Evan C. Zoldan[i]

Introduction

When the Court of Appeals of Indiana decided an important case about gun liability in May 2019, it got a key legal point wrong. The case, City of Gary v. Smith & Wesson,[ii]arose out of a lawsuit filed by the City of Gary, Indiana (the “City”), against Smith & Wesson and other firearms manufacturers. The City asked the court to hold the manufacturers liable for creating a public nuisance and for the negligent design, distribution, and marketing of firearms. After the City’s lawsuit was filed, the Indiana legislature passed a statute granting immunity to gun manufacturers for these types of claims. Because the lawsuit predated the statute, however, it was not clear whether the statute would affect the pending lawsuit.

Administrative agencies regulate a wide breadth of issues—including driver’s licenses, alcoholic beverage permits, placement of utility poles, administration of the state’s Medicaid program, and complaints by prisoners—to name just a few examples discussed in this Article. These agencies form a bridge between Indiana’s citizens and their government.