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Wells v. Hickman

Court of Appeals of Indiana
657 N.E.2d 172 (1995)


Facts

L.H. beat D.E. to death in the woods behind L.H.’s grandparents’ house. L.H. was 15 years old, and D.E. was 12 years old at the time. D.E.’s mother, Cheryl Wells (plaintiff), brought suit against L.H.’s mother Gloria Hickman (defendant) and L.H.’s grandparents Albert and Geneva Hickman (defendants) for failure to control L.H. Albert and Geneva had not been asked to supervise the boys and, in fact, were unaware that the boys were on their property at the time of the incident. At trial, Gloria testified that L.H. had previously killed a dog and a hamster and had stated that he wanted to commit suicide. L.H. had also apparently been in a fight at school. However, L.H. and D.E. were neighbors and had played together civilly in the past. The trial court granted Gloria’s motion for summary judgment but denied Albert and Geneva’s motion for summary judgment. Wells and Albert and Geneva appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Najam, 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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