The Indiana Supreme Court handed down an opinion yesterday which will impact cases in which a plaintiff is in the United States illegally.
The opinion issued in Escamilla v. Shiel Sexton Company, Inc., 73 N.E. 3d 663 (Ind. 2017) addresses two issues of first impression:
- May an unauthorized immigrant sue for decreased earning capacity damages in a tort action?
- Is plaintiff’s unauthorized immigration status admissible at trial?
In short, the Indiana Supreme Court held that the Indiana Constitution’s Open Courts Clause allows an unauthorized immigrant to sue for decreased earning capacity damages in a tort action. Further, a plaintiff’s unauthorized immigration status is not admissible unless it is show by a preponderance of the evidence that the plaintiff will be deported.