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Garcia v. Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

July 30, 2014

ROGELIO GARCIA, Appellant-Plaintiff,
v.
GARAU GERMANO HANLEY & PENNINGTON, P.C., Appellee-Defendant

Page 89

APPEAL FROM THE MARION SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable Theodore M. Sosin, Judge. Cause No. 49D02-1206-PL-23473.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: GREGORY BOWES, Greg Bowes Legal Services, P.C., Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: WAYNE C. TURNER, ALEX GUDE, Bingham Greenebaum Doll, LLP, Indianapolis, Indiana.

BARTEAU, Senior Judge. NAJAM, J., and PYLE, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 90

OPINION - FOR PUBLICATION

BARTEAU, Senior Judge

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

Rogelio Garcia appeals the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C. (" GGHP" ). He asserts that GGHP breached the parties' contract for legal representation and that the manner in which GGHP collected its fee under the contract broke the law. We affirm.

ISSUE

Garcia raises two issues, which we consolidate and restate as: whether the trial court erred in granting GGHP's motion for summary judgment.[1]

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Garcia's then-wife, Renee Garcia, gave birth to their child in May 2001. Their child died in March 2002 while receiving medical care. The Garcias hired GGHP to pursue a medical malpractice claim against their son's doctor.

The Garcias and GGHP executed a contract to set the terms of their relationship. The contract explained that, by law, no plaintiff can recover more than $1,250,000 for medical malpractice, with a maximum of $250,000 paid by a medical service provider

Page 91

and an additional amount of up to one million dollars paid by the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund (" the Fund" ). Furthermore, the contract stated that, by law, GGHP's fee on money the Garcias received from the Fund, if any, would be limited to no more than fifteen percent of the total. However, the contract further explained that GGHP and the Garcias were " free to negotiate the contingent fee to be ...


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