Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 08/18/2019
Format: 08/18/2019
William Mise, et al. v. Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, et al.
E2011-01325-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald R. Elledge

This is an appeal from the grant of summary judgment in a medical malpractice case. Virginia Mise was admitted to Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge following complaints of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. She was diagnosed with chronic renal failure. Several days later, she died following a medical procedure. Her sons filed suit, alleging that Virginia Mise’s treating physicians and nurses failed to comply with the requisite standard of care, causing her death. Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge and the treating physicians filed motions for summary judgment. The trial court granted the motions for summary judgment. We affirm the grant of the motions for summary judgment.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 04/23/12
In Re: Fridrich E.T.W.
E2011-00884-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Brandon K. Fisher

George R.W., Jr. (“Father”) appeals the termination of his parental rights with respect to his minor son, Fridrich E.T.W. (DOB: Aug. 27, 2008) (“the Child”). The Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) had filed a petition seeking to terminate both parents’ rights after the Child was taken into custody pursuant to an emergency protective order. He was subsequently adjudicated dependent and neglected as a result of being subjected to severe child abuse. As to Father, DCS pursued termination on the sole ground of severe child abuse. Father did not appear at trial. At the start of the trial, his counsel moved for a continuance based in part on counsel’s assertion that Father had advised her that he wished to effectuate a voluntary surrender of his parental rights. The trial court denied the motion and the hearing proceeded in Father’s absence. The court terminated Father’s rights based upon its finding that the sole ground for termination was established and that termination was in the best interest of the Child, both findings said by the court to be made by clear and convincing evidence. Father appeals. We affirm.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 03/21/12
Michael Hong v. Leroy Foust, et al.
E2011-00138-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor William E. Lantrip

In this boundary line dispute, the defendants sought to claim property beyond a road known as “Creek Road.” The trial court concluded that the road constituted the defendants’ southern boundary. However, because the plaintiff’s complaint sought the adoption of a survey that conceded a small strip of land south of Creek Road to the defendants, along with the fact that the plaintiff testified that he believed that the defendants owned some property south of Creek Road, the trial court granted the defendants a strip alongside the road about four feet deep. After the defendants moved to conform their pleading to the proof and sought relief under the doctrine of adverse possession, the trial court reopened the proof to consider adverse use. Another opinion was issued awarding the defendants a strip extending approximately ten feet from the southern edge of Creek Road. The defendants appeal. We affirm the findings of the trial court.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 02/08/12
G. Kenneth Campbell, et al v. James E. Huddleston et al.
E2011-00174-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor William E. Lantrip

James E. Huddleston and his wife, Patricia M. Huddleston (“the Sellers”), sold their house to G. Kenneth Campbell and his wife, Teresa J. Campbell (“the Buyers’). The Buyers inquired of the Sellers as to whether there had been flooding in the house. The Sellers disclosed that there had been one flood in the basement to a depth of six inches. During the course of some later renovations, the Buyers became aware the Sellers had indicated, on a wall stud, that there had been a 1998 flood in the basement to a depth of 38 inches. They

Anderson County Court of Appeals 12/27/11
Carol Phillips v. Todd Shrader
E2010-02339-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor William E.Lantrip

This is a dispute between two neighbors over the use of land. The plaintiff, Carol Phillips, charged the defendant, Todd Shrader, with trespass. She sought an injunction and damages, along with removal of encroaching structures. The trial court dismissed Ms. Phillips’s action, finding it barred by Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-2-103. Ms. Phillips appeals. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 12/14/11
Cynthia Rhea Helton v. Gregory Herbert Helton
E2011-01237-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor William E. Lantrip

This is a divorce case. Gregory Herbert Helton appeals from the “final” judgment of divorce entered April 29, 2011. That judgment is not a final judgment. Accordingly, the appellant’s appeal is hereby dismissed.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 11/01/11
Paul Koczera, et al. v. Christi Lenay Fields Steele, et al.
E2011-01600-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Trial Court Judge: Judge John D. McAfee

Plaintiffs' action was dismissed by the Trial Court by summary judgment. Plaintiffs then appealed to this Court and defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss on the grounds that the Judgment entered by the Trial Court was not a final judgment. Plaintiffs responded to that Motion, acknowledging that the final judgment had not been entered in the case below, but sought a stay of the appeal. We grant the Motion to Dismiss the appeal on the grounds that the Judgment below is not final and this Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the merits of the appeal.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 09/15/11
In Re: Gabriel D.A., ET AL
E2011-01161-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Michael Swiney
Trial Court Judge: Judge Brandon Fisher

The order from which the appellant William E. J. seeks to appeal was entered on Tuesday, April 12, 2011. A notice of appeal was filed by the appellant on Thursday, May 19, 2011, the 37th day following the entry of the trial court’s order. Because the notice of appeal was not filed timely, we have no jurisdiction to consider this appeal. Accordingly, this appeal is dismissed.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 07/07/11
In Re: Joshua S.
E2010-01331-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge Holly M. Kirby
Trial Court Judge: Judge Brandon K. Fisher

This appeal involves the termination of parental rights. The State removed the child at issue from the custody of the parents due to neglect, parental absence, and underlying substance abuse. The child was ultimately placed with the petitioner foster parents. Subsequently, the biological parents moved out of Tennessee. The foster parents later filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of the biological mother and father, as a predicate to adoption. The trial judge terminated the parental rights of the biological parents on the grounds of persistent conditions and abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home, failure to visit, and failure to support.The mother and father appeal. We reverse on the grounds of persistent conditions, abandonment by failure to pay support, and abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home. However, we affirm on the ground of abandonment by failure to visit and affirm the termination of parental rights.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 06/16/11
James M. Flinn v. Jon K. Blackwood
E2010-00667-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald P. Harris

Plaintiff filed a cause of action against Defendant judge, alleging Defendant wrongfully refused to grant his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The trial court dismissed the action. We affirm.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 04/13/11
In Re: The Estate of Mary Pauline Stumpe Schorn, Deceased
E2010-00935-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Michael Swiney
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor William E. Lantrip

In March of 2004, the trial court entered an order to probate the Last Will and Testament of Mary Pauline Stumpe Schorn (“Deceased”) and appointed John H. Schorn the Personal Representative of Deceased’s estate (“Personal Representative”). On April 13, 2010, the trial court entered an order that, inter alia, ordered the Personal Representative to “compile a complete list of where the estate monies are and what has been spent since the last accounting was provided to the beneficiaries …,” within thirty days, and to close and settle the estate within ninety days. The Personal Representative appeals the April 13, 2010 Order to this Court. We hold that the order appealed from is not a final judgment, and, therefore, we lack jurisdiction to consider the appeal. The appeal is dismissed.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 03/31/11
Jeffrey Paul Roller v. Anna Marie Roller
E2011-00153-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor William E. Lantrip

The order from which the appellant Anna Marie Roller seeks to appeal was entered on Wednesday, December 15, 2010. A notice of appeal was filed by the appellant on Tuesday, January 18, 2011, the 34th day following the entry of the trial court’s order. Because the notice of appeal was not timely filed, we have no jurisdiction to consider this appeal. Accordingly, the motion of the appellee to dismiss is granted. This appeal is dismissed.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 03/14/11
Curtis Robin Russsell, et al. v. Anderson County, et al.
E2010-00189-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood

This is the second appeal of this wrongful death action, arising from a pedestrian versus motor vehicle collision that fatally injured a seven-year-old child at a downtown Clinton intersection. The action was filed pursuant to the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act (“GTLA”), Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-20-101 et seq., against the City of Clinton (“the City”) by plaintiffs Curtis Robin Russell (“Mr. Russell”) and Dorothy Louise Russell (“Mrs. Russell”) (collectively “the Russells”) as next of kin of the decedent, their son Curtis Tyler Russell (“Curtis”). The Russells settled with the driver of the vehicle, Ladislav Misek (“Mr. Misek”), who was subsequently dismissed as a party-defendant from the lawsuit. The trial court in the first trial entered judgment after a nonjury trial, apportioning equivalent liability to Mrs. Russell and the City. On appeal, this court held that: (1) the trial court committed reversible error when it failed to rule on the fault to be attributed to Mr. Misek; and (2) material evidence existed for the culpability and fault to be assigned to Mr. Misek. On remand, the trial court altered its judgment, attributing 45% of the fault each to Mrs. Russell and the City and 10% to Mr. Misek. The City appealed. We affirm.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 02/11/11