New Developments in Workers' Comp Law

Discover all of the recent developments in workers' compensation law in Tennessee ų both in the courts and in the legislature ų in a new course developed by Virginia Mayo, editor of Tennessee Attorneys Memo and Tennessee Workers' Comp Reporter.

http://www.tnbaru.com/coursecatalog.php

  
TODAY'S OPINIONS: Thursday, November 10, 2005
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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
06 - TN Court of Appeals
01 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

DEMPSEY AUSLEY v. FERRELL SHAW, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Martin D. Holmes, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dempsey Ausley

Renard A. Hirsch, Sr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Ferrell Shaw, Emma Shaw, Odell Lightfoot, Bernice Lightfoot, David Smith, Vanessa Smith, Charles Pagett, Jr., Carlos Coakley, Lorie Coakley, Evelyn Banks, Larry Banks and Glenda Brewer.

Judge: DAVID R. FARMER

This case arises from alleged defamatory statements made by Defendants David Smith, Vanessa Smith, and Charles Pagett, Jr. against Plaintiff Dempsey Ausley. The alleged statements were made subsequent to Ausley‚s termination as Pastor of Parker‚s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Portland, Tennessee. Plaintiff sued the three Defendants asserting claims of slander. The trial court dismissed Plaintiff‚s claims under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(1) after finding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear the claims because they were too closely entangled with Plaintiff‚s termination as pastor, which is an ecclesiastical matter of the church. Plaintiff appealed. We reverse and remand.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/ausleyd111005.pdf


CHARLES SAMUEL BENNECKER, ET AL. v. HOWARD FICKEISSEN, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Charles T. Webber, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Charles Samuel Bennecker and Robbie Bennecker.

Gregory F. Coleman and Adam A. Edwards, Knoxville, for the Appellees, Howard Fickeissen and Margaret Fickeissen.

Judge: SHARON G. LEE

This appeal involves the enforceability of the parties‚ oral settlement agreement. The parties, who were next-door neighbors, were involved in a lawsuit over their common boundary line. The parties appeared for depositions, but before depositions commenced, they allegedly reached a settlement and cancelled the depositions. A dispute later arose as to whether there had been a settlement of all issues in the case; the Defendants filed a motion seeking to enforce the settlement agreement. The Plaintiffs responded that there was no enforceable contract because there had been an agreement as to some, but not all, of the issues in the case. The trial court determined that there had been a settlement agreement as to all issues and ordered enforcement of the agreement. After careful review of the record, we hold that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court‚s determination that the parties had an enforceable agreement to settle all claims. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/benneckc111005.pdf


DOT BUSH GOOT ET AL. v. METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Dan R Alexander, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Dot Bush Goot, Norma Taylor, Bobby Duke, Joe Reese, and Faye Jackson.

Karl F. Dean, Michael B. Bligh, and John L. Kennedy, for the appellee, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

Judge: WILLIAM C. KOCH, JR

This appeal involves a dispute between the surviving spouses of five disabled city employees and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County over the amount of life insurance benefits payable after the employees died. The surviving spouses filed three separate lawsuits asserting that the city had breached their spouses‚ employment contracts as well as its fiduciary duty and had committed fraud by concealing information and by knowingly providing false information regarding a waiver of premium benefit that would have greatly increased their death benefits. These suits were consolidated in the Circuit Court for Davidson County. The trial court granted a summary judgment dismissing all the surviving spouses‚ intentional tort claims because they were barred by the Governmental Tort Liability Act. The remaining breach of contract claims of three of the surviving spouses were tried to a jury, and the trial court directed a verdict for the city at the close of the plaintiffs‚ proof. Thereafter, the trial court granted a summary judgment dismissing the remaining claims of the other two surviving spouses. All the surviving spouses have appealed. We affirm the summary judgment orders dismissing the surviving spouses‚ intentional tort claims and the breach of contract claim of one surviving spouse. We reverse the directed verdict with regard to three of the remaining surviving spouses‚ breach of contract claims, as well as the summary judgment dismissing the other surviving spouse‚s breach of contract claim.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/gootd111005.pdf


GLORIA MASTILIR v. THE NEW SHELBY DODGE, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Gerald S. Green, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gloria Mastilir.

Roane Waring, III, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, The New Shelby Dodge, Inc.

Judge: DAVID R. FARMER

Plaintiff Gloria Mastilir filed a tort action against Defendant The New Shelby Dodge arising from the Defendant‚s alleged faulty repair of Plaintiff‚s motor home. Plaintiff subsequently took a voluntary non-suit and later failed to refile her action within the one-year savings statute under Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-1-105. As a result, the general sessions court and circuit court held that Plaintiff‚s suit was barred by the statute of limitations. Plaintiff appeals arguing that the lower courts erred in not finding that Defendant was equitably estopped from raising the statute of limitation defense and also asserts that Defendant revived Plaintiff‚s suit by promising to repair or pay for repairs to Plaintiffs vehicle. We affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/mastilirg111005.pdf


DENA M. TAYLOR v. SHELBY COUNTY HEALTH CARE CORPORATION d/b/a REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER AT MEMPHIS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Reginald L. Eskridge, Janelle R. Eskridge, Memphis, TN, for Appellant

William H. Haltom, Jr., Marcy L. Dodds, Memphis, TN, for Appellee, C. A. Green, M.D.

Judge: ALAN E. HIGHERS

In this appeal, we are asked to determine if the circuit court erred when it granted a defendant doctor‚s motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff asserts, as she did at trial, that there was a genuine issue of material fact, rendering summary judgment inappropriate. The plaintiff filed an appeal to this Court. We affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/TaylorD111005.pdf


DENA M. TAYLOR v. SHELBY COUNTY HEALTH CARE CORPORATION d/b/a REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER AT MEMPHIS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Reginald L. Eskridge, Janelle R. Eskridge, Memphis, TN, for Appellant

William H. Haltom, Jr., Marcy L. Dodds, Memphis, TN, for Appellee, C. A. Green, M.D.

Judge: ALAN E. HIGHERS

In this appeal, we are asked to determine if the circuit court erred when it granted a defendant doctor‚s motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff asserts, as she did at trial, that there was a genuine issue of material fact, rendering summary judgment inappropriate. The plaintiff filed an appeal to this Court. We affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/taylord111005.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. PATRICIA ANN STARKEY, Alias

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mike Whalen, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Patricia Ann Starkey, alias.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Al Schmutzer, District Attorney General Pro Tem; and Patricia Cristil and Steven R. Hawkins, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: ALAN E. GLENN

The defendant, Patricia Ann Starkey, pled guilty in the Knox County Criminal Court to DUI, a Class A misdemeanor, and was sentenced to eleven months, twenty-nine days in the county jail with all but seven days suspended. As a condition of her guilty plea, she sought to reserve as a certified question of law whether the trial court erred in denying the evidence obtained as the result of her allegedly unlawful arrest. However, upon review of the record, we conclude that the defendant failed to properly preserve a question of law. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/starkeyp111005.pdf


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