiff Bailey was pushed off his bar stool following an altercation with another patron. Bailey filed a lawsuit against the bar, its owner, and employees, claiming they were negligent because of their employees’ acts and failures to act to prevent the harm. The bar defendants moved for summary judgment claiming that it and its employees did not owe a duty to Bailey to protect him from an unforeseeable act. The trial court denied the bar defendants’ motion and the defendants appealed.

In its decision, the Brummett court pointed to analysis from Singh v. Singh, 155 N.E. 3d 1197 (Ind. Ct. App. 2020), which discussed the recent Indiana Supreme Court holding from Cavanaugh’s Sports Bar & Eatery, Lt. v. Porterfield, 140 N.E.3d 843 (Ind. 2020). As these cases discuss, an owner must “take reasonable precautions to protect invitees from foreseeable criminal attacks.” Rogers v. Martin, 63 N.E.3d 316, 326 (Ind. 2016). In determining whether an owner has a duty for the criminal act at issue, the Court focuses on the foreseeability of the attack which requires “an evaluation of (1) the broad type of plaintiff and (2) the broad type of harm.” Id. at 325. “In other words, a court looks at foreseeability globally for the purpose of determining whether the category of negligent conduct at issue is sufficiently likely to result in the kind of harm suffered such that a duty—and thus liability—may be imposed on the negligent party.” Godfread v. Martin’s Super Markets L.L.C., 120 N.E.3d 234, 240 (Ind. Ct. App. 2019)

On March 13, 2023, in a memorandum decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision for the plaintiff in a negligence complaint despite the defendant-appellant’s argument that the plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence that the car accident at issue was the proximate cause of his injuries.

In this case, Thu v. Willis,[1] Guy Willis Sr. (“Willis”) and his sons were rear ended by Sein Thu and subsequently filed a complaint for negligence against Thu. The jury found in favor of Willis, and Thu appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals, alleging that Willis “failed to present sufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict in his favor.” Particularly, Thu alleged that Willis’s evidence was insufficient because Willis “did not present expert medical testimony to connect the crash to his injuries.”

The court referred to Martin v. Ramos[2] to clarify that expert medical testimony is not necessarily required if a layperson could “readily understand the causation.” In Martin, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided that “when an injury is objective in nature,” the plaintiff may testify to his injury and that testimony may be sufficient for a jury verdict even without expert medical testimony. In his appeal, Thu argued that Willis’s injuries were not objective, but rather too complicated for a lay person to understand. One of Thu’s major points of argument involved the fact that Willis testified to having pain from the accident on his left in addition to a history of sciatica. Thu argued that Willis was not qualified to testify whether his diagnoses were caused by his injuries from the accident or by the prior back pain he already had experienced before the accident.

In a case determined in September 2022, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided an important and common issue for injury victims when dealing with their own insurance in its opinion in Erie Insurance Exchange v. Craighead. Many drivers who are injured as a result of an underinsured motorist turn to their own underinsured motorist coverage and medical payments coverage to help them recover. It is what they paid for and is there to protect them in the event they are injured by an underinsured motorist.

Medical payments coverage is a type of insurance coverage that helps pay for medical bills if injured in an accident. Underinsured motorist coverage provides coverage where an at-fault driver in a crash has liability insurance, but the available coverage to compensate the injured victim is less than the underinsured coverage available under the victim’s underinsured motorist coverage. Because many drivers take the road with the minimum required coverage under the law ($25,000 per person/$50,000 for any one accident), these two coverages are indispensable to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Because many insurance companies attempt to pay the least amount possible, even to their own policyholders, many insurance companies will attempt to set off the payments made from the medical payments coverage and reduce the amount of compensation available to the victim under the underinsured motorist coverage. This is just a small illustration of why it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney who is willing to fight for injury victims and ensure they receive full and just compensation.

Warmer weather also means an increase in the availability of fresh summer fruit. When grocery shopping, many consumers will pick up watermelons, ripe peaches, and fresh berries in celebration of the seasonal harvest. However, no one expects for the produce they bring home to cause them to become seriously ill. When something you purchased at the store causes you to feel sick or causes hospitalization, it is crucial that the store where you purchased the item is informed so the relevant authorities can identify the source of the issue. You may also be eligible for compensation through an Indiana product liability lawsuit.

According to a recent news article, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating bagged peaches as a potential source of a salmonella outbreak. A total of 68 people across nine states have fallen ill, with 14 hospitalized. According to authorities, the peaches were packaged and sold in two-pound, clear plastic bags starting June 1. All peaches that were bagged by the packing company in question have been recalled.

The peaches had been solely supplied by this particular packing company and had been shipped to stores in 16 states including Massachusetts, New York, Kentucky, Iowa, and Minnesota. The FDA is still conducting an investigation in order to gather more information about the source of contamination and how widely the produce was distributed.

When imagining a typical car accident, the first thought may be a collision between two cars. However, crashes often may initially only involve one or two vehicles, but end up resulting in a much larger accident as additional vehicles are unable to avoid crashing into the already-disabled vehicles. These accidents are referred to as chain-reaction crashes, and can pose various challenges when assigning fault and responsibility following a major incident.

In a recent news article, two people were tragically killed in a chain-reaction car accident that shut down roads for nearly eight hours. According to the report, a woman was driving a Nissan Rouge early in the morning when she lost control of her car and crashed into a concrete barrier. Her vehicle traveled back into traffic, colliding with a Chevrolet Equinox. The Nissan then crashed into a semi-truck, and another vehicle hit the Equinox.

Following the accident, the driver of the Nissan and her passenger were ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead on the scene. Local authorities shut down roads for nearly eight hours in order to conduct their investigation, which resulted in a significant diversion of traffic to a nearby expressway.

When an accident occurs involving drunk driving, many people do not know that the party that served the alcohol to the intoxicated person may be held liable for their negligence in serving the intoxicated party. However, there are exceptions. These exceptions typically occur when the chain of events does not show a direct link of causation between the consumption of alcohol and subsequent accident or injury. If there are intervening causes or an event occurs that breaks the chain of causation, the party who furnished the alcohol to the intoxicated party who caused the accident may not be liable.

In a recent court opinion, questions concerning the scope of a liquor licensee’s liability for injuries its patron caused after a night of drinking came under consideration. The day before the accident occurred, a man had worked a twelve-hour shift at his warehouse job. After finishing his shift, he headed to a family wedding reception, where he had some beer. After, he went out with a group of friends to a club owned by the defendant. On the way to the club, the man stopped at a convenience store and purchased a twenty-four-ounce container of beer, which he consumed while driving to the club. After several drinks at the club, the man and his group headed home for the night at around 2am and fell asleep.

At around 5am, the man got up to drive some friends home when he crashed his pickup truck into a car stopped at a red light, killing both of the car’s occupants. He was arrested at the scene and convicted of two counts of manslaughter and sentenced to 14 years in prison. The family members of those killed in the DUI accident filed a lawsuit, asserting dram shop liability against the club.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the United States earlier this year, many Americans flocked to the stores to stock up on hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, soaps, and other household cleaning supplies. Major retailers such as Walmart, CVS, and Target were out of these products for weeks due to the increased demand. Many Indiana residents probably found themselves buying these products to prepare for an unknown future with the virus. However, recent recalls have made clear that some of these products may have caused Indiana residents to fall ill, and may be implicated in future Indiana products’ liability suits.

According to a recent article by the Washington Post, federal regulators have recalled dozens of hand sanitizers because they contain dangerous and potentially deadly levels of wood alcohol, also called methanol. Many of these products have been available in mainstream retailers like Wal-Mart. The Food and Drug Administration has identified at least 77 products since June that consumers should avoid due to their methanol levels. Methanol can be toxic when it is absorbed through the skin, and can cause blindness, causing great concerns since hand sanitizer is applied to the skin and has been applied in large quantities since the beginning of the pandemics. The products are mislabeled, meaning consumers cannot tell which hand sanitizers contain methanol and which ones do not.

It is thought that the increased demand for hand sanitizer and other household cleaning or disinfectant supplies led to the unsafe products. In response to the demand, many companies began to increase their production, but failed to ensure the quality of the product would remain the same. As a result, hand sanitizers that were unsafe for consumers made it into the market. The Washington Post reported that at least seven people have died and dozens of others have been hospitalized as a result of the unsafe hand sanitizer.

Landlords, like all property owners, have a duty to ensure that the houses and apartments they rent to tenants are safe.  Whether it is the driveway being plowed after a snowstorm or handling potentially dangerous maintenance issues, tenants often have certain expectations for their landlord. If a person is hurt because of their landlord’s negligence, Indiana law allows them to hold the landlord liable for their injuries.

In a recent state appellate opinion, the court was tasked with deciding whether a landlord could be held liable for a tenant’s slip and fall outside of the apartment complex. According to the court’s opinion, the tenant was severely injured exiting the apartment building, slipping on a patch of ice in the driveway. While the landlord normally hired a snow plow contractor to keep the driveway safe, they failed to do so this particular winter. The plaintiff sued his landlord for not keeping the property safe and not removing the snow and ice from the driveway, the cause of his injury.

In this case, the court noted that a tenant who slips on ice can bring a negligence claim against a landlord who failed to exercise reasonable care in removing the ice, unless the plaintiff is more than fifty percent responsible for their injuries. Here, the court ruled that the landlord was negligent as he did not attempt to remove the snow or ice. However, the court also held that the tenant’s injuries were more attributable to his own error than the landlord’s. Thus, the court found that the landlord was not liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Driving on a busy interstate can be dangerous, so it’s always important to engage in defensive driving and to be proactive and alert on the road. However, one can only do so much to be safe, and Indiana car accidents will still occur even when a motorist is exercising the most caution possible. Thus, when a car crash occur sunexpectedly, especially as a result of negligence from the responsible party and cause fatalities, those who are at fault in these collisions can be held accountable.

In a recent news report, an Indiana truck driver was charged with nine felonies related to an Interstate 70 accident. The driver had previously been arrested three times for drug possession in another state and was jailed following the accident. He was charged with four Level 4 felony counts of operating while intoxicated and causing death, four Level 5 felony counts of reckless homicide, and one Level 4 felony count of driving while intoxicated and causing a catastrophic injury. The tragic car accident resulted in the death of four children.

Following the accident, results of a urine test taken hours after the accident came back positive for the presence of marijuana, amphetamines, and ecstasy in the driver’s system. Despite completing a drug treatment program after being arrested for possession of heroin previously in another state and multiple other drug-related offenses, the legal system failed to keep this man off the roads until this fatal accident.

International travel can present travelers with some unique legal issues, including jurisdictional conflicts. In some cases, the claims may involve a different country or a foreign airport or airline. The Montreal Convention addresses the inherent issues that many Indiana personal injury victims face after these types of accidents. The Montreal Convention is a multilateral treaty adopted by many counties to establish standards for the international transport of passengers, baggage, and cargo. It covers all international flights between counties that are a party to the treaty.

A significant portion of the treaty includes what rights passengers have when they suffer injuries on a flight, experience a flight disruption, or an adverse situation with their luggage or cargo. At its core, the treaty makes an airline strictly liable for injuries or death that a passenger experiences, because of an “accident” that occurs while embarking or disembarking the aircraft.

Issues often arise over the circumstances surrounding an “accident,” and what the term covers. Courts tend to agree that the term “accident” is vague, but that it does include injuries resulting from terroristic activities, passenger assaults, and an airline’s failure to treat passengers who are experiencing a medical event adequately. Further complications develop when the harmful event occurs outside of the aircraft. In these situations, courts will evaluate whether the incident happened when the victim was in the “operation” of boarding or exiting the plane. This inquiry involves looking at the victim’s actions when the event occurred and the exact location of the incident.

Contact Information