August 23, 2000
Volume 6 -- Number 133

What follows is the case style or name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion released eletronically today to TBALink.

This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
03 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
00 New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
00 New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility

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Lucian T. Pera
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink




Clarence E. Walker, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Patrick S. O'Brien,
St. Louis, Missouri, for the Appellant, Walter J. Biddle, Jr.

Everett B. Gibson and Scott B. Peatross, Memphis, Tennessee, for the
Appellee, Norfolk Southern Railway Company.                         


First Paragraph:

Plaintiff injured his feet and ankles by walking on large rock ballast
in his employer's train yard and brought suit against this Defendant
for those injuries in 1991.  That suit was resolved.  The current suit
was brought by Plaintiff in 1997, alleging injury to his back from the
same cause.  In this case, Plaintiff testified that he had several
incidents at work which caused strain to his back but that those
resolved, and that walking on the rock caused his permanent back
impairment.  Co-workers testified for Plaintiff that the rock was too
large and therefore unsafe.  Supervisors testified that the rock was
not dangerous.  Two physicians gave ambiguous testimony as to
causation.  The jury found that the rock in the train yard was too
large, and, therefore, Defendant was negligent.

G. M. C., ET AL. v. A. V. I. Court:TCA Attorneys: Clifton Corker, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, AVI. Stephen L. Gilley, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellees, GMC and TDC. Judge: SWINEY First Paragraph: The natural mother and stepfather of a three-year-old child petitioned the Chancery Court of Washington County for an order terminating the parental rights of the child's natural father, and allowing the adoption of the child by the stepfather. The Chancery Court granted the petition pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. S 36-1-113, finding that the father exhibited a wanton disregard for the child such that it constituted abandonment as defined by Tenn. Code Ann. S 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv). On appeal, the father raises two issues: (1) whether the Chancery Court erred in finding by clear and convincing evidence that the father engaged in conduct that constituted a wanton disregard for the welfare of the subject child where there was contradictory testimony regarding the father's conduct; and (2) even assuming that the allegations regarding the father's conduct are true, whether his conduct amounts to a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child. We affirm.
SARAH ANITA JAMES v. SUSAN KAY SWINDELL Court:TCA Attorneys: Steven W. Kreitzer of Rossville, GA for the defendant-appellant, Susan Kay Swindell William H. Horton of Chattanooga, TN for the plaintiff-appellee, Sarah Anita James Judge: GODDARD First Paragraph: This appeal arises out of an automobile accident. The Defendant lost control of her vehicle, crossed three lanes of traffic, and hit Plaintiff's vehicle. Plaintiff suffered injuries and sued Defendant for damages. A jury trial ensued. The jury found Defendant to be 100% at fault and awarded $15,000 in damages to Plaintiff. The Plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial alleging juror misconduct and presented a juror's affidavit in support of her position. The Defendant untimely presented counter affidavits by jurors. The trial court judge granted a new trial based on juror misconduct. At the second trial the jury found the Defendant 100% at fault and awarded Plaintiff $27,608.60 in damages. On appeal, the Defendant claims that the trial court erred in failing to grant Defendant's motion for a directed verdict and in granting a new trial. We affirm the trial court's denial of a directed verdict for the Defendant and reverse the trial court's granting of a new trial based on juror misconduct. We remand the case to the trial court for the reinstatement of the jury verdict at the first trial.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JEREMY JONES Court:TCCA Attorneys: Douglas L. Payne, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeremy Jones. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Eric D. Christiansen, Assistant District Attorney, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WILLIAMS First Paragraph: The defendant appeals his conviction and sentence for theft of property, asserting that insufficient evidence supported the verdict and that the trial court erroneously sentenced him to three years of incarceration. We affirm the conviction and modify the sentence to two years of incarceration.

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