ATO, the Sequel: Western Section Again Breathes New Life into Suit Against Fraternity

DAVEY MANN and wife, TERESA MANN v. ALPHA TAU OMEGA FRATERNITY, Inc., a non-profit organization, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Gary K. Smith, J. Mark Benfield, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Davey Mann and wife, Teresa Mann

G. Coble Caperton, Mary L. Wagner, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, Inc.

Judge: HIGHERS

Plaintiffs sued the defendant national fraternity, among others, following an automobile accident with an apparent fraternity pledge. The trial court granted summary judgment to the national fraternity finding that it owed no duty of care to Plaintiffs, and it denied Plaintiffs’ motion to amend to allege the national fraternity’s vicarious liability based upon a principal/agent relationship between the national fraternity and the local fraternity chapter and/or between the national fraternity and local fraternity chapter members/prospective members. For the following reasons, we reverse the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to the national fraternity as well as its denial of Plaintiffs’ motion to amend, and we remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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