This week, the Indiana Supreme Court was faced with an issue of first impression: whether “value” in the Worker’s Compensation Act meant only the money paid for the work or whether it included other consideration for the work. The ambiguity was found in a portion of the Act affixing secondary liability for persons contracting for work in excess of $1,000 in value. The plaintiff–an employee of a tree removal business–argued that the act applied because the value of the wood that his employer was allowed to keep, coupled with the $600 paid for the removal, exceeded $1,000. The court agreed.
This installment of the Hoosier Litigation Blog looks at the Class Action Fairness Act’s amount in controversy requirement and this week’s Supreme Court decision in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company, LLC v. Owens in which the Court resolved a circuit split, but not without controversy. In an unfamiliar (5-4) split, Justice Ginsburg authored the majority opinion joined by Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Alito, Sotomayor, and Breyer. The dissent, authored by Justice Scalia and joined by Justices Kennedy, Thomas, and Kagan sought to undue the mistakes of the past in Standard Fire Insurance Company v. Knowles.
Indiana Supreme Court: Trial Court Has Discretion to Not Grant Crime Victims Relief Act Award Even When Predicate Act is Proven
This discussion focuses on the Indiana Supreme Court decision in Wysocki v. Johnson, in which the Indiana Supreme Court held that a trial court is not obligated to apply the Indiana Crime Victims Relief Act even where plaintiffs have proven commission of a predicate act.