Opinion Flash

December 03, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 220

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):
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
05 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
00 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


SHARON A. BATTLE v. METHODIST MEDICAL CENTER

Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel

Attorneys:                          

April Carroll Meldrum, of Clinton, Tennessee, for Appellant, Sharon A.
Battle.

Robert W. Knolton, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for Appellee, Methodist
Medical Center.

Judge: THAYER

First Paragraph:

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.  The trial
court awarded the employee 5 percent permanent partial disability for
a shoulder injury and 35 percent permanent partial disability for a
neck injury.  Plaintiff contends the awards are insufficient; the
court was in error in capping the awards at two and one-half times
impairment; and the court was in error in allowing discretionary
costs.  The judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/battles.wpd

IN RE: BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE and FORD MOTOR COMPANY TIRE LITIGATOIN 

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

James F. Sanders, A. Scott Ross, Nashville, TN; Colin Smith, Charles
Joern, Chicago, IL,  for Appellant Firestone

Stephen A. Marcum, Huntsville, TN; Jonathan Cole, Nashville, TN, for
Appellant Ford Motor Company

Steven A. Riley, Salvador M. Hernandez, Nashville, TN, for Appellant
Bridgestone Corporation

Steve North, Madison, TN; Mary Parker, Nashville, TN, for Appellees

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This extraordinary appeal arises from the lower court's denial of
Appellants' motion to dismiss under the doctrine  forum non
conveniens.  The case is comprised of thirty-one lawsuits, based on
automobile accidents in Mexico involving Ford and Firestone products,
that are consolidated in Davidson County, Tennessee for pretrial
purposes.  Using the approach set forth by the Tennessee Supreme Court
in Zurick v. Inman, the trial court found that dismissal of the case
was not necessary.  For the following reasons, we reverse the ruling
of the lower court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/bridgestonefirestone.wpd

JOHN DOE 1, A MINOR CHILD, BY NEXT FRIEND, JANE DOE 1; JANE DOE 1,
INDIVIDUALLY; AND JOHN DOE 2 v. ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF NASHVILLE,
ET AL.
CORRECTED OPINION

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

John A. Day, Christopher J. Pittman, Kelly J. Smits, Brentwood,
Tennessee, for the appellants, John Doe 1, Jane Doe 1, and John Doe 2.

Thomas F. Mink, Keith W. Blair; L. Gino Marchetti, Jr., Nashville,
Tennessee, for the appellee, Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville.

Judge: COTTRELL

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves claims of intentional infliction of emotional
distress through outrageous conduct.  John Doe 1, his mother, and John
Doe 2 seek to hold the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville liable for
injuries caused by the alleged outrageous conduct of the Diocese in
its dealings with Edward McKeown, a former priest, who sexually
molested John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 a number of years after his
affiliation with the Diocese ended.  The trial court granted the
Diocese's summary judgment motion, finding the Does had failed as a
matter of law to satisfy the threshold requirements for stating a
claim for the tort of outrageous conduct.  The plaintiffs appeal that
decision.  Because we find the summary judgment motion was properly
granted, we affirm the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/doej.wpd

RICKY LEE JENKINS v. HEATHER MICHELE JOHNSON

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, TN, for Appellant

Gary W. Dodson, Sparta, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This appeal arises from the lower court's modification of a child
custody arrangement.  The trial court found that a material change in
circumstances had occurred and awarded primary residential custody to
Father.  For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the
lower court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/jenkinsrickyl.wpd

IN RE ADOPTION OF WILLIAM DREW MUIR
CORRECTED OPINION

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Charles G. Jenkins, Sr., Jasper, Tennessee, and Lisa Z. Espy,
Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, April Ann Muir Whited.

Marshall A. Raines, Jr., Jasper, Tennessee, for the appellee, Donald
Ray Dalton.

Judge: KOCH

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves the termination of the parental rights of the
biological father of a five-year-old child.  The child's mother and
her husband filed a petition in the Circuit Court for Marion County
seeking to terminate the biological father's parental rights and to
approve the husband's adoption of the child.  They proceeded with the
petition even after they were divorced.  Following a bench trial in
May 2002, the trial court entered an order on December 2, 2002 denying
the petition on the ground that the mother and her former husband had
not established by clear and convincing evidence that the biological
father had abandoned the child.  The mother has appealed.  We have
determined that the December 2, 2002 order must be vacated because the
trial court failed to make the specific findings of fact required by
Tenn. Code Ann. S 36-1-113(k) (Supp. 2003).

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/muir.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES v. T.L.C., ET
AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

James H. Henry, II, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the Appellant, R.L.P.,
Sr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Elizabeth C.
Driver, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
Appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services
 
Judge: GODDARD

First Paragraph:

In this appeal the Appellant, R.L.P, Sr., argues that the Trial Court
erred in terminating his parental rights to his son, R.L.P., Jr.  We
vacate the judgment of the Trial Court and remand.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/statedcstlc.wpd

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