TN Court of Appeals

JOYCE STOCKTON, ET AL. v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY

Corrected as follows: On page 17, in the third and fourth sentences of the first full paragraph, the word "tenant" was changed to "tenet". On page 18, the quote from Satterfield beginning with "While [some] courts...", "employers have a duty" was changed to say "employers have no duty".

This is a jury case. Automobile mechanic and his wife, Appellees, filed suit against Appellant Ford Motor Company for negligence in relation to wife’s diagnosis of mesothelioma. Appellees allege that Ford’s brake products, which contained asbestos, were unreasonably dangerous or defective such that Ford owed a duty to warn Mr. Stockton so that he, in turn, could protect his wife from exposure to air-borne asbestos fibers. The jury returned a verdict against Ford for $3.4 million. Ford appeals.

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Attorney 1: 

Stephen A. Marcum, Huntsville, Tennessee; Jonathan D. Hacker and Brad N. Garcia, pro hac vice, Washington, D.C., for the appellant, Ford Motor Company.

Attorney 2: 

Harry Douglas Nichol, Knoxville, Tennessee; Jonathan Ruckdeschel, pro hac vice, Ellicott City, Maryland; Robert Shuttlesworth and Ross Stomel, pro hac vice, Houston, Texas, for the appellees, Joyce Stockton and Ronnie Stockton.

Judge: 
ARMSTRONG

PHILLIP JAY SEIFERT V. MARIA COVENY SEIFERT

The principal issues in this divorce action arise from the parties’ antenuptial agreement. The trial court declared the parties divorced, classified the bulk of the assets as Husband’s separate property, divided the modest amount of assets that were classified as marital property, and awarded Wife alimony in futuro of $8,000 per month and alimony in solido of $500,000. Both parties appeal. Wife contends the court erred in classifying the bulk of the assets as Husband’s separate property and that the alimony awarded to her is insufficient.

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Attorney 1: 

Ronald J. Attanasio, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Phillip Jay Seifert.

Attorney 2: 

L. Caesar Stair, III and C. Scott Taylor, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Maria Coveny Seifert.

Judge: 
CLEMENT

WINSTON KEITH KYLE v. JANICE GOMER KYLE

This is an appeal from a final decree of divorce. The trial court's final decree of divorce included a division of marital property but failed to adjudicate the issue of alimony. A subsequent order states that the parties “agreed that [Wife’s] claim for alimony in futuro and rehabilitative alimony . . . are dismissed.” The appellate record contains no transcript or statement of the evidence for our review as required by the Tennessee Rules of Appellant Procedure. Accordingly, we conclude that there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court’s finding. Affirmed and remanded.

Attorney 1: 

Janice Gomer Kyle, Tunica, Mississippi, Pro Se.

Attorney 2: 

Howard Freeman Douglass, Lexington, Tennessee, for the appellee, Winston Keith Kyle.

Judge: 
ARMSTRONG

WAYNE A. HOWES, ET AL. V. MARK SWANNER, ET AL.

Homeowners filed suit for breach of contract and fraud and/or negligent representation against the owners of a restoration business who performed repairs on their house after a fire. When the defendants failed to respond to or appear at the hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, the trial court granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs. The defendants then filed a Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60 motion and affidavits stating that they did not receive notice of the hearing on the motion for summary judgment. The trial court held a hearing on the Rule 60 motion and denied the motion.

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Attorney 1: 

Jacob P. Mathis, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Mark Swanner and Robin Swanner.

Attorney 2: 

Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Wayne A. Howes and Starlene K. Howes.

Judge: 
BENNETT

JAMIE KAY CARDLE V. DANIEL MARCUM CARDLE

Wife filed a complaint for divorce following a fifteen-year marriage. The trial court granted Wife a divorce, distributed the marital estate, and awarded Wife alimony. The trial court granted Husband’s request to pay the alimony in solido award over a period of six years, with post-judgment interest payable at 10% interest per annum. Husband appeals the division of some of the marital assets and debts, the award of alimony in solido, and the post-judgment interest award.

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Attorney 1: 

Daniel Cardle, Gallatin, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Attorney 2: 

Patti B. Garner, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jamie Kay Cardle.

Judge: 
BENNETT

MINDY LEIGH VEARD v. EDWARD EUGENE VEARD, JR.

This accelerated interlocutory appeal arises from the trial court’s denial of a motion for recusal. After carefully reviewing the trial court’s ruling pursuant to the de novo standard of review required under Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 10B, we affirm the decision of the trial court denying the motion for recusal.

Attorney 1: 

Erin Alexander White, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Edward Eugene Veard, Jr.,

Attorney 2: 

David Scott Parsley, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Mindy Leigh Veard.

Judge: 
GIBSON

JAMES RYAN SKELTON v. JENNA MARIE SKELTON

A father and mother moved to modify a permanent parenting plan in which they were each named primary residential parent. Both parents alleged, for different reasons, that a material change in circumstance had occurred sufficient to modify custody. After a hearing, the court determined a material change in circumstance had occurred and that modification of the current joint custody arrangement was in the child’s best interest. The court named the father the primary residential parent and granted the mother liberal visitation.

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Attorney 1: 

Ronald G. Freemon, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jenna Marie Skelton.

Attorney 2: 

Melanie Totty Cagle, Centerville, Tennessee, for the appellee, James Ryan Skelton.

Judge: 
MCBRAYER

IN RE HAILEY K., ET AL.

This is a termination of parental rights appeal. The Trial Court Judge announced a ruling from the bench at the conclusion of the final hearing below and then subsequently entered a written order vacating the oral ruling. The order vacating the oral ruling contemplates further proceedings in the Trial Court. Because there is no final written order terminating the parental rights of the appellant, Shanna K., to her children, we have no jurisdiction to consider this appeal.

Attorney 1: 

Shanna K., Knoxville, Tennessee, appellant, pro se.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter, and Kathryn A. Baker, Assistant Attorney General, General Civil Division, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

James E. Corcoran, III, Knoxville, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

Judge: 
SUSANO

GALLATIN HOUSING AUTHORITY v. MAHOGANEE PELT

This appeal arises from an indigent tenant’s petition for writs of certiorari and supersedeas for a de novo review of an unlawful detainer action originally filed in general sessions court. The tenant sought to remain in possession of the leased premises during the review without posting a possessory bond. The circuit court initially issued the writs and, in lieu of a bond, ordered the tenant to pay rent as it became due. The landlord objected, arguing that a possessory bond was mandatory under the applicable statute.

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Attorney 1: 

Cherrelle Hooper, Gallatin, Tennessee, and Samuel Keen, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mahoganee Pelt.

Attorney 2: 

Brandon R. Meredith, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Gallatin Housing Authority.

Judge: 
MCBRAYER

WESLEY FINCH v. O. B. HOFSTETTER/ANDERSON TRUST, ET AL.

This appeal stems from a dispute over a tract of real property in Nashville. The plaintiff, who claims to have entered into an enforceable contract for sale of the disputed tract, brought multiple claims against multiple defendants after the land was not transferred to him. After competing cross-motions for summary judgment were filed, the trial court dismissed all of the plaintiff’s claims, finding, inter alia, that the plaintiff never entered into a valid, enforceable contract regarding the subject property.

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Attorney 1: 

G. Kline Preston, IV, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Wesley Finch.

Attorney 2: 

John L. Whitfield, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Charles Garrett Anderson, Allen French Anderson, Noel A. Anderson, Holly Wilds, Kenneth W. Gilbert as Trustee of the Eunice Miller Testamentary Trust, O.B. Hofstetter, III, James Hofstetter, Jim Anderson, Jill Anderson, Christian S. Hofstetter, and Robert B. Hofstetter.

Aaron S. Guin, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Josh Anderson and Keller Williams Realty.

John R. Jacobson, Chris Vlahos, and Katherine R. Cloud, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, William T. Chapman, IV, Individually and as Trustee for the River Road Trust, Eric Church, and Katherine Gooch Blasingame.

Judge: 
GOLDIN