Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Krohn v. Goodwin

Court of Appeals of Indiana

January 23, 2018

Michael R. Krohn, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
William C. Goodwin, Appellee-Plaintiff.

         Appeal from the Lake Superior Court The Honorable Diane Kavadias Schneider, Judge, Trial Court Cause No. 45D11-1105-CT-109

          Thomas E. Rosta Tammy J. Meyer Ryan O. Farner Metzger Rosta, LLP Noblesville, Indiana Attorneys for Appellant

          Michael E. Polen, Jr. Rubino, Ruman, Crosmer & Polen Dyer, Indiana Attorney for Appellee

          Bailey, Judge.

         Case Summary

         [¶1] William C. Goodwin ("Goodwin") was awarded $9, 130, 000.00 in compensatory and punitive damages upon his tort claims against Michael R. Krohn ("Krohn"). Krohn now appeals, presenting the sole issue of whether he is entitled to a new trial on damages because of an erroneous jury instruction.[1]Goodwin re-frames the issue as whether Krohn has waived his allegations of instructional error. We affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] On April 23, 2011, Goodwin was riding his motorcycle southbound on Cline Avenue in Schererville, Indiana when Krohn exited a parking lot and stopped in Goodwin's lane of travel. Goodwin crashed into the driver's side of Krohn's pickup truck. Goodwin, severely injured and bleeding internally, was airlifted from the accident scene. He ultimately underwent thirteen surgeries, including removal of half of his colon and reconstruction of his abdominal wall.

         [¶3] On May 24, 2011, Goodwin filed a complaint for damages against Krohn, alleging that Krohn had acted negligently, recklessly, willfully, and wantonly. In a related criminal case, Krohn pled guilty to driving while intoxicated. He filed an amended answer to Goodwin's complaint, admitting that he was partially at fault for the accident and alleging as an affirmative defense that Goodwin was also partially at fault.

         [¶4] A jury trial commenced on June 19, 2017 and concluded on June 21, 2017. The jury found Krohn to be 100% at fault and awarded Goodwin $9, 100, 000.00 as compensatory damages and $30, 000.00 as punitive damages. Krohn did not file a motion to correct error challenging the amount of damages as excessive. He now appeals.

         Discussion and Decision Standard of Review

         [¶5] In reviewing a trial court's decision to give or to refuse a tendered instruction, this Court considers whether the instruction correctly states the law, is supported by the evidence in the record, and is covered in substance by other instructions. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Wright, 774 N.E.2d 891, 893 (Ind. 2002). The trial court has discretion in instructing the jury and thus, we will reverse on the last two issues only when the instructions amount to an abuse of discretion. Id. However, when an instruction is challenged as being an incorrect statement of the law, appellate review of the ruling is de novo. Id. At 893-94.

         Analysis

         [¶6] Krohn challenges Final Instruction 4/23. He articulates several perceived deficiencies, and ultimately claims, "there can be no question that the jury instruction at issue may have affected the $9.1 million dollar compensatory verdict." Appellant's Brief at 19. Our review of Krohn's arguments, which we will discuss in some detail below, reveals that, at bottom, Krohn's claim is that the damages were excessive. Indiana Trial Rule 59(A)(2) squarely addresses the procedure for challenging excessive damages. This rule provides "A Motion to Correct ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.