Opinion FlashMarch 2, 2004
Volume 10 Number 041
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):
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Howard H. Vogel
DEBORAH JOHNSON v. MARSHALL MANUFACTURING CORP., ET AL. Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel Attorneys: Gordon C. Aulgur, Brewer, Krause & Brooks, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Federated Insurance Company Lee Anne Murray, Feeney & Murray, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Marshall Manufacturing Corporation Emil L. Storey, Jr. and Deborah A. Toon, Donald D. Zuccarello, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Deborah Johnson Judge: LOSER 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. In this appeal, the appellant, Federated Insurance Company, insists the trial court erred in determining, as a matter of law, that it was liable for the payment of workers' compensation benefits and in summarily dismissing the case as to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. As discussed below, the panel has found no reversible error and concluded that Federated is liable under the successive injury rule. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/johnsondeborah.wpd
JUNE BETTY WILLIAMS v. SATURN CORPORATION Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel Attorneys: Thomas H. Peebles, IV, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant Saturn Corporation. Michael D. Dillon, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee June Betty Williams. Judge: WEATHERFORD First Paragraph: This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel 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 employer appeals the judgment of the trial court awarding the employee 20% permanent partial disability to the body as a whole for work-related injuries to both shoulders, and denying a set-off for disability payments paid under an employer-funded plan. The employer contends that the trial court erred: 1) in basing the employee's award on an anatomical impairment rating not based entirely on the AMA Guides; and 2) in not granting a set-off for disability payments paid by the employer pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-114(b). We hold that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's findings as to anatomical and vocational disability. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed as to this issue. We find that this case should be remanded for further proceedings on the issue of whether a set-off is warranted in this case. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/williamsjuneb.wpd
MARIA L. CALDWELL v. BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE, INC., and HAZEL R. ALBERT, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Court:TCA Attorneys: William Kennerly Burger, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Maria L. Caldwell. Stephen W. Grace and Terrence O. Reed, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Douglass Earl Diamond, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee Albert. Judge: HAGLER First Paragraph: Employee filed for unemployment compensation benefits because, even though she was unable to perform the physical tasks of her job because of a non-work related injury, she may have been denied a job, consistent with her medical restrictions, guaranteed by her union contract. The trial court's decision affirming the Board of Review's conclusion that the rights under the union contract are irrelevant to her rights to unemployment compensation is affirmed because the job guaranteed by her union contract constitutes only part, rather than all, of her "former duties" as required by T.C.A. S50-7-303(a)(1). http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/caldwellml.wpd
IN THE MATTER OF CURTIS JASON ELY Court:TCA Attorneys: Curtis Jason Ely, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se. Judge: KOCH First Paragraph: This appeal involves a state prisoner who desires to change his name for religious reasons. Even though the prisoner's petition was uncontested, the Davidson County Probate Court declined to permit the prisoner to change his name solely because he had been convicted of a felony. While we have determined that the probate court erred by denying the prisoner's petition solely because he had been convicted of a felony, we have determined that the petition was properly dismissed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/elycj.wpd
OVERNITE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY v. TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION NO. 480, AFFILIATED WITH THE INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO; AND BILLY D. CULLEN; EDDIE MIMS; KENNIE GEORGE; ISOM ("BUTCH") FOLSOM, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN THEIR CAPACITY AS OFFICERS AND MANAGING AGENTS OF TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION 480; AND SEVERAL JOHN DOES Court:TCA Attorneys: Kenneth A. Weber, Nashville, Tennessee; and Christopher A. Johlie and Melissa Crawford Mazzeo, Chicago, Illinois, for the appellant, Overnite Transportation Company. James G. Stranch, III, and Mark A. Mayhew, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Teamsters Local Union No. 480. George E. Barrett, Nashville, Tennessee, for the individual appellees, Billy D. Cullen, Eddie Mims, Kennie George, Isom ("Butch") Folsom. Judge: KIRBY First Paragraph: This case arose out of a labor dispute. In October 1999, the defendant union began a labor strike at the plaintiff trucking company's Nashville facility. The company filed a petition in the lower court seeking to enjoin the union from engaging in violence and intimidation in connection with the strike. The company later amended its complaint to include a claim against the union for intentional interference with business relations. Between October 1999 and January 2000, the trial court entered five injunctions against the union, each more restrictive than the one before, enjoining the union from engaging in the alleged unlawful violence and intimidation. In August 2000, the trial court issued a show cause order, citing 128 alleged violations of the injunctions, requiring the union to show cause why it should not be held in civil contempt. In March 2002, the trial court determined that the company's petition for civil contempt was moot because, by that time, the contemptuous conduct had ceased. In August 2002, the trial court dismissed the company's claim for intentional interference with business relations for failure to state a claim. The plaintiff trucking company now appeals. We reverse the dismissal of the civil contempt petition, finding that the company may seek damages caused by conduct in violation of the injunctions, and affirm the dismissal of the intentional interference claim. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/overnitetransport.wpd
JAMES W. STEPHENSON v. THE THIRD COMPANY, ET AL. WITH DISSENTING OPINION Court:TCA Attorneys: Winston S. Evans, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, The Third Company and Richard C. L. Caldwell, individually. John B. Holt, Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellee, James W. Stephenson. Judge: COTTRELL First Paragraph: The plaintiff filed suit for repayment of $25,000 which he purportedly loaned to the defendant. The defendant contended that the money was not a loan, but was placed with him for a specific investment. Since the investment ultimately failed, the defendant claimed that he did not owe anything to the plaintiff. The trial court noted that the documents evidencing the transactions at issue were "replete with ambiguities," but found that they were nonetheless sufficient to establish an enforceable loan contract. The court accordingly rendered a plaintiff's judgment for $25,000 plus interest. We reverse. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/stephensonjw_opn.wpd DISSENTING OPINION http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/stephensonjw_dis.wpd
JAMES K. ROBBINS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Walter B. Johnson, II, for the appellant, James K. Robbins. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Roger Delp, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WITT First Paragraph: The Petitioner, James K. Robbins, appeals the trial court's dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petitioner has not established that the challenged judgment is void or that his sentence has expired. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/robbins20.wpd
Constitutionality of S.B. 2074/H.B. 2146, Authorizing Coffee County to Levy a Privilege Tax on "Large Events" Date: February 12, 2004 Opinion Number: 04-027 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/op27.pdf
Pending legislation to amend Tenn. Code Ann. S 36-6-306, the Grandparent Visitation Act Date: February 17, 2004 Opinion Number: 04-028 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/op28.pdf
Highway Storm Drainage Maintenance Date: February 25, 2004 Opinion Number: 04-029 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/op29.pdf
Payment of Pledge to Legislator during Legislative Session Date: February 25, 2004 Opinion Number: 04-030 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/op30.pdf
Municipalities -- Cash Payments to Officials in Lieu of Paying Life or Health Insurance Premium Date: February 25, 2004 Opinion Number: 04-031 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/op31.pdf
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