Lukacs v. Kluessner

Decision Date13 December 1972
Docket NumberNo. 3--572A6,3--572A6
Citation290 N.E.2d 125,154 Ind.App. 452
PartiesLouis J. LUKACS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. William J. KLUESSNER, Defendant-Appellee.
CourtIndiana Appellate Court

Peter J. Nemeth, Nemeth & Nemeth, South Bend, Thomas C. Sopko, Edward N. Kalamaros & Associates, P.C., South Bend, for appellant.

Robert J. Konopa, Crumpacker, May, Levy & Searer, South Bend, for appellee.

HOFFMAN, Chief Judge.

The sole issue presented by this appeal is whether the trial court erred in denying the motion of plaintiff for summary judgment.

Plaintiff-appellant, Louis J. Lukacs, filed his amended complaint for personal injuries against defendant-appellee, William J. Kluessner, which, in summary, alleged that plaintiff was injured as a result of the negligence of the defendant in the operation of defendant's automobile. Defendant-Kluessner filed his answer to the amended complaint denying, inter alia, the allegations of negligence contained therein. Plaintiff-Lukacs then filed a motion for summary judgment as to the issue of the negligence of the defendant. In support of, and attached to, such motion for summary judgment is the affidavit of the attorney for the plaintiff which, in pertinent part, reads as follows:

'3. On October 28, 1969, plaintiff's father obtained a verdict against the defendant in the St. Joseph Circuit Court, Cause No. D--801, upon the same facts concerning negligence which are at issue in this cause; that said action was for property damage, medical expenses and loss of services which plaintiff's father suffered as a result of defendant's negligence; that the allegations of negligence in said action arose out of the same set of facts as in this action, that the said acts of negligence involved the same parties in said action as in this action; and the allegations of negligence are the same in this action as in plaintiff's father's action.

'4. Indiana law holds that when any fact, question or issue has been decided by a final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction to determine such fact, question or issue, all parties are forever bound by such determination in a subsequent suit or suits between the same parties or their privies, in the same or any other court, whether the causes of the action or subject matter are the same or different. Nichols v. Yater, 258 N.E.2d 66 (1970); Citizens Loan & Trust Co., Exr. v. Sanders, 99 Ind.App. 77, 187 N.E. 396 (1934).

'5. That said issue of negligence was decided by a final judgment of the St. Joseph Circuit Court on October 28, 1969, Cause No. D--801, which is a court of competent jurisdiction to determine said issue of negligence and this plaintiff is privy to the plaintiff in the prior action.'

No further evidence was adduced in support of, or in opposition to, the motion for summary judgment, although both parties filed legal memoranda prior to the hearing on such motion. The motion for summary judgment was overruled by the trial court, and the overruling of such motion is the sole allegation of error preserved and argued by appellant-Lukacs in this appeal.

The law of res judicata in this jurisdiction was discussed in Mayhew, Huston v. Deister et al. (1969), 144 Ind.App. 111, at 121, 244 N.E.2d 448, at 453 (transfer denied), as follows:

'The classical doctrine of res judicata precludes parties or their privies from relitigating a cause of action that has been finally determined by a court of competent jurisdiction. Any issue necessarily decided in such litigation is conclusively determined as to the parties or their privies if it is involved in a later lawsuit on a different cause of action.'

It is appellant's contention that the instant case is not controlled by the doctrine of res judicata but by the doctrine of collateral estoppel. Appellant seeks to persuade this court to abandon the mutuality of estoppel requirement usually necessary for the application of res judicata and confine the requirement of privity only to the party against whom the plea of collateral estoppel is asserted.

The above argument was presented to our Supreme Court and disregarded by it in Tobin v. McClellan (1947), 225 Ind. 335, 73 N.E.2d 679, 75 N.E.2d 149 (transfer denied). In Tobin an action in ejectment was brought by McClellan against Beatty. Judgment in that action was in favor of Beatty. Subsequently, McClellan brought an action in ejectment against Tobin who sought to set up the prior judgment against McClellan as a bar to the action against her. Our Supreme Court, in reviewing the judgment of the trial court, held that Tobin was not bound by the prior judgment under the doctrine of mutuality and was not a party or privy thereto. She was, therefore, unable to avail herself of the judgment in the prior action.

The above case was relied upon in Mayhew, Huston v. Deister et al., supra, which held, at 123 of 144 Ind.App., at 454 of 244 N.E.2d, as follows:

'We find no Indiana cases nor sound cases from other jurisdictions...

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  • deLeon v. Slear
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • September 1, 1990
    ...28 L.Ed.2d 788 (1971); Bernhard v. Bank of America Nat. Trust & Sav. Ass'n., 19 Cal.2d 807, 122 P.2d 892 (1942); Lukacs v. Kluessner, 154 Ind.App. 452, 290 N.E.2d 125 (1972); Schwartz v. Public Administrator, 24 N.Y.2d 65, 298 N.Y.S.2d 955, 246 N.E.2d 725 (1969); Bahler v. Fletcher, 257 Or.......
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    ...N.E.2d 1195; State of Indiana, Indiana State Highway Commission v. Speidel, (1979) Ind.App., 392 N.E.2d 1172, and Lukacs v. Kluessner, (1972) 154 Ind.App. 452, 290 N.E.2d 125. In United Farm Bureau, supra, the plaintiff, Wampler, sued for his personal injuries and property damages. The defe......
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    ...Co. (1891), 131 Ind. 575, 31 N.E. 365; Maple v. Beach (1873), 43 Ind. 51; Dayton v. Fisher, supra. See also Lukacs v. Kluessner (1972), 154 Ind.App. 452, 290 N.E.2d 125; Amann v. Tankersley, supra ; Mayhew v. Deister, A. Identity of Parties. A plea of collateral estoppel is binding only on ......
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    • July 20, 1977 granted in favor of a defendant when there is no genuine issue as to the existence of an affirmative defense. See Lukacs v. Kluessner (1972), Ind.App., 290 N.E.2d 125; Suckow Borax Mines Consolidated v. Borax Consolidated (9th Cir. 1950), 185 F.2d 196; Wojcinski v. Foley (N.D.N.Y.1963), ......
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