The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear an appeal on a legal malpractice negligence case. The case involves 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 from jail. She had a protective order against him, which he violated and landed him in jail. Shortly following the husband’s release, 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. Drendall’s failure to file the notice resulted in the lawsuit’s dismissal.
Ms. Mundia brought a legal malpractice claim against Drendall for the dismissal. Drednall argued and won a motion for summary judgment. 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. Additionally, 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, contact us to discuss how we can help you.