The Business Litigation Blog

Indiana Court of Appeals to hear Negligence Case

The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear an appeal on a legal malpractice case involving the Indiana Tort Claims Act and negligence claims brought against local municipalities.

Lucy Mundia hired the Drendall Law Office to pursue claims against St. Joseph County and the City of South Bend for releasing her husband, against whom she had a protective order, from jail following the husband’s violation of the very same protective order. Shortly following the husband’s release from jail, he came to Mundia’s home and fatally stabbed their daughter and seriously injured Ms. Mundia. Drendall filed a negligence lawsuit against the City but did not file the statutorily-required Tort Claim Notice along with the lawsuit, resulting in its dismissal.

Ms. Mundia brought a legal malpractice claim against Drendall for the dismissal, where Drendall argued and won a motion for summary judgment that because the Indiana Tort Claims Act applied to the city’s actions in the underlying case, the failure to file a Tort Claim Notice did not proximately cause Ms. Mundia’s damages.

Ms. Mundia is now appealing the summary judgment ruling, alleging that the county admitted fault regarding the case and that the county’s decision to release Ms. Mundia’s husband from jail did not fall under the protection of the Indiana Tort Claims Act such that a Tort Claim Notice should have been filed. Ms. Mundia further posed allegations questioning Drendall’s decision to bring a negligence claim in the first place.

An attorney’s failure to follow statutory requirements or pursue proper claims on your behalf may constitute legal malpractice. If you believe that you have a legal malpractice claim against your former attorney, you can contact the Patterson Law Firm to discuss how we can help you. 

 

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