Featured Case: Ritter v. Stanton
This case was chosen by staff within the judicial branch as a useful tool to teach an interesting aspect of the law. Its selection has no bearing on how the case will ultimately be decided. Since the members of the court did not participate in the preparation of the lesson plan, the issues raised in it will not necessarily be addressed in the oral argument.
General Case Information
Ira Ritter, et al., v. Jerry and Ruth Stanton
Indiana Supreme Court
Date and Time:
November 14, 2001, 9:30 AM
Right to trial by jury, jury history, role of a jury
Jerry Stanton was injured after being pinned between two semi-tractor trailers, one of which was driven by Ira Ritter, an employee of Kroger. Stanton was employed by Gateway Freightline Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kroger. Stanton filed a personal injury action against Ritter and Kroger in the Marion Superior Court. The courts below decided that worker's compensation was not Stanton's exclusive remedy. In addition, the courts below decided that the net $55 million verdict in favor of Stanton was not excessive and that courts do not compare one verdict to another in deciding whether one is excessive. See Ritter v. Stanton, 745 N.E.2d 828 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001). Kroger petitions to transfer jurisdiction to the Indiana Supreme Court.
Attorney for Appellants: Karl L. Mulvaney, Indianapolis.
Attorney for Appellees: Thomas Hamer, Anderson.
Case Briefs and Oral Argument
The Court's Action
January 31, 2002: the Supreme Court has denied a petition to transfer. The opinion of the Court of Appeals stands and the appeal is at an end.
June 10, 2002: It is rare for civil cases to be appealed beyond the Indiana Supreme Court, however, in the case of Ritter and Kroger v. Stanton, Kroger filed a further appeal, called a petition for certiorari, to the United States Supreme Court. On June 10, 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Kroger's petition, ending the litigation.