Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 04/27/2017
Format: 04/27/2017
Herbert S. Moncier v. Nina Harris, et al.
E2016-00209-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Judge Clarence E. Pridemore, Jr.

This appeal involves a request for access to examine records under Tennessee Code Annotated section 10-7-505 in which the plaintiff sought the release of civil forfeiture documents from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. The trial court held that the plaintiff did not show sufficient cause for release of the sought after documents in a non-redacted format. We find that the issue has become moot owing to the legislative enactment of 2016 Tenn. Pub. Acts, Chapter 722, § 5. Accordingly, we vacate the trial court’s judgment and dismiss this case.

Knox County Court of Appeals 03/10/17
J.W. Smith, et al. v. TimberPro, Inc., et al.
W2016-00757-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald E. Parish

J.W. Smith d/b/a J.W. Smith Logging (“Smith”) appeals the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Don Bush d/b/a Bush Forestry Equipment (“Bush”) and Woodland Equipment, Inc. (“Woodland”). Smith filed this lawsuit against Bush and Woodland seeking damages for breach of contract and breach of express and implied warranties. His claims arose from his purchase of an allegedly defective harvester from Woodland. The trial court granted summary judgment to Bush based on the absence of contractual privity between Smith and Bush. The trial court granted summary judgment to Woodland based on the absence of evidence that it breached any express warranties to Smith and based on a disclaimer of implied warranties included in its contract with Smith. On appeal, Smith argues that the record contains issues of disputed fact as to (1) whether Bush was a joint-seller of the harvester with Woodland, (2) whether Woodland and Bush breached express warranties to Smith, and (3) whether the disclaimer of implied warranties was part of Smith’s contract for purchase of the harvester. We agree with the trial court that the record does not contain any evidence of contractual privity between Smith and Bush and therefore affirm the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Bush on all of Smith’s claims. We also agree that the record does not contain evidence that Woodland breached express warranties to Smith and therefore affirm the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Woodland on Smith’s claim for breach of express warranties. We do not agree, however, that the disclaimer of implied warranties was included in Smith’s contract with Woodland for purchase of the harvester. We therefore reverse the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Woodland on Smith’s claim for breach of implied warranties. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and this case is remanded for further proceedings.

Carroll County Court of Appeals 03/09/17
John Mervin et al. v. Ken Davis et al.
E2016-00508-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Frank G. Clement, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael S. Pemberton

This appeal arises from a dispute between neighbors regarding the construction of a sign that precipitated the exchange of threats followed by the filing of a civil warrant and criminal charges, a global settlement agreement, the alleged breach of the settlement agreement, and the commencement of this action. After Ken and Martha Davis sued John and Sharon Merwin in general sessions court on a variety of tort claims and filed criminal charges against Mr. Merwin, the parties entered into a settlement agreement pursuant to which Mr. Merwin agreed to remove the sign he erected and the Davises agreed to dismiss the civil warrant and the criminal charges. The Davises promptly dismissed the civil warrant but when the criminal case came on for hearing, the district attorney declined to dismiss the criminal charges against Mr. Merwin and the case was continued so Mr. Merwin could retain counsel. At the subsequent hearing, the criminal charges were dismissed and, in the interim, Mr. Merwin removed the sign. Thereafter, the Merwins commenced this action asserting a variety of tort claims, including a claim for malicious prosecution, and a claim for breach of contract based on the Davises’ failure to dismiss the criminal charges at the initial hearing. Upon the motion of the Davises, the trial court summarily dismissed the tort claims on the grounds of res judicata because they had been asserted in the civil warrant that was dismissed with prejudice. At the conclusion of the trial on the remaining claims, the trial court granted the Davises’ motion for a directed verdict on the breach of contract claim upon the ground it was legally impossible for the Davises to dismiss the criminal complaint and because the Merwins could not establish that the Davises breached the settlement agreement. The Merwins appeal. We affirm.

Roane County Court of Appeals 03/09/17
Henry Fletcher v. CFRA, LLC
M2016-01202-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Chief Judge D. Michael Swiney
Trial Court Judge: Judge Hamilton V. Gayden, Jr.

Henry Fletcher (“Plaintiff”) sued CFRA, LLC (“CFRA”), which owns and operates an International House of Pancakes (“IHOP”) restaurant in Antioch, Tennessee, alleging that CFRA was liable for the actions of its IHOP employee, Kenneth W. Hale, Jr. (“Hale”), in connection with an assault upon Plaintiff committed by Hale.  The Circuit Court for Davidson County (“the Trial Court”) granted summary judgment to CFRA.  Plaintiff appeals the grant of summary judgment.  We find and hold that CFRA made a properly supported motion for summary judgment, that Plaintiff failed to show that there are genuine disputed issues of material fact that would preclude summary judgment, and that CFRA was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.  We, therefore, affirm the grant of summary judgment to CFRA.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 03/08/17
Mark Antonio Allen v. Candy Rachelle Munn Allen
W2016-01078-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Brandon O. Gibson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donna M. Fields

This appeal arises from the post-divorce restriction of an alternate residential parent’s parenting time. The parties divorced in 2010. By agreement, the father was designated primary residential parent of the parties’ two minor children. The original parenting plan gave the mother 160 days of unsupervised visitation per year, including time in the summers and on holidays. In 2014, the father filed a petition requesting that the trial court restrict mother’s parenting time to supervised visitation only. Father’s lawyer then approached the trial court ex parte with an affidavit of the daughter’s psychologist and requested emergency relief restricting the mother’s visitation. The trial judge signed a temporary injunction requiring the mother’s parenting time to be supervised. When the mother attempted to set aside this injunction, the trial court ordered the mother to undergo a Rule 35 evaluation. After performing his examination of the mother, the independent Rule 35 evaluator testified that the mother was capable of caring for her children without supervision. Nevertheless, the trial court entered a final order and permanent parenting plan that substantially decreased the mother’s parenting time and required it to be supervised indefinitely. The trial court also awarded the father $15,000.00 in attorney’s fees. Following a thorough review of the record, we vacate the order of the trial court restricting the mother’s parenting time, reverse the trial court’s order awarding the father attorney’s fees, remand the case to the trial court, and necessarily reinstate the parties’ original parenting plan.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 03/07/17
In Re: Estate of Madelyn Cleveland
E2016-01624-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II
Trial Court Judge: Judge David R. Shults

In this probate matter, the decedent was a party to divorce proceedings in Georgia with her estranged husband at the time of her death. The decedent and her husband had executed a separation agreement as part of those proceedings, wherein they agreed that each party would individually maintain ownership of specified marital assets and execute any documents necessary to effectuate the agreement as to each asset. The decedent passed away before the respective transfers of property were made, and her personal representative filed an action seeking to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement. The trial court conducted a hearing in this matter and determined that the agreement had been rescinded by the husband, such that all jointly owned marital assets passed to him at the decedent’s death. The personal representative has appealed. We determine that the husband did not have a proper basis for rescission of the settlement agreement and that any purported rescission was ineffective. We therefore reverse the trial court’s order dismissing the petition filed by the personal representative and awarding ownership of all marital assets to the husband. We remand this matter to the trial court for further proceedings regarding enforcement of the agreement.

Unicoi County Court of Appeals 03/07/17
Tamara Reece Milton v. Randall v. Harness, Jr.
E2017-00092-COA-R10-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Judge Frank V. Williams, III

This is an extraordinary appeal, filed pursuant to Rule 10 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, seeking review of the Trial Court’s ex parte injunction temporarily changing custody of the parties’ six-year-old child (“Child”), born out-of-wedlock, pending the final adjudication of the Petition for Custody and Injunction (“Petition” or “Petition for Custody”) filed by the Petitioner, Randall V. Harness, Jr. (“Father”), in which he seeks to legitimate and obtain custody of Child. We conclude that an extraordinary appeal is warranted, that both the ex parte injunction changing custody and the Trial Court’s subsequent order continuing that injunction should be vacated, and that custody of Child be restored to the Respondent, Tamara Reece Milton (“Mother”), pending further action by the Trial Court.

Loudon County Court of Appeals 03/03/17
Lee Phan v. Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance
M2016-00612-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Chancellor Andy D. Bennett
Trial Court Judge: Judge Russell T. Perkins

After a contested case hearing, an administrative law judge (“ALJ”), acting on behalf of the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology, revoked a cosmetologist’s license based upon evidence that he had assisted in the procurement of reciprocity licenses in exchange for cash.  The ALJ also assessed civil penalties against the cosmetologist in the amount of $20,000.  The cosmetologist filed a request for judicial review, and the chancery court affirmed the decision of the ALJ.  We have concluded that the ALJ’s decision is supported by substantial and material evidence and that none of the grounds raised by the cosmetologist justify reversal under the deferential standard of review described in Tenn. Code Ann. § 4-5-322(h).

Davidson County Court of Appeals 03/02/17
Grenda Harmer v. Turney Center Disciplinary Board, et al.
M2016-01156-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Brandon O. Gibson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph Woodruff

This appeal involves review of prison disciplinary proceedings. The prisoner pled guilty to the possession of contraband and waived his right to a formal disciplinary hearing. He later attempted to appeal his conviction and have it set aside. The chancery court affirmed the conviction by the prison disciplinary board. We affirm.

Hickman County Court of Appeals 03/02/17
Laura Lee Demastus v. University Health System, Inc.
E2016-00375-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Deborah C. Stevens

Plaintiff Laura Lee Demastus brought this action against her former employer, University Health System, Inc., doing business as the University of Tennessee Medical Center (Employer). After Plaintiff had worked roughly three years as a nurse at the UT Medical Center, Employer suspected that she was illegally diverting medications. When Plaintiff’s supervisors confronted her with evidence of several suspicious transactions recorded by the medication monitoring systems, Plaintiff denied doing anything wrong or improper. She, however, could not explain the suspicious transactions. She was terminated shortly thereafter. Plaintiff brought this action under the Tennessee Disabilities Act (TDA), Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-50-103 et seq. (2016), alleging that she was fired solely because Employer perceived her to have the disability of drug addiction. Employer argued that it did not fire her because she was considered a drug addict, but because it thought she was stealing medications. Following discovery, the trial court granted summary judgment, holding that under the undisputed material facts, Plaintiff could not establish that Employer’s proffered non-discriminatory reason was a pretext for illegal discrimination. We affirm

Knox County Court of Appeals 03/02/17
Maryam Ghorashi-Bajestani v Masoud Bajestani
E2016-00063-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Frank G. Clement, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jeffrey M. Atherton

This is the third appeal in a post-divorce case. It arises from Husband’s petition to modify the requirement that he pay private school tuition for his children’s elementary and secondary education, and Wife’s petition to calculate Husband’s income tax rate in order to determine the net amount to be paid to Wife out of Husband’s deferred compensation for 2011, 2012, and 2013. Husband contends the trial court erred by holding that his obligation to pay private school tuition was not modifiable because it was a contractual obligation. He also contends the trial court incorrectly calculated the tax rates and erred by refusing to allow him to introduce expert proof of the proper method for this calculation. We have determined the trial court erred in ruling that Husband’s obligation to pay private school tuition for elementary and secondary education was not modifiable. Therefore, we reverse and remand this issue with instructions for the trial court to determine whether a material change of circumstances has been established and, if so, whether to modify Husband’s obligation to pay private elementary and secondary school tuition for the children. With regard to the tax rates for 2011, 2012, and 2013, Husband failed to introduce evidence at the hearing that pertained to the proper method to be used to determine the tax rates. After the court rendered its ruling, Husband filed a Tenn. R. Civ. P. 52.02 motion seeking permission to present expert proof on the tax rate issue in order to alter or amend the ruling. We find no error with the decision to not consider Husband’s belated expert proof or the decision to deny the motion to alter or amend. We also affirm the trial court’s calculation of the tax rates and Wife’s share of Husband’s deferred compensation for the years in question. As for Wife’s challenge to the trial court’s decision to impute income to her for the purpose of calculating child support and refusing to consider work-related care expenses she might incur, we affirm these decisions.

Hamilton County Court of Appeals 03/01/17
SK Food Corporation, et. al., v. First Bank
M2016-01019-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge W. Neal McBrayer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Thomas W. Brothers

Three corporations approached a lender seeking to refinance an existing loan secured by a deed of trust on certain commercial properties. The parties entered an agreement specifying that the lender’s security interest would be a “first lien deed of trust” and requiring the borrowers to pay a nonrefundable “commitment fee.” The borrowers executed the agreement and paid the commitment fee, but the loan did not close due to the discovery of a prior lien on one of the properties. The borrowers filed suit against the lender for damages arising out of the lender’s refusal to lend or to refund the commitment fee. The trial court granted the lender’s motion for summary judgment but denied the lender’s request for attorneys’ fees. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 02/28/17
Jeanette Arnold Buntyn v. Stevonski Elliott Buntyn
W2016-00398-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor James F. Butler

This appeal stems from a divorce proceeding in which Wife was awarded alimony in futuro. For the reasons stated herein, we vacate the trial court’s award of alimony and remand for further proceedings.

Madison County Court of Appeals 02/28/17
Charles Van Morgan v. The Tennessee Civil Service Commission, et al
M2016-00034-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Richard H. Dinkins
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Carol L. McCoy

Judicial review of a decision of the Tennessee Board of Appeals upholding the termination of a trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol for his conduct during a traffic pursuit. The trial court upheld the trooper’s termination. On appeal, the trooper asserts that the administrative judge who heard the case erred in disregarding expert testimony and, as a consequence, the Board’s decision is unsupported by substantial and material evidence. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 02/28/17
Jonathan Harper v. Steve Harris, et al
M2016-00564-COA-R3-JV
Authoring Judge: Judge W. Neal McBrayer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joel Perry

This appeal involves a father’s petition to modify an order granting custody of his minor child to the maternal grandparents. The father alternatively requested an order granting him specific visitation. The juvenile court dismissed the petition on the grandparents’ motion. After our review of the petition, we conclude the juvenile court appropriately dismissed father’s request for a change of custody based solely upon the presumption of superior parental rights. But the court erred in dismissing the father’s request for visitation. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part.

Robertson County Court of Appeals 02/28/17
Hiam Alshinnawi v. Judy Denry
M2016-00177-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Mark Rogers


This case originated when the plaintiff filed an action against the defendant process server, alleging that the defendant failed to accomplish service within the specified time period. The plaintiff’s action was dismissed by the trial court due to the plaintiff’s failure to present sufficient evidence to prove her case at trial. The plaintiff timely appealed. Because the plaintiff has failed to comply with Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 27 and Tennessee Court of Appeals Rule 6, we dismiss this appeal.

Rutherford County Court of Appeals 02/28/17
In Re B.B., et al
M2016-00953-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Special Judge Phillip A. Maxey

The grandparents of three minor children brought this action to terminate the parental rights of the children’s mother. Following a trial, the court found clear and convincing evidence of grounds to terminate mother’s parental rights pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 36-1-113(g)(8)(B)(i), (ii) and -(9)(A)(iv), (v) (2015). By the same quantum of proof, the trial court also found that termination is in the children’s best interest. Mother appeals. We hold that Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-113(g)(9)(A) is not applicable to this case. Accordingly, we vacate the trial court’s holding with respect to that ground. As for the remaining grounds, we hold that the trial court’s final order failed to include the requisite findings of fact and conclusions of law required under Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-113(k). As a result, we vacate the final order of termination and remand to the trial court with instructions.  

Cheatham County Court of Appeals 02/28/17
Estate of Charles Allen Lane, et al v. Amanda Davenport Courteaux
M2016-00609-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Andy D. Bennett
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Howard W. Wilson

Decedent had a life insurance policy in which she named her husband and sister as beneficiaries. Upon her death, Decedent’s husband filed suit to recover the proceeds Decedent left to her sister and place them in trust for the benefit of Decedent’s son, who was a minor at the time. The trial court concluded the son was entitled to the proceeds based on the theory of promissory estoppel. The sister appealed, and we reverse the trial court’s judgment. An insurance policy is a contract between the insured and the insurance company, and Decedent was entitled to designate whoever she desired as a beneficiary of her policy. Evidence of Decedent’s intent with respect to the proceeds does not deprive the named beneficiary of her right to the funds.

Rutherford County Court of Appeals 02/28/17
Donna Babb Frinks v. Patricia Eileen Horvath, et al.
E2016-00944-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II
Trial Court Judge: Douglas T. Jenkins, Chancellor

This case involves alleged trespass via placement of a dock over lakefront real property that is beneath the lake’s fluctuating water line several months of the year. Prior to congressional approval of construction for Douglas Dam in 1942, the property at issue was part of a 488-acre farm owned by the plaintiff’s mother. In 1942, the Tennessee Valley Authority (“TVA”) acquired a flowage easement with the right to flood up to contour line 1007 adjacent to what is now Douglas Lake. TVA subsequently paid $35,628.50 to the plaintiff’s mother to condemn the respective easement rights. In 1944, a third party purchased approximately 245 acres above contour line 1002, creating a subdivision in the 1950s with tracts of land adjacent to the lake. In 2006, the plaintiff learned that she had inherited from her mother title to real property below contour line 1002, located between “lakefront” tracts of land and the lake itself. Upon receipt of a November 2006 letter sent by the plaintiff’s counsel to affected landowners, notifying them of the plaintiff’s claim to the land upon or above which their docks were located, many of the landowners purportedly purchased title to the affected land from the plaintiff. However, the defendant landowner did not respond to the letter. On October 3, 2012, the plaintiff filed a complaint, alleging that the defendant was trespassing by virtue of a dock placed on property to which the plaintiff held title. The defendant had placed her dock immediately following the purchase of her tract in November 1992. The trial court subsequently consolidated this action with two similar lawsuits filed by the plaintiff against other landowners. Following a bench trial, the trial court dismissed the complaint against this defendant upon finding that the defendant had established adverse possession of the property on which the defendant’s dock sits when water levels are down and that the defendant’s possession was continuous even when the dock was floating. The plaintiff timely appealed. Although we determine that the trial court erred in concluding that the defendant had established adverse possession for the twenty-year period required by common law, we further determine this error to be harmless because the defendant successfully established the seven-year period required for the statutory affirmative defense provided by Tennessee Code Annotated § 28-2-103. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm.

Jefferson County Court of Appeals 02/28/17
Carter Burgess v. Turney Center Disciplinary Board, et al
M2016-01896-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph Woodruff

Appellant, an inmate in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction, appeals the trial court’s dismissal of his petition for a writ of certiorari. Inmate alleges that the Disciplinary Board violated several policies in finding him guilty of the charge of drug possession. The trial court granted the writ of certiorari and, upon review of the record, granted TDOC’s motion to dismiss. Inmate appeals. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Hickman County Court of Appeals 02/28/17
Gary Voigt vs. Michael A. Plate, et al.
E2016-00473-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II
Trial Court Judge: Judge John B. Bennett

In this personal injury and contract reformation case, the plaintiff filed a complaint, seeking damages resulting from a motor vehicle collision and reformation of a release of all claims signed by the plaintiff. As grounds for reformation, the plaintiff claimed that an agent of the defendant company fraudulently induced the plaintiff to sign the release. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that the plaintiff could not establish an essential element of his action because the plaintiff did not act promptly in seeking reformation of the release. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant upon finding, as a matter of law, that the plaintiff’s action was not prompt after discovery of the alleged fraud and that the plaintiff therefore was not entitled to reformation of the release. The plaintiff timely appealed. Having determined that the question of whether the plaintiff’s actions were sufficiently prompt in seeking the equitable relief of reformation presents a genuine issue of material fact, we reverse the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant.

Hamilton County Court of Appeals 02/28/17
In re Karissa V., et al.
E2016-00395-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Michael Swiney
Trial Court Judge: Judge Frank V. Williams, III

This appeal concerns the termination of parental rights. Glenn V. (“Grandfather”) filed a petition in the Chancery Court for Roane County (“the Trial Court”) seeking to terminate the parental rights of his son, Christopher V. (“Father”), and Makara G. (“Mother”) to their minor children, Karissa and Makilee (“the Children”). After a trial, the Trial Court terminated Father’s and Mother’s parental rights on the grounds of abandonment by failure to support and failure to visit. The Trial Court also granted Grandfather’s motion for adoption. Father and Mother filed appeals to this Court. We, inter alia, reverse the ground of failure to visit with respect to both parents. We also reverse the ground of failure to support with respect to Mother. However, we affirm the ground of failure to support with respect to Father. We find further that termination of Father’s parental rights is in the Children’s best interest. We affirm, in part, and reverse, in part, the judgment of the Trial Court.

Roane County Court of Appeals 02/27/17
Clay Harris Dalton v. Jerry Sandifer, et al.
E2016-00696-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Telford E. Forgety, Jr.

This case involves a dispute over the commission earned from a real estate transaction. The parties disagree as to whether the plaintiff, Clay Harris Dalton, is entitled to a part of the commission on the transaction. Jerry Sandifer is a principal real estate broker licensed in Tennessee. He is the sole proprietor of Tennessee Realty Pros, LLC (TRP), a Tennessee limited liability company. Dalton is an affiliate real estate broker licensed in Tennessee. On September 6, 2013, Dalton registered his real estate license with Sandifer and TRP (collectively the Brokerage). On November 1, 2013, TRP secured a commercial exclusive right to sell listing agreement from a seller. The agreement encompasses the real estate sold in the transaction at issue. Eventually, TRP procured a buyer, and on March 23, 2014, the buyer executed a commercial purchase and sales agreement. That agreement listed Dalton as the Buyer's Designated Agent and selling licensee. It listed Sandifer as the Seller's Designated Agent and listing licensee. On September 30, 2014, the real estate closing took place, resulting in a total broker's commission of $97,400. Because only one brokerage was involved in the transaction, the entire commission was paid to TRP. Dalton claims that he is entitled to a share of the commission. He further asserts that he had an agreement with Sandifer that Dalton would be paid a share of the commission on the buyer's side of the transaction. Because the Brokerage refused to disburse any of the commission to Dalton, he filed a complaint seeking his share of the commission. The trial court found that, based on the customary and contractual commission split at TRP, Dalton is entitled to $34,090 for acting as the buyer's agent. The court also found that Dalton was entitled to $2,000 for his efforts in listing real property for the Brokerage. Accordingly, the trial court awarded Dalton a total judgment of $36,090. The Brokerage appeals. We affirm.

Sevier County Court of Appeals 02/27/17
Stacey J. Cordell v. Cleveland Tennessee Hospital, LLC, et al
M2016-01466-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael Binkley

The trial court, pursuant to a motion to dismiss filed by defendants, dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit because she did not comply with certain aspects of the Tennessee Healthcare Liability Act incident to the filing of her original complaint. Because we do not construe the allegations in the original complaint as presenting any health care liability claims, we reverse the trial court’s dismissal of this lawsuit and remand for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion.

Williamson County Court of Appeals 02/27/17
Bobby McBee v. CSX Transportation, Inc.
W2015-01253-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert Samual Weiss

This appeal arises from a negligence action filed by the plaintiff employee in June 2010, pursuant to the Federal Employer Liability Act ("FELA"), see 45 U.S.C. §§ 51-60 (2012), against his former employer, the defendant railroad. The employee, who had worked for the railroad for thirty-nine years in a variety of positions, alleged that he suffered bilateral rotator cuff tears as a result of the railroad‘s negligence in failing to provide him with proper equipment while he worked as a foreman flagman from January 2007 through March 2009. In February 2012, the railroad filed a motion for summary judgment based on the three-year statute of limitations provided in 45 U.S.C. § 56. Following a hearing, the trial court denied the motion in April 2012 but stated that it would reconsider if presented with additional evidence. The railroad subsequently filed additional motions for summary judgment in January 2014, reasserting the statute-of-limitations defense and asserting that the employee could not prove his claim due to an alleged lack of expert testimony regarding medical causation and an alleged inability to demonstrate the railroad‘s liability through expert testimony. Following a hearing, the trial court denied the motions for summary judgment as to the statute of limitations and medical causation. The court, however, granted summary judgment in favor of the railroad based on the employee‘s lack of expert testimony regarding liability. The employee has appealed the judgment, and the railroad has raised an issue regarding the statute of limitations. Having determined that under the circumstances of this action, the employee presented evidence that created a material factual dispute as to whether the railroad negligently contributed to his injuries, we reverse the trial court‘s grant of summary judgment. We affirm the trial court‘s judgment in all other respects.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 02/24/17