Court correct in awarding treble damages in complaint for fraud and deception

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Heartland Resources, Inc.; Heartland-Red River Prospect, L.P.; David A. Stewart; Richard Stewart; and Mark Haynes (collectively “Heartland”) appeal from the trial court’s entry of default judgment against Heartland and award of damages to Ambrose Bedel and Catherine Bedel (collectively “the Bedels”). Heartland presents the following restated issues for our review:

1. Whether the trial court had personal jurisdiction over Heartland.

2. Whether the trial court erred when it awarded the Bedels treble damages.

The Bedels cross-appeal and contend that the trial court erred when it did not award them attorney’s fees.

Conclusion (slip op. at 7): Affirmed and remanded with instructions.

Key Analysis (slip op. at 4, 7): When Heartland failed to allege lack of personal jurisdiction in its Trial Rule 60(B)(1) motion to set aside, it waived that issue for review on appeal . . . Rather than awarding the Bedels damages under the Act, which does not provide for treble damages, the trial court expressly based the award on Heartland’s fraud and deception as detailed in the complaint.

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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