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Indiana Supreme Court: Week In Review (Oct. 26-30, 2009)
Posted in Litigation

In Gunashekar v. Grose, the Indiana Supreme Court analyzed whether the trial court abused its discretion by denying the Gunashekars’ motion for a continuance of a half day bench trial after the trial court granted their attorney’s motion to withdraw six weeks before the scheduled trial.  The Court observed that the Gunashekars “said nothing to the trial judge to indicate whether they were diligent in trying to engage new counsel” and they were “not forced to proceed without an attorney.” (emphasis in original).  Justice Rucker dissented stating that “this case presented a level of complexity that few if any pro se litigants would have been able to navigate successfully” and the Gunashekars “needed the assistance of trained legal counsel” and “[f]airness and equity required . . . a reasonably delay to accomplish that end.”

In Bradshaw v. Chandler, the Indiana Supreme Court analyzed whether bringing a claim specifically under the underinsured motorist section of an insurance policy met the policy’s timeliness requirements when it was later determined the claim should have been brought under the uninsured motorist section.  The Court held that it did.  “Where as here the insurance company is a named defendant in a suit commencing within months of the accident, unreasonable delay in pursuing a claim is clearly not a concern.”  To require an insured to specify at the outset that he or she was suing for uninsured coverage would lead future insureds “to include a claim against the insured’s carrier for both uninsured and underinsured coverage.”  Because the insured “commenced his suit within the two-year limitation,” “the policy does not exclude coverage.”

 

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