Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 08/18/2017
Format: 08/18/2017
Sandra J. Scott, v. Dr. Gerald B. Calia
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Houston M. Goddard
Trial Court Judge: Judge James B. Scott, Jr.

This medical malpractice suit arises out of surgery performed on Sandry Scott's freet by Dr. Gerald Calia on May 17, 1989. Ms. Scott contends that Dr. Calia was negligent in his medical care of her. She insists on appeal that the Trial Court was in error in directing a verdict against her at the close of her proof.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 07/02/97
Price and Price Mechanical, Inc., v. Jame Edward Hale and Hale Construction Company, Inc., - Concurring
Authoring Judge: Judge Don T. McMurray
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Ben K. Wexler

This case is before the court on an extra ordinary appeal pursuant to Rule 10, Tennessee Rules of  Appellate Procedure.  The sole issue which we are called upon to decide is whether Tennessee recognizes the tort of  "intentional interference with prospective economic advantage" (The tort ). The trial court dismissed the plaintiff's claim on the premise that Tennessee does not recognize the tort, citing Kultura, Inc., v. Southern Leasing, 923 S. W. 2d 536, (Tenn. 1996), quoting from Quality Auto Parts v. Bluff City Buick, 876 S. W. 2d 818, 823 (Tenn. 1994).

Hamblen County Court of Appeals 07/02/97
Delisa Ribbins Leak and Mareshi A. Leak, B/N/F Delisa Ribbins Leak, v. Laurie Goodwill and AT&T Service, Inc.
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Houston M. Goddard
Trial Court Judge: Judge Samuel H. Payne

Delisa Ribbins Leak and Meshi Leak, by next friend, Delisa Ribbins Leak, appeal an order of the Circuit Court dismissing their case against Laurie Goodwill. The case had purportedly been appealed from the General Sessions Court pursuant to an order of two Judges of that Court granting a writ of certiorari. The appeal on related to one Defendant, Laurie Goodwill, and not the other Defendant, AT&T Service, Inc. Upon motion of Ms. Goodwill, the Circuit Judge dismissed the case against her, apparently on the grounds raised in the motion, that their appeal was not timely, and thereupon remanded the case to the General Sessions Court for "further hearing as to AT&T Service, Inc."

Hamilton County Court of Appeals 07/02/97
Reba V. Davis and Tyler Wayne Davis, by next friend, Reba V. Davis, v. Harriman City Hospital, the City of Harriman, et al.
Authoring Judge: Judge Don T. McMurray
Trial Court Judge: Judge Russell E. Simmons, Jr.

This is a medical malpractice case. Plaintiff, Reba V. Davis brought suit, individually and on behalf of her infant son, Tyler, against Dr. Elbert Cunningham, Harriman City Hospital and the City of Harriman, for injuries sustained by Tyler shortly after his birth. After reaching a settlement with Dr. Cunningham, the physician who delivered Tyler, Ms. Davis amended her complaint to include allegations of negligence against the attendant Harriman City Hospital nurses.


Roane County Court of Appeals 07/02/97
Beverly Fay Melton v. Danny Joe Melton
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Highers
Trial Court Judge: Judge W. Michael Maloan

In this divorce action, Danny Joe Melton (hereinafter, “Husband” or “Mr. Melton”) appeals the trial court’s determination regarding the division of the marital estate, custody of the parties’ minor child, and the award of certain farm equipment to his former father-inlaw.

Weakley County Court of Appeals 07/02/97
Ann Elizabeth Dudenhoeffer v. George Daniel Dudenhoeffer
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Highers
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Joe C. Morris

In this action for separate maintenance, the trial court awarded Ann Elizabeth 2 Dudenhoeffer (“Wife”) a decree of separate maintenance and dismissed George Daniel Dudenhoeffer’s (“Husband”) counter-complaint for divorce. The trial court ordered Husband
 to maintain Wife as an insured on his medical insurance policy until Wife reaches age sixty-five and ordered Husband to maintain his three preexisting life insurance policies designating Wife as the sole irrevocable beneficiary. Wife was awarded the following: the marital residence, an automobile, Wife’s IRA account, Husband’s IRA account, one-half of Husband’s retirement benefits, the remaining balance of Husband’s 401-K account, a certificate of deposit, eighty-eight shares of Tenneco stock, the proceeds from a savings account, all savings bonds in Wife’s possession, two burial plots, an annuity, and the parties’ jointly owned personal property and household goods which Wife had in her possession. Husband was awarded the personal property which he had in his possession, a truck, a bass boat, a motor, a trailer, boating accessories, and proceeds previously withdrawn by him from his 401-K account. The trial court awarded Wife $6,638.50 as alimony in solido to aid Wife in paying her attorney fees and alimony in futuro in the following amounts:
$2,000.00 per month beginning 10/1/95 and ending 12/31/95;
$1,800.00 per month beginning 1/1/96 and ending 12/31/96;
$1,500.00 per month beginning 1/1/97 and ending 12/31/98;
$1,200.00 per month beginning 1/1/99 and ending 9/5/2001,

Wife’s sixty-fifth birthday; and $600.00 per month from 9/2001 until Wife’s death or remarriage.

Madison County Court of Appeals 07/02/97
William Jones v. Jeff Reynolds, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Correction - Concurring
Authoring Judge: Judge William C. Koch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor C. Allen High

This is the second appeal concerning a dispute between a prisoner and the Department of Correction over the calculation of the prisoner’s sentence reduction credits. After the Department summarily denied his second request for recalculation of his sentence credits, the prisoner filed a petition for declaratory judgment in the Chancery Court for Davidson County asserting that the Department had miscalculated his sentence credits. The trial court granted the Department’s motion for summary judgment, and the prisoner again appealed to this court. We have determined that the summary judgment dismissing the prisoner’s ex post facto claims should be affirmed but that the summary judgment dismissing the remaining claims must again be vacated.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 07/02/97
Mary S. Fendley v. Mart G. Fendley
Authoring Judge: Judge William C. Koch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Thomas E. Gray

This appeal involves the classification of property in a divorce case. The wife filed for divorce in the Chancery Court for Montgomery County after seventeen years of marriage. Following a bench trial, the trial court declared the parties divorced and awarded the wife custody of the four minor children. In its division of the parties’ property, the trial court classified the parties’ home as marital property and awarded it to the wife but classified the household furniture, funds inherited by the wife, and a limited partnership interest in an athletic club as the wife’s separate property. The husband takes issue on this appeal with the allocation of the responsibility for the debt on the home, the classification of separate property, and the overall distribution of the marital estate. We have determined that the trial court should have allocated the debt secured by the home to the wife and that the trial court correctly classified the disputed assets and equitably distributed the marital estate.

Montgomery County Court of Appeals 07/02/97
Paul J. Myer and Carole A. Myer v. Mark Whitacre, Ginger Whitacre and Fran Haworth, individually and D/B/A Century 21 Haworth Homes
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge: Judge Henry Denmark Bell

In this case involving a breach of a real estate contract, the appellant asserts that the evidence preponderates against the amount of damages found and the award of prejudgment interest. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Williamson County Court of Appeals 07/02/97
Kathy L. Moyers, v. Roald A. Moyers
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge: Judge Muriel Robinson

This appeal followed a long course of post-divorce litigation that prevented the parties from enjoying the peace that should have come from the dissolution of their unhappy marriage. The trial court found the husband guilty of five counts of criminal contempt for failing to comply with the court’s orders regarding division of marital property and payment of alimony in solido, and ordered him to serve ten days in jail for each count. On appeal we reverse the trial court as to four of the five counts.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 07/02/97
Chong Y. Struck v. Gary L. Struck - Concurring
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Robert E. Corlew, III

The question in this case is whether the alimony set by the court was subject to modification.  The trial judge terminated the alimony upon the wife’s remarriage.  We affirm.

Rutherford County Court of Appeals 07/02/97
Helen S. Rogers vs. Tom E. Watts, Jr. - Concurring
Authoring Judge: Judge Samuel L. Lewis
Trial Court Judge: Judge Thomas W. Brothers

This is an appeal by defendant/appellant, Thomas E. Watts, Jr., from the decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Davidson County finding Mr. Watts liable for malicious prosecution and awarding plaintiff/appellee, Helen S. Rogers, $18,000.00 in damages. The facts out of which this matter arose are as follows.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 07/02/97
Helen S. Rogers v. Tom E. Watts, Jr. - Dissenting
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H Cantrell
Trial Court Judge:

I respectfully dissent from the majority opinion on two grounds: (1) probable cause and (2) damages -- neither of which is presented with  much clarity in the briefs. But the issues are of such importance to the practice of law in this state that I feel they should be addressed.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 07/02/97