TN Court of Appeals

BOBBIE HARJO CAUDILL, ET AL. v. CLARKSVILLE HEALTH SYSTEM, GP

The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendant medical provider based upon the expiration of the statute of limitations. On appeal, the appellant asserts that the statute of limitations was tolled because at the time the cause of action accrued, the decedent had been “adjudicated incompetent,” as required by Tennessee Code Annotated section 28-1-106. We conclude that the appellant failed to meet her burden to show that the decedent was adjudicated incompetent at the time required to toll the statute of limitations. The trial court’s ruling is therefore affirmed.

Attorney 1: 

Christopher Kim Thompson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bobbie Harjo Caudill, individually and as personal representative of the Estate of Austin Amos Harjo.

Attorney 2: 

Thomas A. Wiseman, III and Margaret Moore, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Clarksville Health System, GP.

Judge: 
STAFFORD

PATRICK R. MILLER v. VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

With correction as follows: On the first page, after Richard H. Dinkins, J., changed to filed a separate opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

In this health care liability action, after the plaintiff presented his case-in-chief, the trial court granted a directed verdict for the defendant hospital first on the claim for punitive damages and second on all remaining issues.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Douglas S. Johnston, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Patrick R. Miller.

Attorney 2: 

Thomas A. Wiseman III and Kimberly G. Silvus, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Vanderbilt University.

Judge: 
MCBRAYER

IN RE LIAM S., ET AL.

This appeal involves the termination of a mother and father’s parental rights to their two minor children. Following a bench trial, the trial court found that clear and convincing evidence existed to support the termination of each parent’s parental rights on the statutory grounds of abandonment for failure to provide a suitable home, substantial noncompliance with the requirements of the permanency plan, and the persistence of conditions which led to removal.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Gregory E. Bennett, Seymour, Tennessee, for the appellant, Katie L.

Attorney 2: 

Daniel Hellman, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Erin S.

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter, and Jordan K. Crews, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children’s Services.

Judge: 
MCCLARTY

IN RE THE ESTATE OF JIMMY L. SMITH

In this appeal, the trial court determined that the woman who claimed to be the decedent’s common law wife had failed to establish her status as his wife and heir. The alleged widow asserts that she presented satisfactory evidence to prove that she was the common law spouse. As modified, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Attorney 1: 

Debbie Burns, Madisonville, Tennessee, pro se.

Attorney 2: 

Steven B. Ward and Doris Matthews, Madisonville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Cora Davis, Personal Representative for the Estate of Jimmy L. Smith.

Judge: 
MCCLARTY

ALLY FINANCIAL v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF SAFETY & HOMELAND SECURITY

With corrections as follow: 1. On page 10, the date of the return receipt is listed as March 31, 2016; the date should read as March 31, 2014. 2. Also on page 10, in the first full paragraph, there is a year date of "214" rather than "2014"

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security forfeited a finance company’s interest in a vehicle after determining that the finance company failed to timely file a claim to contest the forfeiture after receiving notice. The finance company thereafter filed a petition for judicial review. The trial court reversed the forfeiture on the basis that the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security failed to prove that it sent proper notice to the finance company. We vacate the judgment of the trial court and remand for further proceedings before the administrative agency.

Attorney 1: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General, Linda D. Kirklen, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellant, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

Attorney 2: 

Todd H. Hancock, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ally Financial.

Judge: 
STAFFORD

IN RE ISABELLA G. ET AL.

Parents appeal the termination of their parental rights to their two children. The juvenile court found clear and convincing evidence of five grounds against the father and three grounds against the mother and that termination of parental rights was in the children’s best interest. DCS concedes on appeal that persistence of conditions was not an appropriate ground for terminating mother’s parental rights and that abandonment by failure to visit was not an appropriate ground for terminating father’s parental rights. We agree.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Carl Moore, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kimberly N.

Attorney 2: 

Brandon M. Booten, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Daniel G.

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter, and Jordan K. Crews, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Judge: 
MCBRAYER

KRISTINA ABOLINS, ET AL. v. FRANK SANTAS, ET AL.

With consenting and dissenting opinion by MCBRAYER.

This appeal concerns an order to set aside a default judgment. Kristina Abolins and Christopher Heath Hawkins (“Plaintiffs”) sued Frank Santas (“Santas”), doing business as Gunner Inc., and Alta Horizon, Inc. (“Defendants,” collectively), asserting a number of causes of action arising out of Defendants’ work on a renovation project at Plaintiffs’ home. After several months with no responsive filing from Defendants, Plaintiffs moved for default judgment. The Chancery Court for Davidson County (“the Trial Court”) granted Plaintiffs’ motion for default judgment.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Charles J. Friddell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Frank Santas and Alta Horizon, Inc.

Attorney 2: 

Jennifer S. Ghanem, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Kristina Abolins and Christopher Heath Hawkins.

Judge: 
SWINEY

JOE MITCHELL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Joe Mitchell (“Mitchell”) appeals the July 22, 2016 order of the Claims Commission for the Middle Division (“the Claims Commission”) granting summary judgment to the State of Tennessee (“the State”) on Mitchell’s claim for negligence. We find and hold that the State made a properly supported motion for summary judgment negating an essential element of Mitchell’s claim, i.e., injury or loss, and that Mitchell failed to produce evidence showing a genuine disputed issue of material fact. We, therefore, affirm the grant of summary judgment.

Attorney 1: 

Joe Mitchell, Only, Tennessee, pro se appellant.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; and Charlotte Davis, Assistant Attorney General for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: 
SWINEY

PATRICK R. MILLER v. VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

With separate opinion by DINKINS

In this health care liability action, after the plaintiff presented his case-in-chief, the trial court granted a directed verdict for the defendant hospital first on the claim for punitive damages and second on all remaining issues.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Douglas S. Johnston, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Patrick R. Miller.

Attorney 2: 

Thomas A. Wiseman III and Kimberly G. Silvus, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Vanderbilt University.

Judge: 
MCBRAYER

IN RE DOUGLAS H.

The legal custodians of Mother’s two children filed this petition to terminate her parental rights to the children on grounds of abandonment and severe child abuse. We affirm the termination of Mother’s parental rights to both children on at least one ground, but reverse as to some of the grounds found by the circuit court. We agree with the circuit court’s decision that termination of Mother’s parental rights is in the best interest of the children.

Attorney 1: 

H. Garth Click, Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mollie H.

Attorney 2: 

Jennifer L. E. Williams, Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellees, Jeffrey P. and Jessica P.

Judge: 
BENNETT