Issue: Can you ignore a claim filed against you?
Attorney Mark Schocke represented our client at a damages hearing on March 3, 2021, at which time both Dawson and Keep It Moving appeared by counsel. The trial court awarded Dawson $80,000 against Keep It Moving who appealed the denial of its motion to set aside a default judgment with respect to a negligence action brought against it by Connie Dawson (Dawson), individually and as parent to her minor child, Landen Dawson. Upon a motion for relief from a default judgment, the burden is on the movant to show sufficient grounds for relief under T.R. 60(B). Keep It Moving claims that it was entitled to relief because of excusable neglect, miscommunication, or exceptional circumstances under Ind. Trial Rule 60(B), and it established a meritorious defense. In the alternative, Keep It Moving argues that the trial court erred in not applying a set-off to the damage award for the amount that Dawson received in settlement proceeds from other defendants in the action.
Note, the Indiana Court of Appeals found that Keep It Moving willfully decided not to actively participate in the litigation until well after the default judgment was entered. As a consequence of Keep It Moving’s failure to participate in the litigation in a timely fashion, we conclude that the trial court properly refused to reduce the damage award.