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Branscomb v. Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P.

Court: Supreme Court of Indiana

Docket: 20S-CQ-00515

Opinion Date: April 7, 2021

Judge: Steven H. David

Areas of Law: Personal Injury

The Supreme Court answered in the negative a certified question as to whether a store manager can be held liable for negligence when he is not directly involved in the accident at issue. In the underlying personal injury case, Plaintiff sued Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart’s store manager, Jim Clark, seeking damages. Plaintiff sued in state court, but Defendants sought to remove the case to federal court and the grounds that Clark, an Indiana citizen, was added solely to defeat federal diversity jurisdiction. Plaintiffs sought to remand the matter back to state court, alleging that there were issues of fact precluding a conclusion that Clark, who played on a personal or direct role in the alleged injury, was fraudulently joined. The United States District Court sua sponte entered an order seeking guidance in resolving the issue of whether Clark could be liable as a defendant. The Supreme Court answered by holding that when there are no allegations that a store manager controlled the premises where the harm occurred, he cannot be held liable under Indiana law.

This case law update is brought to you by Freeway Law, personal injury, and auto car accident lawyers. The following is not one of our cases, but it is of some significance, and we thought we should share it with our readers for informational purposes. The information above is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.

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