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Barath S. Raman

Associate

T: 317.453.8710 | Mobile: 636.675.5534
F: 317.630.2790
E: braman@lewiswagner.com

Legal Assistant

Cindy Garrett

T: 317.237.0500
E: cgarrett@lewiswagner.com

Biography

Read Articles by Barath S. Raman

An associate in Lewis Wagner's litigation group, Barath S. Raman’s practice area includes the defense of personal injury, product liability, construction accident and defect, and environmental insurance coverage cases.  Before law school, utilizing his B.S. from Purdue University in Construction Engineering, Barath worked as a Field Engineer for Mass Electric Construction Company.  In connection with the light rail mass transit expansion project in Houston, Texas, Barath coordinated with and drafted contracts for sub-contractors; and, he also served as the project’s Environmental Compliance Manager.  Mass Electric later asked Barath to serve as its Conduit & Utilities Field Engineer in Los Angeles, California for the I-405 Highway Expansion Project, where Barath edited civil engineering drawings to reflect as-built installations and coordinated with the various trades on work schedules, procurement of materials, and safety compliance.  

Barath embarked on his legal career in 2011 by enrolling at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he hoped to leverage his engineering background to develop a law practice including construction and environmental law. Prior to joining the Firm in 2014, Barath worked as a summer associate for Lewis Wagner and the Marion County Public Defender Agency in the Major Felony and Appeals Divisions. He performed legal research and assisted in the preparation of numerous court documents for various jury trials. Barath earned his J.D. cum laude from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he served as the President of the Student Bar Association.

Experience

Trials/Appeals:

Trials:

  • Donald Stauffer v. Steak n Shake, Inc.
    • Facts: a slip and fall case where Plaintiff slipped and fell and cut his hand on a corner guard while Plaintiff was walking toward the restroom.
    • Venue: Marion County
    • Result: Defense Verdict
    • Year:  2014 
  • Amber Hamilton v. Steak n Shake, Inc.
    • Facts:  An altercation between two groups of customers inside a Steak n Shake restaurant.  The altercation included verbal threats.  Ultimately, the Plaintiff was shot in the face by non-party, Ricky Jackson after Plaintiff lunged and punched Mr. Jackson.
    • Venue:  Marion County
    • Result:  Favorable settlement half way through trial
    • Year: 2019 
  • Jeffrey Certa v. Steak n Shake, Inc.
    • Facts: An altercation between two groups of customers outside of the Steak n Shake restaurant, in the parking lot.  Altercation culminated in Plaintiff being struck by a motor vehicle, which was driven by non-party, Mikal Gillham.  Plaintiff suffered a torn ACL.  
    • Venue:  Tippecanoe County
    • Result:  Jury apportioned 10% fault to Steak n Shake, 40% fault to Plaintiff, 20% to Mikal Gillham, and the remaining fault to various non-parties.  Plaintiff was awarded $160,000, and Steak n Shake responsible for $16,000.
    • Year: 2019 
  • John and Tamara Settergren v. Family Dollar Stores of Indiana, LP
    • Facts:  Manager of Family Dollar was driving home “off the clock” employees during the winter.  While driving them home, the manager pulled out directly in front of Plaintiffs’ vehicle causing the accident.  The case was bifurcated, and the only issue tried was whether the manager was acting within the scope of his employment when he chose to drive his employees home after their work shifts had concluded.
    • Venue:  Marion County
    • Result: Defense Verdict – the jury found that the manager was not acting within the course and scope of his employment.
    • Year: 2019 

Appeals:

  • Amber Hamilton v. Steak n Shake, Inc.
    • Facts:  An altercation between two groups of customers inside a Steak n Shake restaurant.  The altercation included verbal threats.  Ultimately, the Plaintiff was shot in the face by non-party, Ricky Jackson after Plaintiff lunged and punched Mr. Jackson.
    • After the Supreme Court passed the Goodwin v. Yeakle and Rogers v. Martin opinions, the trial court granted Steak n Shake’s Motion for Summary Judgment holding that Steak n Shake did not owe Plaintiff a duty of care.  Specifically, the Supreme Court in Goodwin and Rogers created a foreseeability test which mandated that trial courts must determine whether a duty exists in 3rd party criminal premises liability cases.  The Supreme Court held that the appropriate test was to determine (without taking into consideration the facts of a case): (1) the broad type of plaintiff; and (2) the broad type of harm involved.  We argued that although Amber Hamilton would certainly be considered the broad type of Plaintiff, namely a customer of Steak n Shake, the harm of being shot in the face was not foreseeable as a broad type of harm.  The trial court agreed and granted summary judgment.  
    • Plaintiff appealed and argued that given how long the argument lasted inside the restaurant, the animosity shown between the 2 groups, and the fact that Steak n Shake took no efforts to mitigate the fight, this all meant that Plaintiff and the fact that she was shot in the face was foreseeable in the context of at least establishing a duty of care.  The Court of Appeals overturned the trial court’s decision granting summary judgment.
    • Petition to the Supreme Court was denied.
    • Year: 2018 
  • Jefferey Certa v. Steak n Shake, Inc.
    • Facts: An altercation between two groups of customers outside of the Steak n Shake restaurant, in the parking lot.  Altercation culminated in Plaintiff being struck by a motor vehicle, which was driven by non-party, Mikal Gillham.  Plaintiff suffered a torn ACL.  
    • We filed summary judgment for the same reason in the Amber Hamilton v. Steak n Shake.  Specifically, under the new test established by the Supreme Court, we argued that the Plaintiff being struck by a motor vehicle in the parking lot was unforeseeable as a matter of law.  The Trial court agreed and granted summary judgment in favor of Steak n Shake. 
    • Plaintiff appealed and made the same argument as opposing counsel made in the Amber Hamilton v. Steak n Shake case.  Specifically, opposing counsel argued that a back and forth verbal altercation which escalated into a physical fight outside of the restaurant was foreseeable to Steak n Shake, and Steak n Shake should have foreseen that someone would be injured. The Court of Appeals agreed with Plaintiff and overturned the trial court’s decision granting summary judgment.
    • Petition to the Supreme Court was denied.
    • Year: 2018

Professional Associations

  • Indiana State Bar Association
    • Litigation Section, Executive Board
  • Indianapolis Bar Association
    • Suited Up, Co-Founder, 2015-present

Presentations

  • "Negotiating and Litigating the Damages: Defense Perspective," Damages in Personal Injury, National Business Institute, Merrillville, IN, March 9, 2018.
  • Winning Before Trial - The Ten Keys to Winning Depositions, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN, October 25, 2017.
  • 9 Ancillary Issues in Personal Injury Litigation, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Merrillville, IN, October 5, 2016, Speaker.

Publications

Honors & Awards

  • 39th Annual Minority Achievers Nominee, Center for Leadership Development

Civic & Community Involvement

  • AAU Basketball Coach
  • Friends of Riley, Board of Directors

In The News

Practice Areas

Bar Admissions

  • State of Indiana, 2014

Courts of Practice

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 2014

Education

  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2014
    • President, Student Bar Association, 2013 - 2014
    • Dean’s Tutorial Society Scholarship Tutor, 2012 - 2014
    • Robert H. Stanton Intramural Moot Court Competition
    • Executive Chair and Founder, Robert H. McKinney School of Law Inaugural Job Fair
  • Purdue University, B.S., 2009