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Cullison v. Medley

Indiana Supreme Court
570 N.E.2d 27 (1991)


Facts

Cullison (plaintiff) met Sandy Medley, a teenager, in a grocery store parking lot and invited her over to his home. Later that day, Sandy and the rest of the Medley family (defendants) came to Cullison’s mobile home and confronted Cullison about his meeting with Sandy. Sandy’s father, Ernest, had a revolver strapped to his leg, and repeatedly reached for it and shook the gun at Cullison throughout the encounter. Ernest threatened to jump on Cullison, while Sandy’s mother, Doris, kept her hand in her pocket, convincing Cullison that Doris also had a weapon. Cullison feared that one of the Medleys was about to shoot him and felt intimidated by the five people inside his trailer. After the confrontation, Cullison learned that Ernest had previously shot someone. Cullison then felt great apprehension when Ernest, armed with a pistol, glared menacingly at him in a restaurant. Due to the encounters with the Medleys, Cullison experienced severe emotional and psychological harm. Cullison brought a claim of assault against the Medleys, and the trial court granted the Medleys’ motion for summary judgment. The court of appeals affirmed, reasoning that the Medleys did not indicate any present intent to hurt Cullison, and even if an assault occurred, Cullison could not recover because he only alleged emotional harm.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Krahulik, J.)

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