Opinion Flash

December 20, 2001
Volume 7 — Number 235

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):
 
05 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
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
02 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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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

ESTATE OF JULIE AMOS, et al. v. VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY, et al.

Court:TSC

Attorneys:

Abby R. Rubenfeld, Nashville, Tennessee, A. Bruce Jones, Patricia
Dean, and Stephen Masciocchi, Denver, Colorado, for the appellants,
Estate of Julie Amos and Ronald Amos.

John S. Bryant and Steven E. Anderson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellee, Vanderbilt University, Inc. d/b/a Vanderbilt University
Medical Center.

R. Sadler Bailey and C. Philip M. Campbell , Memphis, Tennessee, for
the amicus curiae, Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association.

Judge: HOLDER

First Paragraph:

We granted appeal in this case to determine whether the special proof
requirements of Camper v. Minor, 915 S.W.2d 437, 446 (Tenn. 1996),
extend to all negligence claims in which damages for emotional
distress are sought as an item of compensatory damages.  We hold that
the special proof requirements of Camper apply only to "stand-alone"
claims of negligent infliction of emotional distress.  We further hold
that Vanderbilt University Medical Center owed a duty to warn Julie
Amos of her potential exposure to HIV so that she might take
appropriate measures to protect third parties.  We therefore reverse
the judgment of the Court of Appeals and reinstate the trial court's
judgment in this case.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/amosjuli.wpd


IN RE ESTATE OF FANNIE CORRINE BARNHILL

Court:TSC

Attorneys:

Lee S. Saunders, Somerville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Beatrice
Rice.

J. Houston Gordon, Covington, Tennessee, for the appellee, Helen
Weston Armour Lawson, and William S. Rhea, Somerville, Tennessee, for
the executrix of the estate of Fannie Corrine Barnhill, Annie Jane
Bailey

Judge: DROWOTA

First Paragraph:

We granted this appeal to determine whether the Fayette County
Chancery Court had jurisdiction to hear the issue of devisavit vel non
in this case, and whether the law in Tennessee permits a voluntary
dismissal without prejudice in a will contest.  We conclude that the
chancery court had jurisdiction to hear the will contest in this case,
but that the appellant's voluntary dismissal was with prejudice,
barring the filing of a second will contest.  Accordingly, the
judgments of the trial court and the Court of Appeals are affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/barnhillf.wpd

CORRECTED OPINION: 
RICHARD THOMAS BOGAN v. DORIS MAE BOGAN

Court:TSC

BIRCH CONCURRING AND DISSENTING

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/boganrcd.wpd

TERRY BATES LYNN, et al. v. CITY OF JACKSON, TENNESSEE

Court:TSC

Attorneys:

Ricky  L. Boren, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellants, John Darryl
Bates and Terry Bates Lynn, in her capacity as the Personal
Representative of the Estate of Howard Darryl Bates, and as next
friend and parent of Steven Todd Bates.

John D. Burleson and Dale Conder, Jr., Jackson, Tennessee, for the
appellee, City of Jackson, Tennessee

Judge: DROWOTA

First Paragraph:

We granted this appeal to determine whether the trial court and the
Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the plaintiffs' wrongful death
claim after concluding that the one-year statute of limitations was
not tolled during the minority of the decedent's children or during
the time the action was pending in federal district court before it
was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.  After careful consideration,
we affirm the judgments of the trial court and the Court of Appeals. 
In so holding, we reaffirm Jones v. Black, 539 S.W.2d 123 (Tenn.
1976), in which this Court held that the statute of limitations for a
wrongful death claim is not tolled during the minority of the
decedent's children.  We also reaffirm the well-established rule of
Tennessee law that general saving statutes do not apply to extend the
time for filing an action under the Tennessee Governmental Tort
Liability Act.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/lynnterryb.wpd

TRAVIS MILTON WATT v. LUMBERMENS MUTUAL CASUALTY INSURANCE CO., et al.

Court:TSC

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, Dianne Stamey Dycus,
Deputy Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Second Injury Fund.

P. Allen Phillips and B. Duane Willis, Jackson, Tennessee, for the
appellee, Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Insurance Co.

T.J. Emison, Jr., Alamo, Tennessee, for the appellee, Travis Milton
Watt.                     

Judge: BIRCH

First Paragraph:

This case requires construction of the Second Injury Fund statute,
Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-208 (1999 Repl.).  Travis Milton Watt has
suffered two successive scheduled-member injuries:  (1) a 50 percent
disability to the hand, which equates to an 18.75 percent disability
to the body as a whole; and (2) a 100 percent disability to the leg,
which equates to a 50 percent disability to the body as a whole.  The
trial court found that the two injuries rendered Watt permanently and
totally disabled.  The court found that the two injuries contributed
equally to Watt's disability and apportioned liability for permanent
and total disability benefits equally between Lumbermens Mutual
Casualty Insurance Company and the Second Injury Fund.  The Second
Injury Fund appealed, asserting that the trial court erred:  (1) in
finding Watt to be eligible for permanent and total disability
benefits on the basis of two scheduled member injuries whose
individual disability ratings equate to less than 100 percent to the
body as a whole; and (2) in holding the Second Injury Fund liable for
50 percent of the benefit award.  After thorough review and
consideration, we hold that the trial court properly found Watt to be
permanently and totally disabled and correctly apportioned the
liability.  We reject the Second Injury Fund's contention that our
holding effectively allows re-litigation of prior workers'
compensation settlements; rather, we find it reasonable for trial
courts to conclude that the combined effects of multiple work-related
injuries may result in a disability greater than that caused by those
injuries when considered in isolation.  Accordingly, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/watttrav_opn.wpd

HOLDER CONCURRING AND DISSENTING

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/watttrav_con.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN A. BOATFIELD

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Jerry H. Summers, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, John A.
Boatfield.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks,
Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox,  III, District Attorney
General; and David Wayne Denny and Lila Statom, Assistant District
Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: RILEY

First Paragraph:

The defendant appeals his premeditated first degree murder and abuse
of a corpse convictions for which he received concurrent sentences of
life imprisonment and two years, respectively, arguing: (1) the trial
court erred in not enforcing a plea agreement; (2) the evidence was
not sufficient to support his convictions; (3) hearsay evidence of the
victim's statements was erroneously admitted;  (4) evidence obtained
via wiretaps was erroneously admitted; (5) evidence regarding
defendant's alleged romantic relationship with a woman other than his
wife was erroneously admitted; and (6) the trial court should have
charged the jury regarding alibi.  We affirm the judgment of the trial
court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/boatfieldja_opn.wpd

TIPTON CONCURRING

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/boatfieldja_con.wpd

FRANKLIN SCOTT KEITH v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Tim S. Moore, Newport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Franklin Scott
Keith.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Angele M. Gregory,
Assistant Attorney General; Al C. Schmutzer, Jr., District Attorney
General; and James Bruce Dunn, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: GLENN

First Paragraph:

The petitioner appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction
relief.  The petitioner pled guilty to ten counts of rape of a child. 
On appeal, the petitioner raises the issues of whether the post
conviction court erred in finding that he received the effective
assistance of counsel and whether his guilty plea was entered
voluntarily and knowingly.  After a thorough review, we affirm the
judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/keithfranklins.wpd

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