Larry Sneed v. The City of Red Bank, Tennessee

Larry Sneed v. The City of Red Bank, Tennessee
E2012-02112-SC-R11-CV

We granted review in this interlocutory appeal to determine whether the analysis the Court of AppealsemployedinYoung v.Davis,No.E2008-01974-COA-R3-CV,2009 WL 3518162, at *6-7 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 30, 2009), to conclude that Tennessee Public Protection Act (“TPPA”) claims against governmental entities must be tried without a jury in the manner prescribed bythe Governmental Tort LiabilityAct (“GTLA”), should be applied to determine whether a Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”) claim against a governmental entity is controlled by the GTLA. We reject the analysis Young applied and overrule it to the extent it may be interpreted as holding that the GTLA governs all statutory claims against governmental entities. The analysis used in Cruse v. City of Columbia, 922 S.W.2d 492 (Tenn. 1996), controls the determination of this issue. Applying Cruse, we hold that the THRA is an independent and specific statute, which removed governmental immunity and which controls the adjudication of THRA claims. We further hold that the provisions of the THRA clearly establish legislative intent to afford a right to trial by jury to persons who bring THRA claims against governmental entities in chancery court.  Accordingly, based on these holdings, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The trial court’s order transferring this case to circuit court is vacated, and this matter is remanded to the chancery court for further proceedings consistent with this decision.

Authoring Judge: 
Justice Cornelia A. Clark
Originating Judge: 
Chancellor Jeffrey M. Atherton
Date Filed: 
Tuesday, December 2, 2014