Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 05/26/2018
Format: 05/26/2018
M & M vs. Maples
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
Court of Appeals 01/12/98
Robert J. McCurley, Patricia G. McCurley, v. City of Jackson, Tennessee, Charles Farmer, and J.B.Glassman and wife, Brenda Glassman, and Harold Angus
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Whit A. Lafon

This is an action in negligence arising out of the June 1993 acts of the appellant, Harold Angus, in demolishing the “Glassman” building, located at 111 North Highland Avenue in Jackson, pursuant to a contract with the city. Angus’ demolition of the building, which had been declared condemned by the city code, is not disputed. Nor is it disputed that, as a result of the building’s demolition, damage was sustained to the building located adjacent thereto, identified as the “Carmen’s” building, and owned by the appellees, Robert J. McCurley and wife, Patricia G. McCurley.1 The two buildings shared a common “party wall.” At issue in this case is whether Angus was negligent in its demolition of the Glassman building so as to be held legally accountable to the McCurleys for the damages they sustained. The case proceeded to a trial by jury where, at the close of all proof, the trial court directed a verdict in favor of the appellees on the issue of liability.2 Angus has appealed challenging the correctness of the trial judge’s decision in this regard. For the reasons hereinafter stated, we reverse and remand for a new trial.

Madison County Court of Appeals 01/09/98
Demetra Lyree Parker, v. Warren County Utility District
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Highers
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor John W. Rollins

Plaintiff Demetra Lyree Parker appeals the trial court’s order granting the motion for summary judgment filed by Defendant/Appellee W arren County Utility District. We reverse the trial court’s judgment based on our conclusion that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the Utility District responded promptly, adequately, and effectively to Parker’s allegations of sexual harassment against the Utility District’s general manager.

Warren County Court of Appeals 01/09/98
Tennessee Department of Health, Division of Health Related Boards and The Board of Medical Examiners, v. W. Dwight Frisbee, M.D.
Authoring Judge: Judge William C. Koch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Robert S. Brandt

This appeal presents an issue of first impression concerning the evidentiary standards applicable to disciplinary proceedings involving licensed physicians. The Tennessee Department of Health perfected an interlocutory appeal to the Chancery Court for Davidson County after an administrative law judge disqualified its expert witness for failing to satisfy the locality rule generally applicable in medical malpractice cases. The trial court reversed the administrative law judge’s decision after concluding that a physician’s conduct should be measured by a statewide standard of minimum competency rather than a particularized local standard of care. While the administrative law judge’s decision was correct with regard to two of thecharges, we affirm the trial court’s decision in part because several of the charges in this proceeding only require proof that a physician has failed to meet statewide, minimal competency standards.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 01/09/98
Winslow Watson, v. Tennessee Department of Correction, Tennessee Board of Paroles, CCA, and Jody Benjamin
Authoring Judge: Judge Samuel L. Lewis
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Carol L. McCoy

This is an appeal by petitioner/appellant, Winslow Watson, from a decision of the chancery court dismissing his petition for a declaratory judgment pursuant to the Declaratory Judgment Act, Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-14-101 to -113. The facts out of which this matter arose are as follows.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 01/09/98
Porter Freeman vs. Robert Ring, County Executive, Jerry Sharber, Mayor, et al., - Concurring
Authoring Judge: Judge Walter W. Bussart
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Henry Denmark Bell

The appellant sought to enjoin both city and county officials from the sale of general obligation bonds. The Chancery Court of Franklin granted all  defendants' motions to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12.02(6) of the  Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. On appeal, we must determine  whether the trial court erred in not considering the petition for injunction on the merits as against either the city or the county defendants.

Williamson County Court of Appeals 01/09/98
LBJ, Inc., D/B/A Laurel Wood Farm, a Tennessee Corporation, and Lawrence J. Banner, v. Buford L., Craig, Glen L. Craig, Southern Garden Designs, Inc., et al.
Authoring Judge: Senior Judge William H. Inman
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Howard N. Peoples

This is an action for damages for breach of contract involving the sale of the assets of a corporation doing business as North River Nursery in Chattanooga. The selling price was $370,000.00, to be paid $305,000.00 cash and $65,000.00 in seven (7) promissory notes, each of which provides “That all or a substantial portion of the debt evidenced hereby shall be paid by work to be performed . . . . . as set out in a letter . . . ”

Hamilton County Court of Appeals 01/08/98
William J. Bunch v. Walton I. Bunch and Steven B. Bunch
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge W. Frank Crawford
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor George R. Ellis

This case involves a suit to partition certain real and personal property owned by three brothers as joint tenants with the right of survivorship. Walton and Steven Bunch appeal the order of the trial court granting the sale for partition.

Gibson County Court of Appeals 01/08/98
Union Planters National Bank, as Executor and Trustee Under the Will of James A. LeRoy, Deceased, v. Betty Clair Reinhardt Dedman, John Dedman, Bernice A. LeRoy, Jill LeRoy Dimiceli, and Sue LeRoy Henderson, et al.
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Leonard D. Pierotti

Union Planters National Bank (“Bank”), as executor for the estate of James A. LeRoy (“Testator”), filed an action in the Probate Court of Shelby County for probate of Testator’s will on January 5, 1989. Bank subsequently filed suit for declaratory judgment against the beneficiaries and legatees of Testator’s property (“appellees”) alleging that the residuary estate provided for in Testator’s will to pay all death taxes was insufficient to cover his tax liability and seeking restitution from the appellees for their proportional share. Dedman appellees responded by contending that the post-death appreciation of residuary estate assets and the receipt of income from those assets had sufficiently increased the value of the residuary estate to enable it to sufficiently cover all death taxes requested by Bank. The Special Master appointed by the trial judge confirmed the sufficiency of the residuary estate on the date the taxes were due. The trial court entered judgment for appellees confirming the report of the Special Master finding that there was no shortfall in the residuary estate established by the testator in his will and thus rendering appellees not liable to Bank for reimbursement of death taxes in any amount. We find the decision of the lower court as to the issue of post-death income to the residuary trust to be in error and remand. Due to the complicated facts of this case and our determination that one issue in this case requires a remand to the lower court, we will only present the facts relevant to that issue.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 01/07/98
William T. Rawls, v. N.V. Hodge, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Inc., and James Moyer Massey
Authoring Judge: Judge Don T. McMurray
Trial Court Judge: Judge Wheeler A. Rosenbalm

William T. Rawls (plaintiff) brought this action to recover damages resulting froma collision between a truck in in which he was a passenger and a train owned by Norfold Southern Railway Company. The truck was being driven by the defendant, James Massey. The train engineer was the defendant, N.V. Hodge. Rawls alleged that Norfolk Southern's locomotive was at the timeof the collison being operated in a negligent manner under the circumstances existing at the crossing where the accident took place.  He alleged that Hodge failed to give warning by blowing the train's whistle or horn, and that the crossing was not sufficiently marked by adequate warning devices. Rawls also sued Dycho Company, the owner of the land adjacent to to the rialway, alleging that a fence which Dycho had placed onits land, together with various structures and objects inside the fence, constituted a dangerous obstruction which blocked the view of the oncoming train.

Knox County Court of Appeals 01/06/98
Suzanne Monique Swilley Ely v. Kenneth Ray Ely
Authoring Judge: Special Judge Clifford E. Sanders
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Fred D. McDonald

The pivotal issue on this appeal is whether or not the trial court erred in its calculation of the gross income of the obligor for determining his child support obligation.

Knox County Court of Appeals 01/06/98
Gerry Sue Hasek v. Donna Keene Holt and Gilreath and Associates
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Trial Court Judge: Judge Wheeler Rosenbalm

This is a legal malpractice action. The Plaintiff alleges that she employed the defendants to reporesent her in a medical malpractice claim against Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee, Dr. Robert Hall or the proper party to be sued. Suit was brought against Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee and was, after mediation, eventually settled. Dr. Hall was not sued. The failure to bring an action against Dr. Hall is the basis of this action.


Knox County Court of Appeals 01/06/98
Kohn Ashmore, b/n/f Angela Ashmore and Rodney Ashmore v. Hamilton County, Tennessee - Concurring
Authoring Judge: Judge Don T. McMurray
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert M. Summitt

The plaintiffs instituted this action against Hamilton County (defendant) charging that the defendant was negligent in maintaining Levi Road in that the county allowed shrubbery to grow along the right-of-way of Levi Road which impaired the vision of persons entering upon the roadway from adjacent properties. No roadway intersection was involved in the accident. The minor plaintiff, Kohn Ashmore, entered upon Levi Road from the lawn of property owned by a Mr. Sands. After a bench trial the trial court entered judgment in favor of the defendant. It is from this judgment that the plaintiffs' appeal. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Hamilton County Court of Appeals 01/06/98