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Roy Bayer Trust v. Red Husky, LLC

Court of Appeals of Indiana

June 24, 2014

ROY BAYER TRUST and PENNY HARRIS, Appellants-Defendants,
v.
RED HUSKY, LLC, Appellee-Plaintiff

Page 416

APPEAL FROM THE DELAWARE CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable John M. Feick, Judge. Cause No. 18C04-1111-PL-42.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: SCOTT A. NORRICK, Anderson, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: DAVID L. COPENHAVER, JOEL E. HARVEY, New Castle, Indiana.

ROBB, Judge. RILEY, J., and BRADFORD, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 417

ROBB, Judge

Case Summary and Issues

Appellant Penny Harris, trustee for the Roy Bayer Trust, appeals the trial court's entry of summary judgment and corresponding order for damages in favor of appellee / cross-appellant Red Husky, LLC. Each party presents one issue for our review. Harris asks whether it was error for the trial court to grant Red Husky's motion for summary judgment. Red Husky asks whether the trial court abused its discretion in determining the amount of damages awarded. We conclude the trial court did not err by awarding summary judgment in favor of Red Husky. Further, we conclude the trial court's award of damages based on deterioration of property value is supported by the evidence; however, we remand for a determination of whether Red Husky is entitled to additional damages for loss of use. We affirm in part and remand.

Facts and Procedural History

Red Husky is an Indiana company whose business includes the leasing of semi-tractors. In August 2008, Red Husky leased a 1998 Kenworth semi-tractor (the " Kenworth" ) to Daniel Bowne and Bowne Transport, LLC.

In August 2010, Bowne began leasing a building in Muncie owned by the Roy Bayer Trust on a month-to-month basis. At some point, Bowne stopped paying his monthly rent on the building, and Bowne also defaulted on his lease for the Kenworth. Bowne abandoned the building, leaving the Kenworth and various other items of personal property. In September 2011, Red Husky attempted to retrieve the Kenworth from the building, but Harris refused Red Husky's requests, believing the trust had a lien against the Kenworth and other property inside the building.

In November 2011, Red Husky filed its complaint against Harris and Bowne seeking replevin of the Kenworth and damages. The Roy Bayer Trust was joined as a necessary party in June 2012. On June 5, 2012, the trial court entered a default judgment against Bowne on Red Husky's claims of replevin and breach of lease agreement. On the same day, Red Husky moved for summary judgment against Harris and the Roy Bayer Trust. Each party designated evidence and filed supporting memoranda. A hearing was ...


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