Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 08/21/2017
Format: 08/21/2017
Judy Plunk, who sues as Administratrix of the Estate of Jerry L. Plunk v. Illinois Railroad a Corporation - Concurring
Authoring Judge: Judge Hewitt Tomlin
Trial Court Judge: Judge John R. Mccarroll, Jr.

Judy Plunk (“plaintiff”) as administratrix of her husband’s estate, filed  suit in the Circuit Court of Shelby County pursuant to the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, (FELA) against the Illinois Central Railroad (“defendant” or “railroad”) seeking damages stemming from the death of her husband, Jerry Plunk (“decedent”), who was the engineer of a train owned and operated by defendant that was involved in a head-on collision with another train. The case was tried by a jury. At the  conclusion of plaintiff’s proof and again at the conclusion of all the proof, defendant made a motion for a directed verdict which was overruled each time by the trial court. The case was submitted to the  jury, who found plaintiff’s decedent 70% negligent and defendant 30% negligent in causing the collision, and awarded plaintiff $285,000.00 as damages. On appeal defendant has raised five issues for our consideration: whether the trial court erred in (1) failing to grant  defendant’s motion for directed verdict on the ground that decedent was the sole cause of the accident; (2) admitting into evidence testimony of plaintiff’s expert, Dennis Runcie; (3) allowing other railroad employees to testify as “experts” regarding “good railroad practice”; (4) admitting into evidence testimony of plaintiff’s economist expert, Fred Johnson;  and (5) failing to order plaintiff’s counsel to dismiss with prejudice  allegations of defendant’s vicarious liability in two collateral cases pending in Mississippi and to cease representation of certain plaintiffs in the Mississippi litigation. For the reasons hereinafter stated, we reverse in part and remand this case to the trial court for a new trial in keeping with the provisions of this opinion.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 05/08/98
State of Tennessee v. Willie D. Graham - Concurring
Authoring Judge: Judge Gary R. Wade
Trial Court Judge: Judge James B. Scott, Jr.

Indicted for first degree murder, the defendant, Willie D. Graham, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the death of his brother-in-law, Ray Anthony Shervington. The trial court imposed a Range I sentence of six years.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 05/07/98
State of Tennessee, v. Gary Lewis Thompson
Authoring Judge: Judge David G. Hayes
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Steven Bebb

The appellant, Gary Lewis Thompson, was indicted by a Monroe County Grand Jury for the offense of vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, third offense, and driving on a revoked license. On July 22, 1996, the appellant pled guilty to DUI, third offense, with the sentence to be determined by the trial court. Prior to the guilty plea hearing, the State moved to nolle pros the vehicular homicide charge, which was granted. Additionally, the trial court, upon appellant’s motion, dismissed the charge of driving on a revoked license. Immediately following entry of the guilty plea, the State, for the first time, requested seizure and forfeiture of the appellant’s John Deere tractor, which he was operating at the time the DUI offense occurred. Following a sentencing hearing on September 6, 1996, the trial court imposed a sentence of eleven months twenty-nine days in the county jail and assessed a fine of $7,500 for the DUI, third offense conviction. The appellant’s release percentage was fixed at 75%. The trial court also ordered that the farm tractor be “confiscated” from the appellant’s possession and forfeited to the State. On November 8, 1996, the written order to seize and forfeit the tractor was entered. The appellant appeals from the trial court’s judgment pursuant to Tenn. R. Crim. P. 37(b)(2)(ii), raising the following two issues: I. Whether the period of confinement in the jail is excessive; and II. Whether § 55-10-403(k)(1) properly authorizes forfeiture of his tractor.

Monroe County Court of Appeals 05/06/98
Bill McMurry v. Hancock County Election Commission, John Knox Walkup, Attorney General of Tennessee, et al. - Concurring
Authoring Judge: Judge William H. Inman
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor William Dale Young

The appellant, a nonlawyer, was elected to the office of General Sessions Judge of Hancock County in the August 1990 general election.

Hancock County Court of Appeals 05/06/98
Barbara Ann Hall and David A. Hall, v. St. Thomas Hospital\, Rachel Kaiser, M.D., and Daniel L. Starnes, M.D.
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Henry F. Todd
Trial Court Judge: Judge Barbara N. Haynes

This is a medical malpractice suit in which the plaintiffs have appealed from a summary
judgment in favor of all defendants.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 05/06/98
In re: The Estate of Harold L. Jenkins, Deceased, Hugh C. Carden and Donald W. Garis as Co-Executors of the Harold L. Jenkins Estate, v. Joni L. Jenkins and Kathy L. Jenkins
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Henry F. Todd
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Thomas E. Gray

This is yet another chapter in the administration of the estate of Harold L. Jenkins, a popular entertainer whose stage name was “Conway Twitty.” The executors initiated the present proceeding to resolve disputed rights of three devises in respect to the collection from them of certain charges appearing on the records of the deceased. The Probate Court resolved the issues in favor of the executors, and two of the devises appealed.

Sumner County Court of Appeals 05/06/98
Carver Plumbing Company, Inc., v. Martha Cone Beck
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge:

The appellee has filed a petition for rehearing in this cause which, after due consideration, is denied.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 05/06/98
Batson East-Land Co, Inc., v Ronnie D. Boyd
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Alex W. Darnell

Ronnie D. Boyd, the Assessor of Property of Montgomery County, Tennessee, appeals the trial court’s judgment which ruled that eighty-nine percent (89%) of a parcel of real property owned by Petitioner/Appellee Batson East-Land Company, Inc., was entitled to “Greenbelt” status for the tax year 1991. We conclude that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court’s ruling and, thus, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Montgomery County Court of Appeals 05/06/98
Car Connection, Inc. v. Auto Buyers, Inc.
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Henry F. Todd
Trial Court Judge: Judge Barbara N. Haynes

This suit was filed in General Sessions Court to collect a dishonored check, but was appealed to the Circuit Court where a complaint was filed stating more details of transactions involving the transfer of ownership of two automobiles, a Honda and a Chevrolet.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 05/06/98
Eli Mike, an individual, James A. Schrampfer, an individual, and Jane B. Forbes, as Trustee in bankruptcy for the estate of David L. Osborn, et al. v. Po Group, Inc., et. al.
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Henry F. Todd
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Irvin H. Kilcrease, Jr.

The captioned plaintiffs’ have appealed from a summary judgment dismissing plaintiffs’ actions against the corporate defendant for the value of their stock as dissenting minority shareholders and their action against the individual defendants for breach of fiduciary duty as corporate directors.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 05/06/98
Contour Medical Technology, Inc., v. Flexcon Company, Inc.
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Henry F. Todd
Trial Court Judge: Judge Don R. Ash

The plaintiff, ContourMedical Technology, Inc., has appealed from a partial summary judgment dismissing that part of plaintiff’s claim against the defendant, Flexcon Company, Inc., which seeks consequential damages resulting from defects in material purchased by plaintiff from defendant. The Trial Judge directed entry of final judgment as provided by TRCP Rule 54.02.

Rutherford County Court of Appeals 05/06/98
Robert C. Daniels, v. Charles Traughber, Chairman, Tennessee Board of Paroles, et al.
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Henry F. Todd
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle

The plaintiff, a prisoner in the custody of the Department of Correction, filed in the Trial Court a petition for the writ of certiorari from the action of the Board of Paroles on April 18, 1996, rescinding its order of April 9, 1994, granting the prisoner a parole. At the time of the rescission, the prisoner had not been released from custody.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 05/06/98
Lunn Real Estate Investments, v. Boiler Supply Company, Incorporated
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Hamilton V. Gayden, Jr.

This case involves a contractual dispute between the lessor and lessee of certain commercial property. The appellant, Lunn Real Estate Investments, Inc. (Lunn), leased the subject premises to the appellee, Boiler Supply Company, pursuant to an agreement executed by the parties on January 1, 1989. On August 31, 1995, Lunn served Boiler Supply with written notice that it was requiring the latter to vacate the premises by October 1, 1995.1 On October 5, 1995, Lunn filed a detainer action in the general sessions court seeking possession of the property. By order entered April 19, 1996, the court found the claim for possession moot due to Boiler Supply’s vacating of the premises on November 30, 1995, but awarded Lunn a judgment for two months holdover rent plus attorney’s fees.2 Lunn appealed the decision to circuit court where, after a hearing, a judgment was entered for Lunn for $17,790. Lunn now appeals from that decision to this Court requesting additional compensatory damages, due to Boiler Supply’s alleged failure to maintain the premises in accordance with the contract, and attorney’s fees. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 05/06/98