Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Appellate Court Opinions

Format: 07/28/2014
Format: 07/28/2014
Oak Highlands Homeowners' Association, Inc., v. Continental Development and Construction, Inc. and Nicholas S. Psillas
01A01-9511-CH-00535

The captioned plaintiff has appealed from the non-jury dismissal of its suit to enforce restrictions and has presented the following issues for review:

Davidson County Court of Appeals 05/08/96
Frank R. Dalton v. Tennessee Board of Paroles - Concurring
01-A-01-9601-CH-00029

This appeal involves a prison inmate’s efforts to be paroled. After the Tennessee Board of Paroles declined to parole him, the inmate filed a petition for common-law writ of certiorari in the Chancery Court for Davidson County seeking review of the board’s decision. The trial court dismissed the petition on the ground that it failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, and the inmate appealed to this court. We have determined that the board has not demonstrated that it is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law, and therefore, we vacate the judgment and remand the case for further proceedings.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 05/08/96
Harlan White, v. State of Tennessee, Department of Correction
01A01-9602-CH-00071

This is an appeal by petitioner, Harlan White, from the trial court’s order dismissing his petition for declaratory judgment on the ground that petitioner failed to exhaust his administrative remedies.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 05/08/96
Terry E. Wood v. State of Tennessee
01S01-9501-CC-00015

We granted the application of Terry E. Wood, the defendant, for permission to appeal in order to resolve an issue of first impression in Tennessee: whether the return of a sealed presentment 1 engages an accursed person's speedy trial rights under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, § 9 , of the Tennessee Constitution. After a thorough examination of the reocrd and careful consideration of the issue, we conclude, for reasons appearing below, that the reutnr of a presentment, whether sealed or unsealed, whether the accompanying capias is executed or unexecuted, is a formal accusation that engages constitutional speedy trial provisions. Thus, we must apply the criteria of Barkery.Wingo 2 and state b. Bishop 3 to determine whether the thirteen-year delay in this case deprived the appellant of this constitutional speedy trial rights. We find that there was no such deprivation and affirm the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

 

Williamson County Supreme Court 05/06/96
Can Do, Inc. Pension and Profit Sharing Plan and Successor Plans, Indiv. and as a Trustee for Georgoe W. Holder, Jr., v, Manier, Herod, Hollabaugh& Smith, C. Kinian Cosner, Jr. and H. Rowan Leathers, III
01S01-9501-CH-00013

This case presents a question of first impression in Tennessee: whether or not a legal malpractice claim is assignable. We have determined that soundpublic policy reasons militate against allowing assignment of legal malpractice actions. We, therefore, reverse the Court of Appeals and dismiss the complaint.

Davidson County Supreme Court 05/06/96
State of Tennesse v. Terry Wood -Dissenting
01S01-9501-CC-00015

I concur in the dissent of Justice White.

Williamson County Supreme Court 05/06/96
Wanda Cruise v. City of Columbia - Concurring
01S01-9508-CV-00132

In this property confiscation case, the Court must decide whether a direct  appeal was timely and whether the Governmental Tort Liability Act's1 twelve-month statute of limitations set forth in Tennessee Code Annotated Section 29-20-305(b) applies to bar plaintiff's claim for damage to and loss of personal property seized by police officers employed by defendant, the City of Columbia. For the reasons explained below, we hold that the appeal was timely and that plaintiff's claim is controlled by the three-year statute of limitations contained in Tennessee Code Annotated Section 28-3-105 and is, therefore, not barred.

Maury County Supreme Court 05/06/96
Fannie Tuggle and Hoyt Tuggle v. Allright Parking Systems, Inc.
02-S-01-9501-CV-00009

We granted this appeal to determine whether a party with a derivative claim - loss of consortium - is entitled to challenges under the peremptory jury challenge statute, Tenn. Code Ann. § 22-3-105.

We conclude that the clear and unambiguous language of the jury challenge statute provides additional peremptory challenges to a party with a derivative claim,1 and that a new trial is required because the denial of that statutory right constitutes prejudice to the judicial process. In the interest of judicial economy, since a new trial is required, we have also decided that under comparative fault principles, the recovery of a spouse claiming loss of consortium will be reduced in proportion to or barred by the fault of the physically injured spouse. We, therefore, affirm the Court of  Appeals’ decision reversing and remanding for a new trial.

Shelby County Supreme Court 05/06/96
Giles E. Roberson and wife, Hazel B. Roberson, v. Mary Margaret (Darwin) Wasson and Pug Martin, individually and D/B/A Century 21 Pug Martin Realty and Stephen N. Snyder and, Barbara L. Snyder
03A01-9509-CH-00299

This suit was filed by Plaintiffs Giles E. Roberson and his wife Hazel B. Roberson against Defendants Mary Margaret (Darwin) Wasson and Pug Martin, individually , and D/B/A Century 21 Pug Martin Realty. The Plaintiffs sought to have the Court declare that a strip of land approximately 18 feet in width, titled in the name of Mrs. Wasson, which lay between separate tracts owned by them (see appendix) "to have been abandoned and to be non-existent." The complaint was later amended to advance the theory of adverse possession, and still later to add as parties Defendant Stephen N. Snyder and wife Barbara L. Snyder, who had purchased the property from Mrs. Wasson.

Rhea County Court of Appeals 05/06/96
Hayden D. Wilson, Jr., v. Kathryn Ann Moore
01A01-9506-CV-00235

This appeal involves a marriage that failed in less than three years. The husband filed suit in the Circuit Court for Sequatchie County seeking a divorce and the enforcement of the parties’ prenuptial agreement. The wife also requested a divorce and challenged the validity of the prenuptial agreement. Following a bench trial, the trial court declared the parties divorced pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-4-129(b) (1991) and upheld the prenuptial agreement. Accordingly, the trial court awarded the parties their personal property and directed the husband to assume certain credit card indebtedness and to provide the wife medical insurance for up to thirty-six months. Both parties take issue with various portions of the final divorce decree on this appeal. We have determined that the trial court erred by failing to consider the husband’s income earned during the marriage as marital property. Accordingly, we modify the division of marital property and the award of spousal support.

Sequatchie County Court of Appeals 05/03/96
Julius Michael Harris, v. Suzanne Zulieme Harris
01A01-9511-CV-00518

he plaintiff/ex-husband has appealed from the dismissal of his post-divorce decree
petition seeking relief from child support and change of custody.

Williamson County Court of Appeals 05/03/96
Clifford Scott Goodwin, v. Judith Annette Wetz F/K/A Judith Annette Goodwin
01A01-9512-CH-00547

The captioned petitioner has appealed from the dismissal of his suit to enroll and modify a foreign divorce decree.

Cheatham County Court of Appeals 05/03/96
James Dale Barnes, v. Miller Medical Group, P.C. Edgefield Hospital, Inc., Dr. Douglas Dorsey, and Dr. J. Shepherd
01A01-9512-CV-00549

The husband of a woman who suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after being discharged from a hospital emergency room filed a medical malpractice suit against the treating doctor and the medical group for which he worked. The trial court dismissed the claim against the defendant doctor because the plaintiff failed to obtain service on him. A summary judgment was subsequently granted to the defendant medical group on the ground of the plaintiff’s failure to produce a qualified affidavit on the proper standard of care and on causation, as is required by the Medical Malpractice Act, Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-115. We affirm the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 05/03/96
Ray Donald Hawkins v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County Tennessee, et al. - Concurring
01-S-01-9508-CV-00126

This workers’ compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 05/03/96
Thomas W. Harrison, Terry Harrison, and Brenda Harrison Kennamore, v. Earl Laursen
01A01-9505-CH-00192

This is an appeal of a nonjury action in chancery form originally brought to rescind a contract for the sale of real estate and for damages to real property. The complaint was filed on January 22, 1 1991. Four separate hearings have been held in this cause. The first hearing was held without intervention of a jury. The second and third hearings were heard in the presence of a jury, and the fourth hearing in this cause was held without a jury. Following the fourth trial in the Chancery Court of GilesCounty, Tennessee, the chancellor entered a judgment against appellant for $22,279.59. The defendant, Earl Laursen, timely filed a notice of appeal from the final order entered January 9, 1995. The defendant, Delorita Laursen, did not perfect her appeal by filing a notice of appeal and is not before this Court. See, e.g., Town of Carthage, Tennessee, et al. v. Smith County, Tennessee, No. 01-A-01-9308-CH-00391 (Tenn. App., March 8, 1995). The appeal by the defendant/appellant, Earl Laursen, has been perfected and is properly before this Court. The appellant contends that the trial court erred in not having a jury hear the fourth case and in assessing damages to the real property. We reverse and remand for reasons that will hereinafter be shown.

Giles County Court of Appeals 05/03/96
Lisa J. Prince and Ricky Prince v. Coffee County, Tennessee d/b/a Coffee Medical Center - Concurring
01A01-9508-CV-00342

This is a medical malpractice case. Plaintiffs, Lisa and Ricky Prince, are  husband and wife. Lisa Prince ("Plaintiff") was injured during out-patient surgery, allegedly as a result of improperly administered anesthetic.  Initially, the suit was brought against Coffee Medical Center, Dr.  Ramprasand (the surgeon), and Michael Cruz (the nurse anesthetist).  Dr. Ramprasand and Cruz settled with Plaintiffs and were dismissed prior to this action. Plaintiff alleges on appeal that Coffee Medical Center ("CMC") was negligent in failing to establish adequate anesthetic policies and procedures and in failing to enforce its own anesthesia policies and procedures. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of CMC and Plaintiff has appealed. For the reasons stated below, we reverse.

Coffee County Court of Appeals 05/03/96
State of Tennessee v. Barry Hughes
03C01-9410-CR-00454

The appellant, Barry Hughes, challenges, by extraordinary appeal, the trial court's judgment affirming the district attorney general's denial of his application for pretrial diversion. The appellant sought to divert two counts of official oppression, one count of official misconduct, and one count of fabricating evidence. The charges stem from allegations that, while performing his duties as a police officer, he planted cocaine in a civilian's car. We affirm.

Bradley County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/03/96
Ray Donald Hawkins v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County Tennessee
01S01-9508-CV-00126
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. The appellant sued his employer for workers' compensation benefits covering mental and emotional disability which resulted from being informed that he was about to be fired. The trial judge dismissed the action because it did not state a claim on which relief could be granted. We conclude that the judgment should be affirmed. I. The complaint alleged that the appellant had worked for the Nashville Electric Service for thirty-one years, serving finally as Executive Assistant General Manager. On March 11, 1992, one hour before a scheduled meeting of the Power Board, a Board member informed the appellant that at the meeting the Board would vote to dismiss him. Although the rumor turned out to be false, the appellant alleged that the shock and fright produced by the unwelcome news caused such mental and emotional stress that he became permanently disabled. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The trial judge initially overruled the motion but decided to grant it, after further proceedings in the case. II. - 2 -
Hawkins County Workers Compensation Panel 05/03/96
Ray Donald Hawkins v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County Tennessee
01S01-9508-CV-00126
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. The appellant sued his employer for workers' compensation benefits covering mental and emotional disability which resulted from being informed that he was about to be fired. The trial judge dismissed the action because it did not state a claim on which relief could be granted. We conclude that the judgment should be affirmed. I. The complaint alleged that the appellant had worked for the Nashville Electric Service for thirty-one years, serving finally as Executive Assistant General Manager. On March 11, 1992, one hour before a scheduled meeting of the Power Board, a Board member informed the appellant that at the meeting the Board would vote to dismiss him. Although the rumor turned out to be false, the appellant alleged that the shock and fright produced by the unwelcome news caused such mental and emotional stress that he became permanently disabled. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The trial judge initially overruled the motion but decided to grant it, after further proceedings in the case. II. - 2 -
Hawkins County Workers Compensation Panel 05/03/96
Stanley Bailey v. Amre, Inc.
03S01-9511-CH-00124
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. The Chancellor held " . . . really all I can do is find that the medical proof does not bear out a finding of permanent disability," and this action for workers' compensation benefits was thereupon dismissed, the propriety of which is presented for our review, which is de novo on the record accompanied by a presumption that the findings of fact of the trial court are correct unless the evidence otherwise preponderates. TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-225(e)(2). We affirm.
Knox County Workers Compensation Panel 05/02/96
Ross N. Everett v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
03S01-9508-CH-00093
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, Ross N. Everett, has appealed from the action of the trial court in awarding 45% permanent partial disability benefits to his left leg. His primary contention is the Chancellor was in error by not finding his pre-existing arthritic condition was aggravated by the accident. Plaintiff, 71 years of age at the time of the trial, was injured on March 2, 1992, while working for the defendant Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., when he was attempting to hang fishing lures. He testified he turned his foot to move and his knee twisted causing the injury. He related to the court a knee problem pre- existed the accident as he had seen a doctor during February, 1992. He said he was having pain and swelling in his knee, and he was unable to fully flex it. The only other witness to testify was Dr. Edwin E. Holt, an orthopedic surgeon, who testified by deposition. Dr. Holt stated his pre-existing problem in his knee was caused by arthritis; that the arthritic condition was not caused by the accident but the accident probably aggravated the arthritis by causing more pain; that the accident did not increase the arthritis; and that the accident did cause a meniscal tear which he corrected by arthroscopic surgery on September 12, 1992. Dr. Holt gave a 14% impairment rating to the left leg as a result of the meniscal tear and a 1% impairment rating to the pre-existing arthritic condition. We do not believe the Chancellor misapplied the ruling in the Cunningham v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 811 S.W.2d 888 (Tenn. 1991) case as insisted by the plaintiff. Although a question as to whether plaintiff had sustained an injury by an "accident at work" was involved, the general rule concerning aggravation of a pre- existing condition was set forth, the rule being where an employee's work aggravates a pre-existing condition by making the pain worse but does not -2-
Knox County Workers Compensation Panel 05/01/96
Clifford E. Wells v. Jefferson City Zinc, Inc.
03S01-9509-CV-00100
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. The employer appeals the trial court's finding that the plaintiff is 1% permanently and totally disabled, its apportionment of 7% of the liability to the employer and 3% to the Second Injury Fund and its commutation of the award to a lump sum. We modify the judgment to void the commutation of the award to a lump sum payment. As modified, we affirm the judgment. The plaintiff, 51 at the time of trial, has a ninth-grade education. His past work experience includes farming, paint spray mixing and operating and supervision of same, millwrighting, construction and working in the defendant's mines. He began working for the defendant in 1977. He suffered a back injury, possibly in the course and scope of his employment with the defendant-employer, in 1978. A lumbar laminectomy was performed in 1985 as a result of that injury. No workers' compensation claim was ever filed, and the employer did not pay any medical expenses. Plaintiff re-injured his back on February 21, 1992, while moving a pump in the course of his employment. He was laid off by the employer in June 1994, never having returned to work. Dr. John Bell, an orthopaedic surgeon, treated the plaintiff after his 1992 injury. He had also performed the plaintiff's 1985 surgery, after which he had assigned the plaintiff a 15% permanent impairment. He assigned the plaintiff a five percent impairment rating for the 1992 injury under the most recent edition of the A.M.A. Guides. He restricted the plaintiff from lifting more than 35 pounds occasionally, 2 pounds frequently, climbing and kneeling, bouncing, crouching or crawling more than occasionally. He had apparently informed the plaintiff of similar -2-
Jefferson County Workers Compensation Panel 05/01/96
01C01-9307-CC-00218
Cheatham County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/30/96
01C01-9307-CC-00218
Cheatham County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/30/96
02A01-9504-CV-00081
Court of Appeals 04/30/96