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Roumbos v. Vazanellis

Court of Appeals of Indiana

June 13, 2017

Elizabeth Roumbos, Appellants-Plaintiff,
v.
Samuel G. Vazanellis and Thiros and Stracci, PC, Appellees-Defendants

         Appeal from the Lake Superior Court The Honorable John M. Sedia, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 45D01-1501-CT-2

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Mark S. Pantello Benson, Pantello, Morris, James & Logan, LLP Fort Wayne, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES David C. Jensen Robert J. Feldt Eichhorn & Eichhorn, LLP Hammond, Indiana

          OPINION ON REHEARING

          Najam, Judge.

         [¶1] Samuel Vazanellis and law firm Thiros and Stracci, PC, (collectively, "Law Firm"), request rehearing, asking us to reconsider our reversal of the trial court's grant of summary judgment in their favor. Law Firm specifically takes issue with our rejection of their argument that Roumbos' testimony was equivocal. We stated in our original opinion:

In its brief on appeal, the law firm asserts that Roumbos was equivocal about the cause of her fall in her deposition testimony. We cannot agree. It is clear from the totality of her testimony that at all times Roumbos identified the wires as the cause of her fall. See Appellant's App. Vol. II at 80-83. Accordingly, we reject the law firm's argument that Roumbos cannot contradict herself to create a genuine question of material fact as well as the law firm's argument that Roumbos' claim against the hospital was based exclusively on the fact of the fall.

Roumbos v. Vazanellis, et. al., 71 N.E.3d 64, 65 n.1 (Ind.Ct.App. 2017). In its petition for rehearing and subsequent notice of additional authority, Law Firm likens the facts in this case to those in Central Indiana Podiatry, P.C. v. Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, 71 N.E.3d 92 (Ind.Ct.App. 2017). We grant rehearing to distinguish the facts of this case from those in Podiatry and its predecessor, Gaboury v. Ireland Road Grace Brethren, Inc., et. al., 446 N.E.2d 1310 (Ind. 1983).

         [¶2] Law Firm argues Roumbos made contradictory statements in two different depositions, and thus summary judgment was proper under Podiatry and its predecessor, Gaboury. However, the statements Law Firm cites are not contradictory and thus Podiatry and Gaboury do not control. In Roumbos' first deposition, the following exchange occurred:

Q: And do you know how you tripped? What foot came in contact with these wires?
[Roumbos]: That, I can't tell you.
** * * *
Q: And you don't know what foot came in contact with what?
[Roumbos]: No.

(Appellant's App. Vol II at 81-2.) In her second deposition, ...


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