Wilmington v. Harvest Ins. Companies, 41A01-8706-CV-139

Citation521 N.E.2d 953
Decision Date20 April 1988
Docket NumberNo. 41A01-8706-CV-139,41A01-8706-CV-139
PartiesNorman WILMINGTON, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. The HARVEST INSURANCE COMPANIES, d/b/a the Harvest Life Insurance Company, the Harvest Insurance Agency, Inc., and the Harvest Publishing Company, Defendants-Appellees.
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 953

521 N.E.2d 953
Norman WILMINGTON, Plaintiff-Appellant,
Insurance Company, the Harvest Insurance Agency,
Inc., and the Harvest Publishing
Company, Defendants-Appellees.
No. 41A01-8706-CV-139.
Court of Appeals of Indiana,
First District.
April 20, 1988.

Page 954

Gary K. Kemper, Jenner & Kemper, Madison, for plaintiff-appellant.

Brian K. Burke, Todd M. Nierman, Baker & Daniels, Indianapolis, Stephen L. Huddleston, Franklin, for defendants-appellees.

NEAL, Judge.


Plaintiff-appellant, Norman Wilmington (Wilmington), appeals the granting of summary judgment by the Johnson Circuit Court in favor of the Harvest Insurance Companies, d/b/a/ The Harvest Life Insurance Company, The Harvest Insurance Agency, Inc., and the Harvest Publishing Company (hereinafter referred to collectively as Harvest unless separately stated), in his action for retaliatory discharge.

We affirm.


No dispute exists in the operative facts before the court. Harvest Life was authorized to sell insurance in Indiana, and Harvest Agency was its general agent. The manner of participation in the insurance activities by Harvest Publishing is not clear. On August 10, 1982, Harvest entered into written contracts with Wilmington as an independent contractor whereby Wilmington agreed to sell insurance in Indiana for Harvest. By the express terms of the contract no employer-employee relation existed between Harvest and Wilmington. Each party was free to terminate the agreement at any time upon written notice to the other party. The agreement expressly stated that Wilmington was prohibited from selling any policy of insurance for any other underwriter except Harvest, or an insurer approved by Harvest, or for underwriters which Harvest Agency served as a general agent.

Wilmington performed as agreed until April or May, 1984, at which time, without permission from Harvest, he commenced selling insurance for companies other than those involved with Harvest or those for which consent had been given. Although warned to stop, he persisted, and on July 3, 1984, Harvest gave him written notice of termination of the agreement. Thereafter, Wilmington brought suit alleging wrongful termination. In his suit he claimed (a) vested renewal commissions, and (b) that Harvest terminated Wilmington's status as an independent contractor in retaliation for his exercise of a statutorily conferred right under IND. CODE 27-4-3-2. That section provides as follows:

It shall be unlawful for any insurance agent representing or acting for two or more insurance companies writing the same class or classes, of risks to enter, either directly or indirectly, into any agreement, arrangement, contract or understanding with one or more of

Page 955

such companies that he will refrain from representing any other like company or companies, and it shall be unlawful for any such insurance company, not having a contract requiring an agent to represent it alone, in any...

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9 cases
  • Cripe, Inc. v. Clark, 50A04-0502-CV-63.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 28, 2005
    ...an at-will-employee, such as Clark, for any cause or no cause at all without incurring liability. See Wilmington v. Harvest Ins. Co., 521 N.E.2d 953, 955 (Ind.Ct.App.1988). That said, our courts have recognized three limited and strictly construed exceptions to the doctrine of "employment a......
  • Driveaway & Truckaway Service v. Aaron Driveaway & Truckaway Co., 91 C 1603.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • December 5, 1991
    ...Indiana courts have similarly refused to extend the tort of retaliatory discharge to non-employees. See Wilmington v. Harvest Insur. Co., 521 N.E.2d 953, 956 (Ind.Ct.App.1988) (dicta); Morgan Drive Away, Inc. v. Brant, 479 N.E.2d 1336, 1338 (Ind.Ct.App.1985), rev'd on other grounds 489 N.E.......
  • Lawson v. Haven Hubbard Homes, Inc., 71A04-8811-CV-393
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • March 19, 1990
    ...applied. McClanahan v. Remington Freight Lines (1988), Ind., 517 N.E.2d 390; Wilmington v. Harvest Ins. Companies (1988), Ind.App., 521 N.E.2d 953. In the case before us, the essential facts are not in dispute. Therefore, we must determine whether the law was correctly Generally, an employe......
  • Harvey v. Care Initiatives, Inc., 99-1074.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • October 10, 2001
    ...Elecs. Mktg., Inc. v. Clarion Corp., 203 Ill.App.3d 332, 149 Ill.Dec. 5, 561 N.E.2d 283, 285 (1990); Wilmington v. Harvest Ins. Cos., 521 N.E.2d 953, 956 (Ind.Ct.App.1988) (dicta); MacDougall v. Weichert, 144 N.J. 380, 677 A.2d 162, 166 (1996); see also Birchem v. Knights of Columbus, 116 F......
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