Geyer v. City of Logansport, No. 1277S812

Docket NºNo. 1277S812
Citation370 N.E.2d 333, 267 Ind. 334
Case DateDecember 14, 1977
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 333

370 N.E.2d 333
267 Ind. 334
Forrest A. GEYER, Appellant,
v.
CITY OF LOGANSPORT, James Jackson and Lester Murtha, d/b/a
Stoney Pike Sales Barn, Appellees.
No. 1277S812.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Dec. 14, 1977.

[267 Ind. 336]

Page 335

C. Michael Cord, William E. Beck, II, Kokomo, for appellant.

Tom F. Hirschauer, Frank E. Tolbert, Logansport, for appellees.

OPINION ON PETITION TO TRANSFER

GIVAN, Chief Justice.

On May 29, 1970, a bull escaped from the Stoney Pike Sales Barn near Logansport. In an attempt to capture the bull Logansport police officer Lieutenant James Jackson fired two shots from a rifle, one of which apparently ricocheted and hit Geyer in the stomach. About six months later Geyer brought an action against the city, Jackson and the owner of the sales barn, Murtha. The trial court granted a motion to dismiss the action against the city on the ground that notice had not been given to the city within 60 days, as required by IC (1971) 18-2-2-1.

Prior to trial Geyer and Murtha, along with the latter's insurance company, executed a loan agreement whereby Murtha loaned Geyer Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) to be repaid only if Geyer recovered that amount or more at trial. After the presentation of the evidence the trial court granted judgment on the evidence for the defendant Jackson on the grounds that plaintiff had failed to prove negligence; that plaintiff did not give Jackson the 60-day notice and that the [267 Ind. 337] loan agreement between Geyer and Murtha served as a complete release of all tort-feasors, including Jackson. Geyer then moved to dismiss the action against Murtha.

On appeal the Second District Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, holding (1) that the grounds for granting judgment on the evidence for Jackson were insufficient under current law and (2) that the city's investigation through the sheriff, the insurance carrier's investigation and the city's actual knowledge of the incident constituted substantial compliance with the requirements of the notice statute. Therefore Geyer's action against the city should not have been dismissed. Geyer v. City of Logansport (1976), Ind.App., 346 N.E.2d 634.

The first assignment of error requires an interpretation of IC (1971) 18-2-2-1, which reads as follows:

"Hereafter no action or actions of any kind for damages arising from any negligence, willfulness, nuisance or other tort of any municipal corporation that causes injury to any person, or loss, injury or damage in any property, or any wrongful death, and regardless of to whom any such action or actions may accrue, shall be brought or maintained against any municipal corporation of this state unless there is first served upon either the mayor or clerk of any such city or a member of the board of trustees of any such town, either by delivery thereto in person or by registered mail with return card, a written notice of the occurrence complained of, setting out therein a brief general description of the date and time, the place, the conditions and cause, the nature and extent of the injury to person and loss, injury or damage, if any, to property, the date and cause of any resulting death charged as wrongful and the nature of the damages arising to anyone therefrom, all as associated with and caused by such occurrence. Such notice shall be dated and signed by the person giving the same and must be served as aforesaid so as to be received by some municipal official aforesaid within sixty (60) days after the occurrence complained of, regardless of what causes of action may arise or result therefrom, except that where snow or ice is associated with such occurrence as the cause thereof, in whole or in part such notice shall be so served within thirty (30) days after such

Page 336

occurrence." IC (1971) 18-2-2-1 (Burns, 1974) (emphasis supplied.)

[267 Ind. 338] The question of substantial compliance with this statutory provision was addressed in Galbreath v. City of Indianapolis (1970), 253 Ind. 472, 255 N.E.2d 225. In that case the plaintiff's husband had sent two letters to the city legal department regarding the accident. The department had contacted him at least twice and the parties had negotiated settlement possibilities, all within the 60-day period. This Court held that because plaintiff's husband had in good faith attempted to fully apprise the city of the accident and surrounding circumstances and because the purpose of the notice statute is to advise the city so that it may investigate the occurrence, that statute had in fact been satisfied. This...

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44 practice notes
  • James v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp. Authority
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • May 24, 1983
    ...(1977); Fujimura v. Chicago Transit Authority, 67 Ill.2d 506, 10 Ill.Dec. 619, 368 N.E.2d 105 (1977); Geyer v. The City of Logansport, 267 Ind. 334, 370 N.E.2d 333 (Indiana 1977); Binder v. City of Madison, 72 Wis.2d 613, 241 N.W.2d 613 (1976); Crowder v. Salt Lake County, 552 P.2d 646 (Uta......
  • James v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp. Authority
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • March 11, 1983
    ...(1977); Fujimura v. Chicago Transit Authority, 67 Ill.2d 506, 10 Ill.Dec. 619, 368 N.E.2d 105 (1977); Geyer v. The City of Logansport, 267 Ind. 334, 370 N.E.2d 333 (Indiana 1977); Binder v. City of Madison, 72 Wis.2d 613, 241 N.W.2d 613 (1976); Crowder v. Salt Lake County, 552 P.2d 646 (Uta......
  • Coghill v. Badger, No. 2-379A51
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 13, 1981
    ...(1979), Ind., 393 N.E.2d 190; City of Indianapolis v. Satz (1978), 268 Ind. 581, 377 N.E.2d 623; Geyer v. City of Logansport (1977), 267 Ind. 334, 370 N.E.2d In Geyer, supra, our supreme court declared that in view of its underlying purpose, the notice statute "places an affirmative duty up......
  • Ford v. State, No. 3-1276A303
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • September 27, 1979
    ...object of the legislation so that all persons similarly circumstanced shall be treated alike. Geyer v. City of Logansport (1977), Ind., 370 N.E.2d 333. The burden upon one who challenges a statute is a heavy [182 Ind.App. 232] "Under the traditional equal protection test, the challenger mus......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
44 cases
  • James v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp. Authority
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • May 24, 1983
    ...(1977); Fujimura v. Chicago Transit Authority, 67 Ill.2d 506, 10 Ill.Dec. 619, 368 N.E.2d 105 (1977); Geyer v. The City of Logansport, 267 Ind. 334, 370 N.E.2d 333 (Indiana 1977); Binder v. City of Madison, 72 Wis.2d 613, 241 N.W.2d 613 (1976); Crowder v. Salt Lake County, 552 P.2d 646 (Uta......
  • James v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp. Authority
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • March 11, 1983
    ...(1977); Fujimura v. Chicago Transit Authority, 67 Ill.2d 506, 10 Ill.Dec. 619, 368 N.E.2d 105 (1977); Geyer v. The City of Logansport, 267 Ind. 334, 370 N.E.2d 333 (Indiana 1977); Binder v. City of Madison, 72 Wis.2d 613, 241 N.W.2d 613 (1976); Crowder v. Salt Lake County, 552 P.2d 646 (Uta......
  • Coghill v. Badger, No. 2-379A51
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 13, 1981
    ...(1979), Ind., 393 N.E.2d 190; City of Indianapolis v. Satz (1978), 268 Ind. 581, 377 N.E.2d 623; Geyer v. City of Logansport (1977), 267 Ind. 334, 370 N.E.2d In Geyer, supra, our supreme court declared that in view of its underlying purpose, the notice statute "places an affirmative duty up......
  • Ford v. State, No. 3-1276A303
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • September 27, 1979
    ...object of the legislation so that all persons similarly circumstanced shall be treated alike. Geyer v. City of Logansport (1977), Ind., 370 N.E.2d 333. The burden upon one who challenges a statute is a heavy [182 Ind.App. 232] "Under the traditional equal protection test, the challenger mus......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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