Supreme Court Opinions

Format: 11/24/2017
Format: 11/24/2017
State vs. Blanton
01S01-9605-CC-00093
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge: Allen W. Wallace
Cheatham County Supreme Court 06/15/98
General Electric Company v. Process Control Company
01S01-9707-FD-00148
Authoring Judge: Justice Janice M. Holder
Trial Court Judge: Judge James D. Todd

This case comes to us on a certified question of law. The plaintiff, General Electric Company ("G.E."), filed this action for contribution against Process Control Company ("Process Control"). Process Control filed a motion to dismiss and/or motion for summary judgment arguing that Tennessee law does not permit a right of contribution in this case. The district court entered an order requesting this Court to address the following certified question of law: In actions that accrue after the decision in McIntyre v. Balentine, under what circumstances is a claim for contribution appropriate under Tennessee Law? We accepted certification of the question. We hold that under the facts as certified an action for contribution may be viable.

Davidson County Supreme Court 06/08/98
Castlewood Inc., v. Anderson County, Tennessee; Patsy Stair, Trustee; Owen K. Richardson, Tax Assessor, City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the Tennessee State Board of Equalization
03S01-9705-CH-00053
Authoring Judge: Special Justice Lyle Reid
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor William W. Lantrip

This case presents for review the Court of Appeals' decision that the classificatin as industrial and commercial of two or more condominiums units rented by the owners to others for their use as residences does not violate Article II, Section 28 of the Tennessee Constitution. Nor does the statute violate the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution. That decision is affirmed.

 

Knox County Supreme Court 06/01/98
Robert Harold Bomely, Jr. v. Mid-America Corporation, D/B/A Burger King
03S01-9605-CH-00059
Authoring Judge: Justice Frank W. Drowota, III
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Frederick D. McDonald

In this workers’ compensation action the Second Injury Fund, defendant-appellant, has appealed from a judgment of the Chancery Court of Knox County which found the employee, Robert Bomely, plaintiff-appellee, to be totally and permanently disabled. The award was apportioned 65 percent to the employer, Mid- America Corporation, d/b/a Burger King, defendant-appellee, and 35 percent to the Second Injury Fund under Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-208(b). The trial court assessed
the employer’s liability based on 400 weeks of benefits and held the Second Injury Fund liable for the remaining 938 weeks of benefits (until the employee reached the age of 651). Thus, the employer’s liability was limited to 65 percent of 400 weeks rather than 65 percent of the total number of weeks to age 65. We transferred this case from the Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel to decide whether it was proper to have limited the employer’s liability in this fashion. After carefully examining the record before us and considering the relevant authorities, we conclude that the award should be apportioned between the employer and the Second Injury
Fund based on the total number of weeks to age 65 rather than limiting the employer’s liability to a percentage of 400 weeks. Accordingly, that portion of the trial court’s judgment is reversed. We shall also address (1) whether an award of permanent total disability is subject to the monetary cap imposed by the 400 week maximum total benefit provision of Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-102(a)(6) and (2) whether the apportionment of benefits between the employer and the Second Injury Fund in this case is controlled by subsection (a) or (b) of Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-208.

Knox County Supreme Court 06/01/98
Patricia Love vs. American Olean Tile Company and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, and Sue Ann Head, Director of the Divison of Workers' Compensation, State of Tennessee - Concurring/Dissenting
02-S-01-9508-CV-00077
Authoring Judge: Justice Janice M. Holder
Trial Court Judge: Judge Whit A. Lafon

I rely on my concurring and dissenting opinion in Bomely v. Mid-American Corp., ___ S.W.2d ___ (Tenn. 1998). While I agree with the majority's conclusion that awards of permanent and total disability are payable to age sixtyfive, I continue to disagree, as voiced in my Bomely dissent, with the majority's analysis of apportionment which discourages employers from hiring the handicapped and is contrary to the stated legislative purpose behind the Second Injury Fund legislation. An employer's liability should be limited to the first 400 weeks of benefits unless the subsequent injury would have in and of itself caused permanent and total disability in the absence of any prior injuries or disabilities. In such cases, the employer should bear responsibility for the entire award to age sixty-five.

Madison County Supreme Court 06/01/98
Patricia Love v. American Olean Tile Company and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Sue Ann Head, Director of the Div of Worker's Comp, Division of Worker's Compensation - State of Tennessee
02S01-9508-CV-00077
Authoring Judge: Justice Frank F. Drowota, III
Trial Court Judge: Judge Whit A. Lafon

In this workers’ compensation action, the employee, Patricia Love, plaintiff-appellant, has appealed from a judgment of the Circuit Court of Madison County awarding her permanent total disability benefits to age 65 or until the payment of such benefits reached the maximum total benefit. The trial court apportioned the award 67.5 percent to the Second Injury Fund and 32.5 percent to the employer, American Olean Tile Company, and its insurer, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, defendants-appellees. The Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel, upon reference for findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-225(e)(5), affirmed the trial court. Thereafter, the employee filed a motion for full Court review of the Panel’s decision. We granted the motion for review to determine (1) whether it was error not to have awarded benefits payable to age 65 notwithstanding the maximum total benefit, and (2) whether the apportionment between the employer and the Second Injury Fund was correct. After examining the record before us and considering the relevant authorities, we reverse the decision of the lower courts to subject the employee’s award to the maximum total benefit. However, we affirm the apportionment of the award between the employer and the Second Injury Fund under Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-208(a).

Supreme Court 06/01/98
James J. Benson v. State of Tennessee
01S01-9704-CC-00089
Authoring Judge: Special Justice Lyle Reid
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald Harris

This case presents for review the appeal by the petitioner, James J. Benson, from the judgment of the Cour tof Criminal Appeals affirming the trila court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The petitioner asserts that he was denied the right to a fair trial before an impartial judge because the judge who presided over his criminal trial solicitated a bribe from him. The judment denying the petition is reversed, and the petioner is granted a new trial.

Supreme Court 06/01/98
Northwest Airlines, Inc., Federal Express Corp., American Airlines, Inc., Flagship Airlines, and Delta Airlines, Inc. v. Tennessee State Bd. of Equalization and CSX Transportation et al.
01S01-9702-FD-00030
Authoring Judge: Special Justice Lyle Reid
Trial Court Judge: Judge Thomas A. Wiseman, Jr.

This Court has accepted from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, certified question of law regarding the effect of the 1996 amendment to Tenn. Code Ann. §
467 - 5 - 1512 ( b ) ( 2 ) on the calculation of interest on property tax paymens and refunds. 

Davidson County Supreme Court 06/01/98
Win Myint and wife Patti KI. Myint v. Allstate Insurance Company
01S01-9612-CH-00238
Authoring Judge: Justice Aldolpho A. Birch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Special Chancellor Christina Norris

In this cause, the insuror refused to pay a claim under a policy of insurance. The insured contends that such refusal constitutes an “unfair or deceptive act or practice,” in violation
of the Consumer Protection Act, Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 47-18-101, et seq.1 In contrast, the insuror insists that Tenn. Code Ann. § 56- 7-105,2 commonly known as the “bad faith statute,” is the exclusive remedy for the bad faith denial of an insurance claim. Because Title 56, Chapters 7 and 8 of the Tennessee Code comprehensively regulates the insurance industry, the insuror insists that the acts and practices of an insurance company are never subject to the Consumer Protection Act.

Davidson County Supreme Court 06/01/98
Win Myint and Patti Kay Myint, et. ux. v. Allstate Insurance Company
01S01-9612-CH-00238
Authoring Judge: Justice Adolpho A. Birch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Special Chancellor Christina Norris

In this cause, the insuror refused to pay a claim under a policy of insurance. The insured contends that such refusal constitutes an “unfair or deceptive act or practice,” in violation of the Consumer Protection Act, Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 47-18-101, et seq.1 In contrast, the insuror insists that Tenn. Code Ann. § 56- 7-105,2 commonly known as the “bad faith statute,” is the exclusive remedy for the bad faith denial of an insurance claim. Because Title 56, Chapters 7 and 8 of the Tennessee Code comprehensively regulates the insurance industry, the insuror insists that the acts and practices of an insurance company are never subject to the Consumer Protection Act.

Davidson County Supreme Court 06/01/98
State vs. Thomas Dee Huskey
03S01-9610-CR-00096
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
Supreme Court 05/18/98
Seffernick vs. St. Thomas Hospital, et. al.
01S01-9706-CV-00122
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge: Thomas W. Brothers
Supreme Court 05/11/98
Earhart vs. City of Bristol
03S01-9709-CH-00116
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
Supreme Court 04/27/98
Earhart vs. City of Bristol
03S01-9709-CH-00116
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
Supreme Court 04/27/98