Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Appellate Court Opinions

Format: 04/24/2014
Format: 04/24/2014
Treva Milan v. Quebecor Printing (U.S.A.) Group and Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company
01S01-9601-CV-00005
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Plaintiff injured her arms and wrists while working for defendant in April 1994. The trial judge awarded her 35 percent permanent partial disability to each upper extremity. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. Plaintiff was working on an assembly line, feeding magazine pages into a sorter, when a wooden pallet slid onto her arms, causing pain. She was placed on light duty and wore wrist splints for at least a month, but when she returned to full duty, she had a recurrence of pain, numbness and tingling. Dr. W. Cooper Beazley, orthopedic surgeon, diagnosed plaintiff with overuse syndrome in both hands and told her to consider changing to a job where she would not have to perform rapid, repetitious work with her hands. However, he did not assess any medical impairment under AMA Guidelines because the Guides do not provide for a permanent impairment rating for overuse syndrome. Dr. Lloyd Walwyn, orthopedic surgeon, conducted an independent medical examination including objective testing. He diagnosed cumulative trauma disorder with mild bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and assessed 28 percent permanent partial impairment to each upper extremity. The employer made efforts to put plaintif f back to work with her post-injury limitations, but there was no work available at the factory that she was able to do. Plaintiff is 26 years old with a high school education and work experience mostly in factory work. The trial judge found that the injury plaintiff sustained reduced her ability to compete in the open job market because it permanently affected her use of her hands. He also found her testimony that she has pain to be convincing.
Montgomery County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Mary Charmagne Perdue v. National Healthcorp, L.P., Or National Health Corporation, Or Nhc, Inc., And/Or Columbia Health Care
01S01-9508-CH-00142
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employee or claimant, Perdue, contends (1) that the evidence preponderates against the trial judge's finding that she failed to give the required notice of a claimed injury by accident occurring on January 23, 1993, (2) that the said injury was suffered within the course and scope of employment with the defendant, and (3) that she is entitled to compensation for an injury on April 3, 1994. The panel concludes that the judgment awarding benefits for an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the claimant's employment in August of 1994 should be affirmed. The claimant is twenty-nine years old and has an associates degree in nursing. At all material times she was employed by the employer, Columbia, as a registered nurse. She claims to have strained her lower back in January of 1993 at work but continued to work. She did not give any written notice of the injury to the employer and there is conflicting evidence as to whether she verbally reported it. In April of 1993 she saw a chiropractor. On April 17, 1993, she noticed numbness in her hip and leg and began seeing Dr. Jeffrey Adams, who diagnosed a herniated lumbar disk. She did not tell the doctor that the condition was a result of an injury at work, according to the doctor, who performed corrective surgery. On August 5, 1993, the claimant was grabbed around the neck by a patient and pulled down to the patient's bed. Dr. Adams diagnosed a herniated disk at the same location as the previous one and performed a second corrective surgery. She has not returned to work.1 The trial judge found that, as to the claimed January injury, the claimant had failed to carry the burden of proof that her superiors at work had actual notice of her injury or that a work-related injury had occurred on that date.2 Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). Where the trial judge has seen and heard the witnesses, especially if issues of credibility and weight to be given oral testimony are involved, considerable deference must be accorded those circumstances on review. McCaleb v. Saturn Corp., 91 S.W.2d 1 The claimant had another surgery in 1994 by a different surgeon. 2 The trial judge did award medical and hospital benefits for the August injury, from which no issue has been raised in this appeal. 2
Maury County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Mary Charmagne Perdue v. National Healthcorp, L.P., Or National Health Corporation, Or Nhc, Inc., And/Or Columbia Health Care
01S01-9508-CH-00142
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employee or claimant, Perdue, contends (1) that the evidence preponderates against the trial judge's finding that she failed to give the required notice of a claimed injury by accident occurring on January 23, 1993, (2) that the said injury was suffered within the course and scope of employment with the defendant, and (3) that she is entitled to compensation for an injury on April 3, 1994. The panel concludes that the judgment awarding benefits for an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the claimant's employment in August of 1994 should be affirmed. The claimant is twenty-nine years old and has an associates degree in nursing. At all material times she was employed by the employer, Columbia, as a registered nurse. She claims to have strained her lower back in January of 1993 at work but continued to work. She did not give any written notice of the injury to the employer and there is conflicting evidence as to whether she verbally reported it. In April of 1993 she saw a chiropractor. On April 17, 1993, she noticed numbness in her hip and leg and began seeing Dr. Jeffrey Adams, who diagnosed a herniated lumbar disk. She did not tell the doctor that the condition was a result of an injury at work, according to the doctor, who performed corrective surgery. On August 5, 1993, the claimant was grabbed around the neck by a patient and pulled down to the patient's bed. Dr. Adams diagnosed a herniated disk at the same location as the previous one and performed a second corrective surgery. She has not returned to work.1 The trial judge found that, as to the claimed January injury, the claimant had failed to carry the burden of proof that her superiors at work had actual notice of her injury or that a work-related injury had occurred on that date.2 Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). Where the trial judge has seen and heard the witnesses, especially if issues of credibility and weight to be given oral testimony are involved, considerable deference must be accorded those circumstances on review. McCaleb v. Saturn Corp., 91 S.W.2d 1 The claimant had another surgery in 1994 by a different surgeon. 2 The trial judge did award medical and hospital benefits for the August injury, from which no issue has been raised in this appeal. 2
Maury County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Robin Sloan v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.
01S01-9509-GS-00157
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer contends that the award of disability benefits is excessive; and the employee contends the trial court erred in finding that she did not suffer a disabling work-related neck injury. The panel has concluded that the judgment should be modified as provided herein. On July 5, 1992, the claimant, Robin Sloan, strained her back at work. She reported the injury to her employer and was referred to Dr. G. Jackson Jacobs, who referred her to Dr. David Bratton, an orthopedic surgeon, who, on July 15, 1992, diagnosed lumbar strain and released her to light duty for two weeks. She saw Dr. Daniel Phillips on October 23, 1992 and two other occasions. Dr. Phillips found no permanent disability to the claimant's back or neck caused by a work-related injury. Her attorney referred her to Dr. Richard Fishbein. Dr. Fishbein, on the strength of the history related to him by the claimant, agreed with the original diagnosis and assessed a permanent impairment of five percent to the whole body. The claimant is thirty-four years old witha high school educationand an associates degree in education from Motlow State Community College. She has experience in office work, as a restaurant manager and in business. She quit working for the employer shortly after the accident and was not working at the time of the trial. She was able to work, according to Dr. Bratton's note on and after July 15, 1992. The trial judge awarded permanent partial disability benefits on the basis of thirty-five percent to the body as a whole and temporary total disability benefits from July 5, 1992 to January 7, 1993. Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). This tribunal is required to conduct an independent examination of the record to determine where the preponderance of the evidence lies.
Warren County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
Robin Sloan v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.
01S01-9509-GS-00157
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer contends that the award of disability benefits is excessive; and the employee contends the trial court erred in finding that she did not suffer a disabling work-related neck injury. The panel has concluded that the judgment should be modified as provided herein. On July 5, 1992, the claimant, Robin Sloan, strained her back at work. She reported the injury to her employer and was referred to Dr. G. Jackson Jacobs, who referred her to Dr. David Bratton, an orthopedic surgeon, who, on July 15, 1992, diagnosed lumbar strain and released her to light duty for two weeks. She saw Dr. Daniel Phillips on October 23, 1992 and two other occasions. Dr. Phillips found no permanent disability to the claimant's back or neck caused by a work-related injury. Her attorney referred her to Dr. Richard Fishbein. Dr. Fishbein, on the strength of the history related to him by the claimant, agreed with the original diagnosis and assessed a permanent impairment of five percent to the whole body. The claimant is thirty-four years old witha high school educationand an associates degree in education from Motlow State Community College. She has experience in office work, as a restaurant manager and in business. She quit working for the employer shortly after the accident and was not working at the time of the trial. She was able to work, according to Dr. Bratton's note on and after July 15, 1992. The trial judge awarded permanent partial disability benefits on the basis of thirty-five percent to the body as a whole and temporary total disability benefits from July 5, 1992 to January 7, 1993. Appellate review is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings of fact, unless the preponderance of the evidence is otherwise. Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(2). This tribunal is required to conduct an independent examination of the record to determine where the preponderance of the evidence lies.
Warren County Workers Compensation Panel 07/08/96
In Re: Petition of Danny Blankenship Bonding Company
01C01-9505-CR-00135

The appellant, Danny A. Blankenship, doing business as Danny Blankenship Bonding Company, sought permission from the trial court to write bail bonds in Sumner County. The proposed resident representative of the company in Sumner County was the appellant, Glen M. Davis. In the event Davis was not available to write a bond, the proposed substitute was Richard L. Gregory, an employee of the bonding company and also an appellant in this case. The trial court denied the application because Blankenship did not possess sufficient personal assets to support his company’s writing of bail bonds in the general sessions and criminal courts of Sumner County. The appellants appeal as of right from this judgment. Since the evidence supports the findings made by the trial court, the judgment is affirmed.

Sumner County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/05/96
State of Tennessee, ex rel., John Jay Hooker v. Brook Thompson, et al., State of Tennessee Lewis Laska v. Brook Thompson, et al.
01A01-9606-CH-00259

These cases were heard before the Special Supreme Court on an expedited basis on
July 5, 1996. Due to the fact that our decision in these consolidated cases will affect the election which is set for August 1, 1996, the Court is issuing this Order today, with a more detailed Opinion to follow.

The Court finds as follows:
1. The statutory scheme for judicial selection and evaluation, popularly known as “The
Tennessee Plan”, T.C.A. Section 17-4-101 et seq. does not violate the Tennessee Constitution. State v. Dunn, 496 S.W. 2d 480 (Tenn. 1973).
2. Under the provisions of T.C.A. Section 17-4-114 (c), the Tennessee Plan is not applicable
unless the judicial evaluation commission recommends the retention of a judge. In the forthcoming judicial election, the judicial evaluation commission was not yet fully operational and, through no fault of Justice White, it did not act to recommend her retention as a Supreme Court Justice. Accordingly, the provisions of the Tennessee Plan are not applicable to the election to be held on August 1, 1996, and under T.C.A. Section 17-4-114(c), a political party may nominate a candidate, and independent candidates may qualify under the general election law for the general election which is the regular August election.
3. In accordance with the provisions of T.C.A. Section 2-5-101, independent and primary
candidates should have qualified for the upcoming August 1, 1996, election by filing all nominating petitions no later than twelve o’clock noon, May 16, 1996. Appellants Laska and Hooker attempted to obtain such petitions from Defendant Appellee Thompson, but were unsuccessful in their efforts because of an erroneous interpretation of the law to the effect that Justice Penny White was running unopposed in a “retention election” under the Tennessee Plan.
4. Appellants Hooker and Laska have made good faith efforts to qualify for the upcoming election. Similarly, Justice White has acted in good faith in declaring her candidacy for the Supreme Court.
5. At all times relevant to this Court’s decision, Appellant Hooker lacked the qualifications necessary under T.C.A. Section 2-5-106 to qualify for the office of Supreme Court Justice in the August 1, 1996, election, because Appellant Hooker’s law license was suspended as a result of his failure to meet continuing legal education requirements.
6. The Defendants have raised an issue as to the residency of Appellant Laska, who has
attempted to qualify as a candidate for the Western Grand Division of this State. Considerable proof regarding whether Mr. Laska is a bona fide resident of the Western Grand Division was offered at the Chancery Court hearing on this matter, but the Chancellor did not make a ruling as to Mr. Laska’s residency.

Supreme Court 07/05/96
State of Tennessee v. Bobby Love
01C01-9306-CC-00190

Appellant, Bobby Love, was convicted in Maury County Circuit Court of the crime of aggravated assault, a Class C felony, by a jury. The trial court found that appellant was a standard offender and imposed a Range I sentence of confinement for six years in the Department of Correction and ordered restitution to the victim.

Maury County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/05/96
James R. Tully, Jr., v. USA Wireless, Inc., PMT Investments, Inc., and Patrick M. Thompson, in both his individual and corporate capacity
01A01-9601-CH-00031

The issues in this appeal are (1) whether the chancellor erred in granting a judgment against a corporation for back wages, (2) whether the chancellor should have pierced the corporate veil and granted a judgment against the corporation’s principal shareholder and (3) whether the court erred in dismissing the fraud claims against the principal shareholder. We affirm the chancellor’s decision in part and reverse on the fraud claims made directly against the principal shareholder.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 07/03/96
Patricia Gobel v. Estate of Rupert Newman, Deceased
01A01-9601-PB-00040

The Probate Court of Putnam County dismissed a claim against the estate of Rupert O. Newman because the claimant lacked standing to make the claim. We affirm.

Putnam County Court of Appeals 07/03/96
Comprehensive Engineering Assistance Association, Inc., v. State of Tennessee, Department of Labor and Al Bodie, Commissioner of the Department of Labor, in his official capacity
01A01-9602-CH-00055

The captioned plaintiff has appealed from an order of the Trial Court reading as follows: This matter came to be heard on June 2, 1995, upon the motion to dismiss filed on behalf of the defendants, Tennessee Department of Labor and Al Bodie, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor. Upon consideration of the pleadings filed and the argument of counsel, the Court finds that this matter should be dismissed on the basis that the Court lacks jurisdiction as the petition for judicial review was not filed within sixty days of the final agency action as required by T.C.A. §4-5-322. Therefore, it is hereby ORDERED that the defendants’ motion to dismiss is GRANTED. Costs shall be taxed to the petitioner. On appeal, plaintiff presents a single issue as follows: Did the Chancery Court err in dismissing this matter for lack of jurisdiction on the basis that the complaint was not timely filed?

Davidson County Court of Appeals 07/03/96
Evelyn June Thomason, v. The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davison County
01A01-9602-CV-00067

The plaintiff, Evelyn June Thomason, has appealed from a summary judgment
dismissing her suit against the defendant, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and
Davidson County, Tennessee, for personal injuries sustained in a fall on the premises of the
Lentz Health Center, a facility owned and managed by the defendant.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 07/03/96
Daniel B. Taylor v. State of Tenneessee - Concurring
02A01-9508-BC-00229

Daniel P. Taylor (“claimant”) filed this suit against the State of Tennessee (?defendant” or “State”) in the Tennessee Claims Commission for damages he allegedly sustained due to the malpractice of his court- appointed attorney. The Claims Commission granted defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The sole issue presented by this appeal is whether the commissioner erred in so doing. We find no error and affirm.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 07/03/96
State of Tennessee, v. Daniel G. Hampton
03C01-9503-CR-00107

The appellant, Daniel G. Hampton, was convicted of driving under the influence, second offense, a Class A misdemeanor, two counts of driving on a revoked license, Class B misdemeanors, and violation of the implied consent law by a jury of his peers. The trial court sentenced the appellant to eleven months and twenty-nine days in the Carter County Jail with all but seventy days suspended for the driving under the influence, second offense; six months suspended in the Carter County Jail for driving on a revoked license on April 9, 1994 which was ordered to run concurrently with the other sentences; and six months in the Carter County Jail with all but twenty days suspended for driving on a revoked license on April 1, 1994 which was ordered to run consecutively to the driving under the influence, second offense conviction.

Carter County Court of Appeals 07/03/96
Robert Dale Cobb v. Douglas R. Beier - Concurring
03A01-9602-CV-00051

The determinative issue on appeal is whether the appeal should be dismissed because the appellant did not file notice of the appeal with the clerk of the appellate court designated in the notice of appeal.

Hamblen County Court of Appeals 07/03/96
Robert Dale Cobb, v. Douglas R. Beier - Dissenting
03A01-9602-CV-00051

While I concede tha the majority opinion is technically correct and the reasoning employed comports with previous case law, I observe that this Court, or at least this member of this Court, has routinely overruled such motions when the only defect as to the serviceof thenotice of appeal is failure to file a copy with the Clerk of this Court.

 

Court of Appeals 07/03/96
Ernest White Patton, III, v. Linda Harvey Patton
03A01-9601-CH-00001

In this divorce action, the husband appeals from the Trial Court's determination of the classificatin of property as marital property and the division of the marital estate.

Court of Appeals 07/03/96
Robert Dale Cobb, v. Douglas R. Beier
03A01-9602-CV-00051

The determinative issue on appeal is whether the appeals should be dismissed because the appellant did not file notice of the appeal with the clerk of the appellant court designated in the notice of appeal.

Hamblen County Court of Appeals 07/03/96
In Re the Estate of Howard D. Smith, Deceased, Shaun Murray, v. Jennie C. Smith, Individually and as Conservator for Howard D. Smith and Western Surety Co., Manufacturer
02A01-9503-CH-00055

This case involves an alleged breach of fiduciary duty by the conservator of an estate. After a bench trial, the trial court held that the plaintiff had failed to prove a breach of fiduciary duty. We find that the trial court misapplied the burden of proof and reverse the trial court’s decision.

Gibson County Court of Appeals 07/02/96
01A01-9510-CH-00430
Court of Appeals 06/28/96
01A01-9510-CH-00486
Rutherford County Court of Appeals 06/28/96
01A01-9510-CV-00462
Davidson County Court of Appeals 06/28/96
01A01-9511-CH-00533
Davidson County Court of Appeals 06/28/96
01A01-9511-CV-00502
Davidson County Court of Appeals 06/28/96
01A01-9511-CV-00502
Davidson County Court of Appeals 06/28/96