Appellate court reviews de novo agency’s grant of summary judgment when based entirely upon principles of contract

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Northern Indiana Public Service Company (“NIPSCO”) appeals the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s (“IURC” or “Commission”) grant of United States Steel Corporation’s (“U.S. Steel”) Motion for Summary Judgment.  The parties each raise two issues on appeal, which we consolidate and re-state as:
 
(1) Whether this Court should review de novo an agency’s grant of summary judgment based entirely upon principles of contract interpretation; and
 
(2) Whether the IURC erred in interpreting the documents executed by the parties. 
 

Conclusion (slip op. at 27):  We reverse and remand for the IURC to enter summary judgment for NIPSCO and to calculate the amount U.S. Steel owes NIPSCO for application of the market based price adjustment factor to the Demand Charge, effective October 1, 2005. Reversed and remanded. 
 

Key Analysis (slip op. at 26-27):  We review de novo an agency’s grant of summary judgment when it is based entirely upon principles of contract interpretation . . . even if the Contract for Power’s pricing provisions and integration clause were ambiguous, it is clear that the parties intended the market based price adjustment factor to apply to the Demand Charge . . . summary judgment should be entered for NIPSCO.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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