Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Appellate Court Opinions

Format: 12/27/2014
Format: 12/27/2014
02C01-9508-CC-00227
Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/17/96
Gary Reatherford v. Lincoln Brass Works, Inc.
01S01-9504-CV-00058
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 was doing construction work at the Lincoln Brass Works facility, moving the employee break room from one side of the building to another, when a nail flew into his right eye, requiring several surgical procedures and resulting in total permanent loss of vision in the eye. The trial judge found that he was a statutory employee of Lincoln Brass Works and held the company liable for 1 percent permanent disability to plaintiff's right eye. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. The only issue before us is the status of the plaintiff for workers' compensation insurance purposes. The plaintiff contends, and the trial judge held, that he was a statutory employee and Lincoln Brass Works was a principal contractor (statutory employer) under TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-113. Lincoln Brass Works contends plaintiff was either an independent contractor or a casual employee. Under TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-113(a), "A principal, or intermediate contractor, or subcontractor shall be liable for compensation to any employee injured while in the employ of any of the subcontractors of the principal, intermediate contractor, or subcontractor and engaged upon the subject matter of the contract to the same extent as the immediate employer," (commonly referred to as a "statutory employer"). This court has consistently held that where a business enterprise undertakes to act as its own principal contractor and contracts directly with a subcontractor for various phases of construction on its own premises, the business enterprise is subject to liability imposed by the Workers' Compensation Act. Acklie v. Carrier, 785 S.W.2d 355 (Tenn. 199). Lincoln Brass asserts the construction workers were independent contractors rather than statutory employees under TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-113(a). The factors to be considered in determining whether a relationship to the principal was that of employee or independent contractor include: (1) the right to control the conduct of 2
Wayne County Workers Compensation Panel 05/17/96
Gary Reatherford v. Lincoln Brass Works, Inc.
01S01-9504-CV-00058
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 was doing construction work at the Lincoln Brass Works facility, moving the employee break room from one side of the building to another, when a nail flew into his right eye, requiring several surgical procedures and resulting in total permanent loss of vision in the eye. The trial judge found that he was a statutory employee of Lincoln Brass Works and held the company liable for 1 percent permanent disability to plaintiff's right eye. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. The only issue before us is the status of the plaintiff for workers' compensation insurance purposes. The plaintiff contends, and the trial judge held, that he was a statutory employee and Lincoln Brass Works was a principal contractor (statutory employer) under TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-113. Lincoln Brass Works contends plaintiff was either an independent contractor or a casual employee. Under TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-113(a), "A principal, or intermediate contractor, or subcontractor shall be liable for compensation to any employee injured while in the employ of any of the subcontractors of the principal, intermediate contractor, or subcontractor and engaged upon the subject matter of the contract to the same extent as the immediate employer," (commonly referred to as a "statutory employer"). This court has consistently held that where a business enterprise undertakes to act as its own principal contractor and contracts directly with a subcontractor for various phases of construction on its own premises, the business enterprise is subject to liability imposed by the Workers' Compensation Act. Acklie v. Carrier, 785 S.W.2d 355 (Tenn. 199). Lincoln Brass asserts the construction workers were independent contractors rather than statutory employees under TENN. CODE ANN. _ 5-6-113(a). The factors to be considered in determining whether a relationship to the principal was that of employee or independent contractor include: (1) the right to control the conduct of 2
Wayne County Workers Compensation Panel 05/17/96
01C01-9506-CC-00166
Sequatchie County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/16/96
02A01-9502-CH-00025
Fayette County Court of Appeals 05/16/96
01A01-9506-JV-00262
Bedford County Court of Appeals 05/15/96
01A01-9508-CH-00365
Court of Appeals 05/15/96
03A01-9509-CH-00318
Carter County Court of Appeals 05/14/96
01S01-9503-CC-00035
Supreme Court 05/13/96
01C01-9704-CR-00129
Wilson County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/13/96
03S01-9410-CR-00106
Supreme Court 05/13/96
03S01-9501-CH-00008
Supreme Court 05/13/96
03S01-9502-CH-00018
Supreme Court 05/13/96
03S01-9502-CV-00015
Supreme Court 05/13/96
03S01-9410-CR-00106
Supreme Court 05/13/96
03S01-9508-CC-00096
Supreme Court 05/13/96
03S01-9508-CC-00096
Supreme Court 05/13/96
03C01-9505-CR-0
Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/10/96
03C01-9510-CC-00297
Blount County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/10/96
State of Tennessee vs. Danny R. Morris
01C01-9506-CC-00206

The defendant, Danny R. Morris, was convicted at a jury trial of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony. The trial court sentenced the defendant as a Range I offender to a term of confinement of twelve years in the Department of Correction.

Humphreys County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/09/96
State of Tennessee v. Danny R. Morris - Dissenting
01C01-9506-CC-00206

I respectfully dissent.


The crime committed by the appellant, Danny R. Morris, was despicable. I am sure that the jury, like myself, was enraged as the evidence unfolded. This atrocious crime was committed in the jury’s home county by two inmates who escaped from a prison in an adjoining county. Morris and Barrett were much younger than the victim. They feigned illness and acted as if one of them needed assistance. When the elderly victim stopped to lend assistance, Morris and Barrett took advantage of the victim’s act of kindness. Nevertheless, we as citizens must not lose sight of the fact that ours is a Nation of laws. These laws govern the conduct of every citizen. As this Court said in Hodges v. State, 491 S.W.2d 624, 626 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1972), cert. denied (Tenn. 1973): “[O]dious individuals are not governed by one law and the remaining citizens by another; all are protected by the same general law.”

Humphreys County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/09/96
Charles Steven Denbow, v. Sandra Kay Denbow
02A01-9410-CH-00238

This is a domestic relations case with an unusual twist. On May 3, 1994, plaintiff filed a complaint in the Chancery Court of Chester County seeking a divorce from defendant on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. At the same time, plaintiff filed a marital dissolution agreement (“agreement”) executed by the parties on May 2, 1994. The agreement provided that the parties would have joint custody of their two minor children, then ages 13 and 15, with the children residing with plaintiff. No child support was to be paid by either party. In addition, the agreement did not make any allowances for alimony and purported to divide the real and personal property between the parties. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the time the parties executed the agreement, but defendant was not. Shortly thereafter, defendant employed counsel and on June 3, 1994, filed a motion to set aside the agreement. In her motion defendant contended that she was forced to sign the agreement under duress and fear of bodily harm. She also contended that the agreement did not adequately provide for the care and maintenance of the parties’ minor children or make an equitable settlement of the 2 parties’ property as required by T.C.A. § 36-4-103(b) (1991). Defendant’s motion asked the court to set the agreement aside and allow the parties to proceed with the divorce as if the agreement had never been executed.

Chester County Court of Appeals 05/09/96
Joyce Ann Neal, Individually and as parent and next of kin of the minor child, Brandon Devoris Neal, v. Fayette County Board of Education, Dale Summitt, et al.
02A01-9412-CV-00271

This matter arose out of a personal injury action brought against Fayette County 2 Board of Education by plaintiff, Joyce Ann Neal, as parent and next of kin of Brandon Neal, a minor. Brandon, age eleven, was injured while playing basketball when his finger became caught in the goal. Reasoning that the goal was neither dangerous nor defective and that Brandon caused his own injuries through his misuse of the goal, the trial court held in favor of the school board. On appeal, plaintiff contends that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's determination that the goal was not dangerous or defective. Plaintiff further alleges that the trial court erred in failing to find that the school board was negligent. For the reasons stated below, we find these contentions to be without merit; therefore, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

Fayette County Court of Appeals 05/09/96
Waymon Frederick Axley, v. Beverly Anne Mallette Axley
02A01-9412-CV-00283

After a thirty year marriage,1 Waymon Frederic Axley (Husband) and Beverly Anne Mallette Axley (Wife) were divorced by final decree entered by the trial court in August 1994.2 This appeal concerns the trial court’s award to Wife of $1,500 per month as alimony in futuro and, as additional alimony, $177.62 per month for 36 consecutive months to continue Wife on Husband’s health insurance through his employer. Wife seeks an increase in the award as well as her attorney’s fees for services rendered in this appeal. She frames the issues as follows: I. Did the trial judge err by awarding Wife only $1,500 per month in periodic alimony? II. Should this Court remand this matter to the trial court with the instruction to set a reasonable amount of attorney’s fees for this appeal?

Shelby County Court of Appeals 05/09/96
Waymon Frederic Axley, v. Beverly Anne Mallette Axley
02A01-9412-CV-00283

After a thirty year marriage,1 Waymon Frederic Axley (Husband) and Beverly Anne Mallette Axley (Wife) were divorced by final decree entered by the trial court in August 1994.2 This appeal concerns the trial court’s award to Wife of $1,500 per month as alimony in futuro and, as additional alimony, $177.62 per month for 36 consecutive months to continue Wife on Husband’s health insurance through his employer. Wife seeks an increase in the award as well as her attorney’s fees for services rendered in this appeal. She frames the issues as follows:

Shelby County Court of Appeals 05/09/96