Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 10/01/2014
Format: 10/01/2014
Aetna Insurance Company and Church of God of Prophecy, v. Little Giant Mfg. Co., Inc. and Edwin L. Wiegand Division of Emerson Electric Company
03A01-9601-CV-00024
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge: Senior Judge William H. Inman

This complaint was filed by the Church of God of Prophecy against the Little Giant Mfg. Co. and Kick-Shaw, Inc., alleging that its property was destroyed by fire caused by a defective water heater manufactured by Little Giant and sold to the plaintiff by Kick-Shaw, Inc. Various defenses were interposed by the defendants, none of which is relevant to the issue before us. Thereafter, the complaint was repeatedly amended; new parties came and went; and, in its present posture, the plaintiffs are Aetna Insurance Company and Church of God of Prophecy and the defendants are Little Giant Mfg. Co., Inc. and Emerson Electric Company.

Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Erma Hardesty and Jim Hardesty, v. Service Merchandise Company, Inc.
02A01-9510-CV-00235
Authoring Judge: Judge Paul G. Summers
Trial Court Judge:

The majority holds that the plaintiff cannot establish constructive notice. I am constrained to agree. However, I invite our Supreme Court to revisit this area of law.

Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Erma Hardesty and Jim Hardesty v. Service Merchandise Company, Inc.
02A01-9510-CV-00235
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert A. Lanier

This appeal is taken from the trial court’s order of June 7, 1995, granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant Service Merchandise Company, Inc. (hereinafter, “Service Merchandise”). Specifically, the trial court found that there was no proof of a dangerous condition created by Service Merchandise and no proof that Service Merchandise had either actual or constructive notice that a dangerous condition existed. Upon consideration of the record before us, the trial court’s order is affirmed.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Amanda Carol Croslin and Phyllis Croslin Baker, v. Danny Keith Croslin, wife Betty Jean Croslin and Stanley Gardner Haskins
01A01-9607-CV-00297
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge W. Frank Crawford
Trial Court Judge: Judge John A. Turnbull

This is an adoption case. Petitioners, Amanda Croslin and Phyllis Croslin Baker, the adoptive child’s mother and maternal grandmother respectively, filed a petition to set aside the adoption of the child, Danna Elisabeth Croslin, by the maternal grandfather, Danny Keith Croslin, and his wife, Betty Jean Croslin. Also named as a defendant in the petition is Stanley Gardner Haskins, the adoptive child’s natural father. From the order of the trial court nullifying and setting aside the adoption, Danny Keith Croslin has appealed. Mr. Haskins did not file any pleading in the trial court and is not a party to this appeal.

Smith County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Mohammad Al-Haddad v. Walter Ritter and Wife, Helma Ritter
01A01-9608-CV-00369
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald P. Harris

Pursuant to Rule 11, Tenn. R. Civ. P., the trial court sanctioned the appellants and their attorneys. The appellants argue on appeal that they cannot be sanctioned under Rule 11 because they did not sign the offending pleading and that the facts do not establish a violation of the rule. We hold that a party may be sanctioned under Rule 11 without actually signing the pleadings, but we find that the facts of this case do not justify a Rule 11 sanction and that the proof fails to show any expenses incurred as a result of the alleged violation. Therefore we reverse the judgment against the appellants for sanctions.

Williamson County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Mavis A. Combs, v. The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, and the Civil Service Commission
01A01-9608-CH-00385
Authoring Judge: Judge Samuel L. Lewis
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle

This is an appeal by petitioner/appellant, Mavis A. Combs, from the decision of the Davidson County Chancery Court upholding the decision of respondent/appellee, the Metropolitan Civil Service Commission (“the Commission”), to deny Ms. Combs in-line-of-duty injury leave. The facts out of which this matter arose are as follows.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Barbara Gatlin, v. State of Tennessee, Department of Human Services, In the Matter of Felicia Gatlin, a child under the age of 18
01A01-9607-JV-00311
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge: Judge Andrew J. Shookhoff

The Juvenile Court of Davidson County terminated Barbara Gatlin’s parental rights respecting her ten year old daughter, Felicia. Because we find that the record does not contain clear and convincing evidence of abandonment, we reverse.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Vickie Elaine Spiegel, v. Jeremy Percy Julian Spiegel
01A01-9607-CH-00294
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Robert E. Corlew, III

The issues on appeal in this divorce case include the restrictions put on the father’s visits with his minor daughter and the award of attorneys fees to the mother. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

 

Rutherford County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
James Fletcher and Ronald Lanier Fletcher v. Kenneth Sterlin Vasser
01A01-9606-CH-00252
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge: Judge Gerald L. Ewell, Sr.

The holder of an easement across his neighbor’s property sought to replace two gates with cattle guards. The Chancery Court of Coffee County denied the request. We affirm.

Coffee County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Nathan Jack Toler, a minor child, B/N/F Shirley Lack and Shirley Lack next of kin and as Administratrix of the Estate of Nathan Jack Toler, Jr., v. City of Cookeville, D/B/A Cookeville General Hospital, et al.
01A01-9605-CV-00225
Authoring Judge: Judge Samuel L. Lewis
Trial Court Judge: Judge John A. Turnbull

Appellee, Dr. Mark Giese, is one of several defendants involved in a medical malpractice suit arising out of the alleged wrongful death of Nathan Jackson Toler, Jr. The trial court entered an interlocutory order granting summary judgment to Dr. Giese based upon the plaintiffs' failure to properly secure service of process on him. Pursuant to Tenn. R. App. P. 9, Plaintiffs have appealed. We have determined that the trial court was correct and therefore affirm the grant of summary judgment.

Putnam County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
City Bank & Trust Company and B. Timothy Pirtle, v. Dave Allen Webb and Debbie Lynn Webb
01A01-9605-CH-00198
Authoring Judge: Judge Samuel L. Lewis
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor John W. Rollins

This is an appeal by defendants Dave Allen Webb and wife Debbie Lynn Webb, from the trial court's judgment setting aside a foreclosure sale and, in effect, putting the parties in the same position they were in before the foreclosure.

Warren County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Bradley Mark Butler, v. Prince E. Spradlin and wife, Sylvia S. Spradlin
02A01-9608-CH-00188
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge:

The purpose of this litigation was to establish the boundary line between property owned by the Plaintiff, Bradley Mark Butler, and the defendants, Prince E. Spradlin and Sylvia S. Spradlin. Each party presented several witnesses and exhibits including the testimony of their respective surveyors. Upon completion of the evidence, the chancellor made findings of fact including a finding that the plaintiff had established his title by a clear preponderance of the evidence. The court accepted the survey of Eddie Coleman, the surveyor who testified in behalf of the plaintiff, and established the property line according to the Coleman survey.

Chester County Court of Appeals 02/04/97
Dorothy H. Long, v. David G. Long and Release Coatings of Tennessee, Inc.
02A01-9506-CH-00135
Authoring Judge: Senior Judge Hewitt P. Tomlin
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor D. J. Alissandratos

In this divorce case Dorothy H. Long (“Wife”) filed suit for divorce in the Chancery Court of Shelby County from David G. Long (“Husband”) alleging inappropriate marital conduct. Husband filed an answer and a cross-complaint. The parties stipulated that Husband was guilty of inappropriate marital conduct. The chancellor entered an order awarding Wife a divorce on these grounds.
The chancellor at the same time appointed a Special Master and assigned him the responsibility of ascertaining if either party had dissipated or secreted marital assets during the marriage, determining the value of certain marital property and the current ownership of same and recommending to the court an appropriate division of marital assets, along with alimony, if any, as well as the assessment of costs and fees. After several hearings, the Special Master filed his final report to the chancellor covering the scope of his assignment. The chancellor affirmed the findings of the Special Master and included the Master’s findings in his final decree.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 02/04/97