TN Court of Appeals

DAMON HOLLAND V. BRIAN SULLIVAN, ET AL.

The issues in this appeal arise from two very unorthodox agreements and the defendants’ actions to avoid the consequences of the agreements. The agreements are unorthodox because, inter alia, each purports to be a “Bill of Sale” of an automobile when in fact each is a loan agreement for which the certificate of title is held by the lender as security. To complicate matters, the defendant who signed both agreements only owned one of the vehicles; his wife owned the other, and it is disputed whether the husband was authorized to act on her behalf.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Shannon L. Crutcher, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Brian Sullivan and Tamara J. Sullivan.

Attorney 2: 

Casey Adam Long, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Damon Holland.

Judge: 
CLEMENT

JORDAN FRANKLIN-MANSUO, ET AL. v. AMISUB (SFH), INC. D/B/A SAINT FRANCIS HOSPITAL, ET AL.

This is a health care liability case. Appellant filed suit against Appellee, a medical doctor, alleging that Appellee’s supervision of a physician assistant fell below the standard of care, which resulted in the injury and death of Appellant’s mother. Appellee moved for summary judgment on the basis that Appellant had not provided competent expert testimony regarding the applicable standard of care or a causal link between Appellee’s actions and the subsequent injury and death of the patient at issue.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Jonathan Mark Benfield and Martha C. Burgett, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jordan Franklin-Mansuo.

Attorney 2: 

Marty R. Phillips, Jackson, Tennessee, and John O. Alexander, IV, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Muhammad Abushaer, M.D.

Judge: 
GIBSON

CARLISA ELMI V. CHEATHAM COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, ET AL.

Corrected as follows: On page 4 of the filed opinion, in issue #2, the word "insufficiency" was replaced with "inefficiency"

This is an appeal of the termination of a tenured teacher’s employment pursuant to the Tenure Act, Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 49-5-501 and -515. The Cheatham County Director of Schools initiated these proceedings by filing a notice of charges recommending the termination of the tenured teacher on the grounds of insubordination and inefficiency. Following an administrative hearing, the hearing officer recommended dismissal.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Richard L. Colbert and Kelley E. Strange, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carlisa Elmi.

Attorney 2: 

Allen Woods, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Cheatham County Board of Education, David Bibee, Brian Chase, James Gupton, John Louallen, Kimberly Messer, and Dan Moore.

Judge: 
CLEMENT

IN RE TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE FORFEITURE LITIGATION

This is the second appeal involving the attempted forfeiture of horses that had allegedly been the victims of animal abuse. The State appeals the trial court’s finding that Appellee owners had standing to contest the forfeiture and the grant of summary judgment to Appellee owners on the ground that the State failed to comply with applicable procedural requirements. We conclude that because Appellees are “owners” as defined by Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-11-702(3), they have standing to contest the forfeiture.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; Linda D. Kirklen, Assistant Attorney General; Scott C. Sutherland, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorney 2: 

J. Houston Gordon, Covington, Tennessee, for the appellees, Kelly Sherman, and Beverly Sherman.

Judge: 
STAFFORD

KATHRYN J. REITZ v. CITY OF MT. JULIET

Plaintiff alleged that the City of Mt. Juliet breached a settlement agreement with her by violating a non-disparagement agreement. Because Plaintiff failed to prove the existence of damages, summary judgment was appropriate. We affirm.

Attorney 1: 

Robert D. MacPherson, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kathryn J. Reitz.

Attorney 2: 

Keith W. Blair and Charles Stephen Michels, II, Nashvlle, Tennessee, for the appellee, City of Mt. Juliet.

Judge: 
GIBSON

IN RE SAVANNA C.

This is a termination of parental rights case involving the parental rights of the father, Jason C. (“Father”), to his minor child, Savanna C. (“the Child”), who was two years of age at the time of trial. The Child was born in 2014 to Father and Katie N. (“Mother”). On November 10, 2014, the Hamilton County Juvenile Court (“juvenile court”) granted temporary legal custody of the Child to the maternal grandmother, Kathryn N. (“Maternal Grandmother”). The maternal grandfather, Tommy N. (“Maternal Grandfather”), was later added as a joint petitioner.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

David Paul Coates, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jason C.

Attorney 2: 

Kathy Rowell, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, Tommy N. and Kathryn N.

Charles W. Wheland, III, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

Judge: 
FRIERSON

IN RE MIRACLE M. ET AL.

This is a termination of parental rights case. The trial court terminated Appellant Father’s parental rights to two minor children. The trial court found that clear and convincing evidence supported termination based on the statutory grounds of abandonment by willful failure to support, abandonment by willful failure to visit, and persistence of the conditions that led to the children’s removal to state custody. The trial court also found, by clear and convincing evidence, that termination of the Father’s parental rights was in the children’s best interests. Father appeals.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

James Franklin, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeremiah M.

Attorney 2: 

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

Judge: 
GOLDIN

IN RE A.L.H., ET AL.

This is an appeal from an order finding two children of S.B. (mother) and R.H. (father) to be the victims of severe child abuse in the couple’s care and control. On July 24, 2015, the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) received a referral alleging, in part, that the parties’ three children, A.L.H., A.G.B., and A.R.B. (collectively the children), were drug- exposed. On August 27, 2015, the children underwent hair follicle drug testing. A.G.B. and A.R.B. tested positive for methamphetamine. A.L.H. was negative for all substances.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Teresa Brewer Campbell, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, S.B.

Attorney 2: 

Amy Long Schisler, Waynesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, R.H.

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

Judge: 
SUSANO

ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY v. KAIGLER & ASSOCIATES, INC.

Declaratory judgment action in which an insurance company seeks a determination of its coverage obligations arising out of a business insurance policy it issued relative to a class action suit brought against the insured for sending unsolicited faxes in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).

read more »
Attorney 1: 

David L. Cooper, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kaigler & Associates, Inc.

Attorney 2: 

Jay R. McLemore, Franklin, Tennessee; Michael Resis and Christine V. Anto, Chicago, Illinois, for the appellee, Allstate Insurance Company.

Judge: 
DINKINS

GREGORY WHITE, ET AL. v. JACK MILLER, ET AL.

Sellers of home and their listing agent brought suit against a real estate brokerage firm and an agent employed by the firm to recover for alleged violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and Real Estate Broker License Act, undisclosed dual agency, and breach of fiduciary duty, arising from the sale of plaintiffs’ home. The brokerage firm agent procured a contract whereby the sellers agreed to purchase the buyers’ home, with the purchase price for the buyers’ home to be treated as a credit on the purchase price of the sellers’ home.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Teresa Reall Ricks and Laura Adams Hight, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Jack Miller and Bob Parks Realty, LLC.

Attorney 2: 

Thomas B. Luck, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Gregory White, Robin White, and Carole Palmer.

Judge: 
DINKINS