Opinion FlashDecember 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.
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Howard H. Vogel
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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