Judgment for Carmel in personal injury case affirmed

A woman who claimed she was injured when she fell from a shaky bleacher at the Monon Community Center in Carmel sued the proper parties too late for her claim to proceed, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Monday.

Pamela Webb claimed that as she was walking down the bleachers, the bottom step slid, causing her to fall to the ground at the Carmel parks facility on June 20, 2014. She filed a tort claim notice naming the city, then sued Carmel and the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association in May 2016.

About a month later, Carmel informed Webb that the parties named in her suit were not proper parties because neither owned nor maintained the community center. Those same documents were included in the city’s response filed in September 2016, and in November 2016, Carmel moved for summary judgment. Indiana Parks and Recreation Association was dismissed from the case.

It wasn’t until near the end of 2016 that Webb filed an amended complaint naming the proper defendants — Carmel Clay Parks Building Corporation and Carmel/Clay Board of Parks & Recreation. The defendants later moved for summary judgment on the amended complaint, arguing it was untimely. The trial court agreed and granted the Carmel defendants summary judgment, and an appeals panel agreed Monday.

“Despite these repeated notices of the proper parties to the action, Webb did not file the Amended Complaint until December 30, 2016, 193 days after the statute of limitations had run,” Judge James Kirsch observed in a footnote in Pamela Webb v. City of Carmel, Carmel Clay Parks Building Corporation, and Carmel/Clay Board of Parks & Recreation, 29A05-1710-CT-2420. Under Indiana Trial Rule 15(C), the amended complaint should have been filed within 120 days of Webb’s notice that the wrong parties were named.

The appellate panel also ruled the trial court properly granted the Carmel defendants’ motion to strike several statements included in Webb’s response to the defendants’ motion for summary judgment.

This article was first published by The Indiana Lawyer.

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