December 14, 2003
Volume 9 Number 009
Following this index are summaries of each case, including its name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion.This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
||New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
||New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
||New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility
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Howard H. Vogel
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GERALD POWERS
Dissenting opinion contains a correction on page 10
MICHAEL GLENN BINKLEY v. E. I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS & COMPANY
Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel
Charles L. Hicks, Camden, Tennessee, for the appellant, Martha
Binkley, widow of Michael Glenn Binkley
John R. Lewis, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, E. I. Dupont De
Nemours & Company
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special
Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance
with Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the
Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this
appeal, the claimant insists the evidence preponderates against the
trial court's finding that the employee's death did not arise out of
and in the course of his employment. As discussed below, the panel
has concluded the judgment should be affirmed.
TROY DALE BUCKLES v. SHIRA DAWN McKAY BUCKLES RIGGS
Douglas T. Jenkins, Rogersville, Tennessee, for the Appellant Troy
Daniel B. Minor, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the Appellee Shira Dawn
McKay Buckles Riggs.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Warren A. Jasper,
Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee
State of Tennessee, Department of Human Services ex rel. Shira Dawn
McKay Buckles Riggs.
Shira Dawn McKay Buckles Riggs ("Mother") and Troy Dale Buckles
("Father") were divorced in 1994. Mother was awarded custody of the
parties' minor son. In 2001, Father first sought increased visitation
and then custody. Mother claimed Father was in arrears in his child
support payments. After a trial, the Trial Court concluded there had
been no material change in circumstances and custody should,
therefore, remain with Mother. The Trial Court determined Father was
in arrears in his child support payments in the amount of $13,894.
The Trial Court also prohibited both parties from drinking alcohol
"while in possession of the child." Father appeals. We modify the
judgment to require the parties to undergo counseling, and affirm as
KELLY LEE CRAWFORD, et al. v. BRIAN C. BEATTY, M.D., et al.
Kelly Lee Crawford and James R. Crawford, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro
David L. Steed and Kristen Murphy Anderson, Nashville, Tennessee, for
the appellees, Brian C. Beatty, M.D. and Bruce R. Goodman, M.D.
The Circuit Court of Davidson County granted summary judgment to the
defendants on this medical malpractice case, holding that the claim
was barred by the statute of limitations. The court also awarded the
defendants their costs and attorney's fees as sanctions for the
plaintiffs' false answers in discovery. We affirm.
TAWNYA LYNN DUKE v. ROBERT S. DUKE
Jeffrey L. Levy, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert S.
Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tawnya Lynn
In this opinion we will dispose of two appeals involving these
parties. In the first appeal, the husband asserted that the trial
court erred in awarding alimony in futuro and in the division of the
marital property. While that appeal was pending in this court, the
husband appealed (1) the trial court's subsequent refusal to modify
the amount of alimony in futuro and (2) the trial court's award of
attorney's fees to the wife. We reverse the court's order of alimony
in futuro in the first proceeding, because we believe that under the
circumstances of this case, the wife is only entitled to
rehabilitative alimony. We also modify the amount of alimony awarded
in the second proceeding, and we reverse the award of attorney's fees
in the second proceeding. In all other respects, the court's orders
MICHAEL LEE HAYES v. COMPUTER SCIENCES CORPORATION, et al.
H. Thomas Parsons, Manchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael
Patricia Head Moskal and Luther Wright, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee and
William C. Rieder, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the appellee, Aerospace
Michael Hayes sued Aerospace Contractor Support (ACS) for retaliatory
discharge. He alleged that he was fired because he had filed a
workers' compensation claim against a previous employer. The trial
court granted summary judgment to ACS stating that the current law in
Tennessee did not allow such a cause of action. We reverse the
judgment of the trial court.
Mildred Howell and Dillon Howell v. Baptist Hospital, Neil Price,
M.D., and Josephine Vicente, R.N.
Larry D. Ashworth and Peter D. Heil, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellants, Mildred Howell and Dillon Howell.
E. Reynolds Davies, Jr., and John T. Reese, Nashville, Tennessee, for
the appellee, Neil Price, M.D.
This is a medical malpractice case. In January 1999, the plaintiff
underwent an endoscopic medical procedure performed by the defendant
physician. During the procedure, the plaintiff developed multiple air
emboli in her brain, which resulted in permanent neurological
difficulties. The plaintiff and her husband sued the physician,
claiming that the plaintiff's injuries were due to the physician's
negligence. The physician moved for summary judgment and submitted
his own affidavit in support. In response, the plaintiffs submitted
affidavits of two medical experts, asserting that the defendant
physician had breached the applicable standard of care. The trial
court granted the physician's motion for summary judgment, concluding
that the plaintiffs' experts' affidavits did not comply with Tennessee
Code Annotated S 29-26-115. The plaintiffs moved to alter or amend
the judgment, submitting an amended affidavit and curriculum vitae of
one of the two experts. The trial court refused to consider the
additional evidence and denied the motion. The plaintiffs now appeal.
We affirm in part and reverse in part, concluding that, while the
trial court did not err in finding that the initial expert affidavits
submitted by the plaintiffs were insufficient, the trial court abused
its discretion in failing to consider the amended affidavit and
curriculum vitae submitted by the plaintiffs.
CHARLES MONTAGUE v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, et al.
Charles Montague, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Dawn Jordan, Assistant
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
The appellant, Charles Montague, filed suit in the Circuit Court of
Davidson County seeking a declaration that his inmate trust account
was exempt from seizure to satisfy court costs under Tenn. Code Ann. S
26-2-101, et seq., and that the funds previously taken from the
account should be restored. The court granted summary judgment to the
state. We affirm.
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