Upon petition for rehearing, appellees and cross-appellants Governmental Insurance Managers, Inc. (GIM) and Governmental Interinsurance Exchange (GIE) ask us to supplement our decision in Knightstown Banner, LLC v. Town of Knightstown, 882 N.E.2d 270 (Ind. Ct. App. 2008), in which we resolved several issues, one of which concerned an award of attorney fees. GIE and GIM were aligned with the Town of Knightstown (the Town) as appellees in an appeal from an order proclaiming them jointly and severally liable for an award of attorney fees to the Knightstown Banner (the Newspaper). Those attorney fees stemmed from the Newspaper’s successful lawsuit concerning its request under the Indiana Access to Public Records Act (APRA) to view the settlement agreement between the Town and a former employee (the employee) in a civil rights lawsuit filed by the employee. We write here to address the question whether GIE and GIM, which must be viewed as a single entity for our purposes here, should share joint and several liability with the Town for attorney fees and costs.
Conclusion (slip op. at 5): The trial court did not err in imposing joint and several liability upon GIE and GIM with respect to the award of attorney fees and costs.
Key Analysis (slip op. at 5): The significant factor here is the close relationship between the Town and GIE and GIM with respect to this litigation. Along with the Town, GIE and GIM actively sought to prevent disclosure of the settlement agreement, which in turn triggered the Newspaper’s lawsuit.
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