Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Court of Appeals of Indiana
June 10, 2020, Decided; June 10, 2020, Filed
Court of Appeals Case No. 19A-PL-1959
[*196] Case Summary and Issues
P1 This action arises from a single-vehicle accident involving Gregory Smith and Nolan Clayton, who was driving Smith's vehicle. Smith sued Clayton to recover for his personal injuries and property damage and Smith's insurer, Progressive Southeastern Insurance Company ("Progressive"), arranged for legal counsel to defend Clayton pursuant to a reservation of rights. After a verdict was entered against Clayton for $21 million, Clayton irrevocably assigned to Smith any legal rights, claims, and causes of actions that Clayton may have against Progressive and the attorneys who represented him, Metzger Rosta, LLC ("Metzger"). Subsequently, Smith sued Progressive for bad faith. This case is before [**2] us because the trial court dismissed Smith's second amended complaint ("Second Complaint") against Progressive and denied his motion for joinder of parties or consolidation of actions. Smith now appeals, raising several issues for our review which we consolidate and restate as: 1) whether the trial court erred in dismissing Smith's Second Complaint and 2) whether the trial court erred in denying Smith's motion for joinder of parties or consolidation of actions. Concluding the trial court did not err in either respect, we affirm.
Facts and Procedural History
P2 Smith and Clayton were co-workers at the Stacked Pickle and eventually became friends. On February 17, 2016, Smith drove his truck, with Clayton as a passenger, to a company event at the Stacked Pickle. The two spent several hours drinking. In the early morning hours on February 18, Smith gave Clayton permission to drive Smith's truck. Clayton lost control of the truck and ran into a tree. Smith was ejected from the truck, suffered a broken neck, and was rendered a quadriplegic. As discussed below, multiple lawsuits have resulted from the accident.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
150 N.E.3d 192 *; 2020 Ind. App. LEXIS 247 **
Gregory Smith, As Assignee of Nolan Clayton, Appellant-Plaintiff, v. Progressive Southeastern Insurance Company, Appellee-Defendant,
Subsequent History: Transfer denied by Smith v. Progressive Southeastern Ins. Co., 2020 Ind. LEXIS 945 (Ind., Dec. 3, 2020)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the Marion Superior Court. The Honorable James A. Joven, Judge. Trial Court Cause No. 49D13-1809-PL-35757.
Progressive Se. Ins. Co. v. Smith, 2020 Ind. App. LEXIS 1, 140 N.E.3d 292, 2020 WL 20969 (Ind. Ct. App., Jan. 2, 2020)
trial court, insurer, parties, rights, coverage, joinder, assigned, legal malpractice claim, malpractice action, bad faith, consolidate, duty to defend, join, vicarious liability, motion to dismiss, bodily injury, hired, truck, declaratory judgment action, independent contractor, legal malpractice, contractual duty, cause of action, breach of duty, good faith, allegations, assignee, contends, argues, consolidated actions
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Torts, Negligence, Elements, Vicarious Liability, Insurance Law, Liability & Performance Standards, Good Faith & Fair Dealing, Duty to Defend, Policy Interpretation, Ambiguous Terms, Construction Against Insurers, Claim, Contract & Practice Issues, Ordinary & Usual Meanings, Good Faith & Fair Dealing, Abuse of Discretion, Parties, Joinder of Parties, Trials, Consolidation of Actions