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Indiana Consolidated Insurance Co. v. Mathew

Indiana Court of Appeals
402 N.E.2d 1000 (1980)


Facts

Mathew (defendant) entered his brother’s garage with permission to use a riding lawn mower stored within. The garage was insured by Indiana Consolidated Insurance (plaintiff) and the mower was in good working condition. Mathew pulled the mower into the center of the garage and, using a funnel, filled the gas tank three-quarters full. After starting the mower, Mathews noticed a flame coming from the engine and immediately turned the engine off. Mathews attempted to put the fire out with towels, but the flames grew and the mower began leaking gasoline. Mathews then ran out of the garage to his own house across the street to call the fire department. The garage burned down, and Indiana Consolidated Insurance brought a negligence action against Mathew. After a bench trial, the trial court found no evidence of negligence and entered a judgment for Mathew.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Hoffman, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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