Plaintiffs who are injured by governmental entities must provide notice to those entities within 180 days of the injury or forfeit the claim. In this case, the plaintiff provided notice of the facts that gave rise to her injuries, but indicated in the notice that she has suffered property damage only and not personal injuries. The plaintiff later filed a lawsuit seeking damages for personal injuries and property injury. The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiff was barred from seeking personal injuries.
The Court of Appeals noted that the Tort Claim Notice statute requires claimants to include in their notice statements regarding the “extent of the loss” and the “amount of the damages sought.” Ind. Code § 34-13-3-10. As the Court of Appeals noted, allowing a plaintiff to seek personal injuries in a lawsuit where the tort claim notice specifically denied personal injuries “would effectively eliminate ‘the extent of the loss’ and ‘the amount of the damages sought’ provisions from the notice requirement.” Therefore, the Court held that “when a claimant’s notice contains a specific and definitive assessment of loss, his or her recovery is limited to the loss described in the original notice.”
This decision is important for any attorney bringing or defending a claim against a governmental entity. Practitioners should carefully examine the notice of tort claim to determine if any affirmative defenses exist to damages later claimed in a lawsuit. On the flip side, attorneys representing plaintiffs should carefully prepare their notice of tort claim to make sure the notice encompasses all reasonably conceivable losses.
The information contained in the Barrett McNagny LLP website is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice on any subject matter. Furthermore, the information contained on our website may not reflect the most current legal developments. You should not act upon this information without consulting legal counsel.
Your transmission and receipt of information on the Barrett McNagny LLP website, or sending an e-mail to one of our attorneys or staff, will not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Barrett McNagny LLP. If you need legal advice and want to establish an attorney-client relationship with Barrett McNagny LLP, please contact one of our attorneys by telephone, email, or other means of communication, and allow the attorney to confirm that the firm does not represent other persons or entities involved in the matter and that the firm is willing to accept representation. Until such confirmation is provided by one of our attorneys, you should not transmit information to us that you consider confidential. If you do provide information to us, and no attorney-client relationship is established, the information will not be considered confidential or privileged, and our receipt of such information will not preclude us from representing another client in a matter adverse to you.
Any links to other websites are not intended to be referrals or endorsements of those sites.
An attorney-client relationship will NOT be formed merely by sending an email to Barrett McNagny, LLP or to any of its attorneys. Please do not send any information specific to your legal needs until you obtain approval from a Barrett McNagny, LLP attorney, as the content of such email will not be considered confidential or privileged. By sending us an email, you confirm your understanding of this notification. If you agree, you may use the e-mail links on this page to contact an attorney.