INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a civil lawsuit can proceed against a Lakes of the Four Seasons man accused in the fatal hit-and-run of a Lake County corrections officer while his criminal trial is pending.
Jason R. Cozmanoff faces a criminal trial in December on multiple felony charges relating to a March 6, 2012, incident on 93rd Avenue in Crown Point where he allegedly struck and killed Britney Meux, 25, and seriously injured three other corrections officers as they jogged along the side of the road.
A Lake County judge last July agreed to postpone discovery in a civil lawsuit filed against Cozmanoff by Meux's estate in order to preserve Cozmanoff's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The Indiana Court of Appeals, in a 3-0 decision, overruled the lower court in May and declared that in the interest of justice the civil depositions, discovery and trial can move forward, even if Conzmanoff's criminal trial is unresolved.
The decision by the state's high court to review the appeals court's ruling may make the entire issue moot.
Barring an unexpected delay, Cozmanoff's criminal trial likely will be concluded before the Supreme Court hears arguments in the dispute over the timing of the civil lawsuit and issues its ruling, which regularly takes up to six months or more.