News

Tullahoma City Attorney Stepping Down

After six years as Tullahoma city attorney, Randall Morrison has decided to step down and refocus his attention on building his private law practice. He recently added William Lockhart as a new partner to his firm and will be changing the firm’s name to Morrison & Lockhart, Tullahoma News reports. Morrison will continue to handle divorce and child custody cases but with the addition of Lockhart, the firm’s focus will expand to include criminal law, workers' compensation cases and personal injury cases.

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Court Clarifies Application of Statutes of Limitations

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled today that a trial court must consider both the legal basis of a claim and the injuries for which damages are sought when determining which statute of limitations applies to a lawsuit. In the case decided today, a landowner seeking to sell property sued for breach of contract. The defendant countered that the suit was filed after the statute of limitations had run and the lower courts agreed. The appeal to the Supreme Court sought to determine which of two statutes of limitations should have been applied: a three-year period for injury to real property or a six-year period for contract action. Applying the test it articulated, the court determined that the suit should be considered a contract action and therefore was allowed because it was filed within the six-year time frame. The AOC has more.

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State Seeking Workers’ Comp Judge

The State of Tennessee Division of Workers’ Compensation is accepting applications for the position of Workers’ Compensation Judge through Feb. 1. Candidates must have a valid, active Tennessee law license, be at least 30 years old, and have at least five years experience in Tennessee workers’ compensation matters. Interested individuals should complete an application and send all required attachments to Jeff Francis by email at b.jeff.francis@tn.gov, by fax to (615) 253-8539 or by mail to Tennessee Division of Workers’ Compensation, 220 French Landing Dr., Nashville, TN 37243. Questions should be directed to Abbie Hudgens.

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New for 2015: Another in a Recent Spate of Memorandum Opinions for the Intermediate Appellate Courts

CEDRIC JONES, SR. v. STATE FARM FIRE & CASUALTY
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Cedric Jones, Sr., Whiteville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Parks T. Chastain and Megan A. Carrick, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State Farm Fire & Casualty.

Judge: DINKINS

Suit for breach of contract to recover on a homeowners policy for losses sustained when policyholder’s home was allegedly burglarized and was allegedly damaged as a result of a storm. Upon defendant’s motion, the trial court granted summary judgment, holding that the insurance company defendant had demonstrated that policyholder could not meet his burden of proof as to any of his claims. After a thorough review of the record, we discern no error and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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Middle Section Reverses Med Mal Dismissal, Considering Interplay Between Certificate of Good Faith Requirements and Amended Pleadings

SUSAN SIRBAUGH v. VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY, d/b/a VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Reid D. Leitner and Leighann D. Ness, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Elk Valley Home Health d/b/a Deaconess Homecare.

James E. Looper, Jr. and Heather D. Piper, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant Hardin Medical Center.

Joe Bednarz, Jr., and Joe Bednarz, Sr., Hendersonville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Susan Sirbaugh.

Steven E. Anderson, Sara F. Reynolds, and Sean C. Wlodarczyk, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, The Vanderbilt University and Kevin Hagan, M.D.

Judge: MCCLARTY

The plaintiff in this interlocutory appeal filed a complaint asserting health care liability claims against the original defendants, at which time she included a certificate of good faith in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-122. The original defendants asserted comparative fault against non-party health care providers. The plaintiff waived compliance by the original defendants with section 29-26-122(b), which required the defendants to file a certificate of good faith regarding the non-party health care providers. The plaintiff thereafter amended her complaint to add the named non-party health care providers as new defendants but did not file a new certificate of good faith. The new defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint. The trial court denied the motions and granted this interlocutory appeal. We reverse.

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Eastern Section Reverses Detail of Summary Judgment for Business Following Injury at Hands of Third Party

JERTERRIUS MARSHAWN AKRIDGE ET AL. v. FATHOM, INC. ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

N. Mark Kinsman and J. Chad Hogue, Hixson, Tennessee, for the appellants, Fathom, Inc. and Timothy Reid.

Thomas A. Williams and James F. Exum, III, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellants, 412 Market Street Trust and Beverly B. Henry, Trustee for 412 Market Street Trust.

Rodney H. Bennett, Rossville, Georgia, for the appellees, Jerterrius Marshawn Akridge; Thomas Lamar Armstrong; Demonya Marquel Battle a/k/a Demonta Battle, a minor, b/n/f and mother Yoniika Pointer; Raheem Blunt; and Juane Lontate Joseph.

Judge: FRIERSON

This is an interlocutory appeal regarding the trial court’s denial of the defendants’ motions for summary judgment. The plaintiffs filed this lawsuit following a shooting that occurred on December 24, 2011, outside Club Fathom in Chattanooga, a youth outreach ministry operated by two of the defendants. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The trial court denied their motions, and the defendants sought and were granted an interlocutory appeal. We determine that the court erred in failing to grant summary judgment to the defendants regarding the plaintiffs’ negligence claims. We therefore reverse the judgment of the trial court. We remand the case for entry of summary judgment regarding the plaintiffs’ negligence claims and for a determination regarding the remaining lease issue.

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Supreme Court Affirms Defeat of Hospital Lien Beyond Insurance Payment by Blue Cross

DIANE WEST ET AL. v. SHELBY COUNTY HEALTHCARE CORPORATION D/B/A REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER AT MEMPHIS
Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys:

John I. Houseal, Jr. and Don L. Hearn, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Shelby County Healthcare Corporation, d/b/a Regional Medical Center at Memphis.

Eugene A. Laurenzi, Memphis, Tennessee, and A. Wilson Wages, Millington, Tennessee, for the appellees, Diane West, Jammie Heags-Johnson, and Charles Garland, Individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated.

W. Bryan Smith, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Amicus Curiae, Tennessee Association for Justice.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves the ability of a hospital to use a hospital lien to recover from a thirdparty tortfeasor the unadjusted cost of the medical services it provided to a patient whose injuries were caused by the third party. Three patients were injured in separate, unrelated motor vehicle accidents in Memphis, Tennessee. All of them were treated at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis, and either their insurance company or TennCare paid the hospital the full amount of the adjusted charges for their care, in accordance with their contracts with the hospital. Despite receiving these payments, the hospital declined to release the lien it had perfected under the Tennessee Hospital Lien Act, Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 29-22- 101 to -107 (2012). The patients filed suit in the Circuit Court for Shelby County seeking to quash the liens and monetary damages. In response, the hospital asserted that its refusal to release the liens was consistent with the Tennessee Hospital Lien Act and was permitted by its contracts with the patients’ insurance companies. The trial court dismissed the suit on the merits, and the patients appealed to the Court of Appeals. The intermediate appellate court reversed the trial court, determining that the hospital could not maintain its lien because each of the patients’ debts had been extinguished when the hospital accepted payment from the patients’ insurance companies for the full amount of the hospital’s bill based on the adjusted charges it had agreed to with either the patient’s insurance company or TennCare. West v. Shelby Cnty. Healthcare Corp., No. W2012-00044-COA- R3-CV, 2013 WL 500777 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 11, 2013), reh’g denied (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 12, 2013). We granted two of the three patients’ Tenn. R. App. P. 11 applications for permission to appeal. We have determined that, except for the unpaid co-pays and deductibles which are a patient’s responsibility, neither the Tennessee Hospital Lien Act nor the hospital’s contracts with the patients’ insurance companies authorized the hospital to maintain its lien after the patients’ insurance company paid the adjusted bill. However, we have also determined that one of the patients who had not extinguished her debt to the hospital was not entitled to have the lien against her extinguished.

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States Reach $90M Settlement with T-Mobile

The attorneys general of 49 states, including Tennessee, have reached a $90 million settlement with T-Mobile USA to resolve allegations that the carrier charged customers for third-party services that were not authorized. The practice, known as “mobile cramming,” involves charges for premium text message subscription services such as horoscopes, trivia and sports scores that consumers have never heard of or requested. Consumers may call (855) 382-6403 or visit www.t-mobilerefund.com to submit a claim, get information about refund eligibility and request a free account summary. Chattanoogan.com has the story.

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Pre-suit Notice Provision Applies to Governmental Health Care Providers, per Middle Section

VALDA BOWERS BANKS ET AL. v. BORDEAUX LONG TERM CARE ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Joseph K. Dughman, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Valda Bowers Banks.

Paul Jefferson Campbell, II, Catherine Jane Dundon, and Melissa S. Roberge, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Bordeaux Long Term Care, Hospital Authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville, and Metropolitan Government of Nashville Davidson County.

Judge: CLEMENT

The principal issue in this appeal is whether the 2011 amendments to the Healthcare Liability Act (“HCLA”) extend the statute of limitations in Governmental Tort Liability Act (“GTLA”) cases. The trial court concluded that the 2011 amendments did not extend the statute of limitations for healthcare liability claims against governmental entities and dismissed all claims against the governmental entities as time-barred. Plaintiff appealed. After this appeal was filed, this court ruled in Harper v. Bradley Cnty., No. E2014-00107- COA-R9-CV, 2014 WL 5487788 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 30, 2014), that the 2011 amendments to the HCLA extend the GTLA’s one-year statute of limitations by 120 days when a plaintiff has complied with the pre-suit notice requirements of the HCLA, and we concur with the ruling in Harper. Because the plaintiff in this action complied with the pre-suit notice requirements of the HCLA and commenced this action against the governmental entities within the 120-day window, we have determined this action was commenced timely. Therefore, the plaintiff’s claims against the governmental entities should not have been dismissed as time-barred. Accordingly, we reverse the dismissal of these claims and remand for reinstatement of the claims and for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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Contractually Shortened State of Limitation Imposed by Court of Appeals in Reversing Trial Court

LLOYD L. MEYERS v. FARMERS AID ASSOCIATION OF LOUDON COUNTY, TENNESSEE
CORRECTION: Lisa Jellison Hall has been added as an attorney for the appellant
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Christopher Dunn Heagerty and Lisa Jellison Hall, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Farmers Aid Association of Loudon County, Tennessee.

A. Wayne Henry, for the appellee, Lloyd L. Meyers.

Judge: ARMSTRONG

This is an interlocutory appeal from the denial of Appellant insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an action on a homeowner’s policy that contained a contractual one-year statute of limitations. The Appellee insured filed suit eighteen months after the loss occurred. In the trial court, the Appellant insurer moved for summary judgment, arguing that the one-year statute of limitations in the Appellee insured’s policy was a bar to his action. The trial court agreed with the Appellee’s interpretation of the policy provisions and denied the motion for summary judgment. This court granted the Appellant’s application for interlocutory appeal. Following our review, we reverse the trial court’s decision and remand the case for entry of summary judgment in favor of Appellant.

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Additur of $10,000 to $3,500 is Affirmed by Western Section

AUDREY BONNER, ET AL. V. DEAN DEYO, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Eric J. Plumley, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Dean Deyo and Kathleen Deyo.

Joseph Michael Cook, Germantown, Tennessee, for the appellees, Audrey Bonner and Floyd Bonner, Jr.

Judge: STAFFORD

This appeal results from the trial court’s suggestion of additur to a jury verdict stemming from an automobile accident. Plaintiff sued for damage to her vehicle and physical injuries sustained when she was rear-ended by one of the defendants. Plaintiff’s husband also asserted a loss of consortium claim. The plaintiffs sued both the driver of the vehicle and the vehicle’s owner, also husband and wife. As the matter of liability was stipulated, the only issues submitted to the jury was the amount of damages, if any, suffered by the plaintiffs. The jury returned a verdict awarding plaintiff $3,577.00 for her medical expenses, but declined to award the plaintiffs any damages claimed for other injuries, including any pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium. The trial court suggested an additur of $10,000.00 to the jury verdict. Defendants accepted the additur under protest and timely appealed to this Court. Discerning no error, we affirm.

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High Court to Hear Pregnancy Discrimination Case

The Supreme Court today heard arguments regarding a former UPS driver who sued the company for discriminating against pregnant women. Peggy Young was pregnant with her now 7-year-old daughter when UPS told her she could not have a temporary assignment to avoid lifting heavy packages, as her doctor had ordered. Young's case hinges on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, a law that Congress passed in 1978 specifically to include discrimination against pregnant women as a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The question in Young's case is whether UPS violated the law through its policy of providing temporary light-duty work only to employees who had on-the-job injuries, were disabled under federal law or lost their federal driver certification. WATE has more.

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AOC Clarifies New Rule Allowing Fixed-Fee Contracts for Indigent Representation

The Administrative Office of the Courts today released a statement clarifying the recent adoption of a new Rule 13, Section 7, allowing flat fee contracts for court-appointed work in the areas of judicial hospitalization, child support contempt and dependency and neglect cases. The office reiterated that the new rule does not require but merely allows fixed fee contracts in these case areas, nor does it require the AOC to award contracts to lowest bidder or engage in bidding at all.

"The goal is not to displace attorneys who currently do the work," the AOC said in its statement. "The goal is to manage the resources given to the indigent fund by the legislature in the most efficient way possible." The AOC indicated that the first area to use the new contract method will be Shelby County in judicial hospitalization cases. Beginning in January 2015, judges may still assign attorneys to these cases, but only those who agree to the new contract system. In the 2013-14 budget year, judicial hospitalizations represented only 4 percent of the Indigent Representation Fund budget.

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Middle Section Affirms Constitutionality of TN Product Liability Act Statute of Repose

EARL T. ADAMS v. AIR LIQUIDE AMERICA, L. P. ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Pat Montgomery Barrett, III, Nashville, Tennessee, and Lance P. Bradley and Jill S. Chatelain, pro hac vice, Port Arthur, Texas, for the appellant, Earl T. Adams.

Samuel P. Funk, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Air Liquide America, L.P.

Joseph M. Huffaker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Empire Abrasive Equipment Corporation.

Judge: CLEMENT

The sole issue presented in this appeal concerns the constitutionality of Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-28-103, the ten-year statute of repose under the Tennessee Products Liability Act and the exceptions to the statute of repose for asbestos claims and silicone gel breast implant claims, but not for silica-related claims. After working as a sandblaster for thirty years, Plaintiff developed silica-related injuries. Thereafter, Plaintiff commenced a products liability action against several silica manufacturers and suppliers, which was filed outside the ten-year period. When the defendants moved for summary judgment contending the action was timebarred by the ten-year statute of repose, Plaintiff challenged the constitutionality of the statute of repose as applied to silica claimants on equal protection grounds. Utilizing a rational basis analysis, the trial court found that silica claims were not similarly situated by injury or class to asbestos claims, and, if they were similarly situated, a rational basis exists to distinguish between the two. The trial court also found that silica has no similarity to silicone gel breast implants. Thus, the trial court summarily dismissed the action as timebarred based on the ten-year statute of repose under the Tennessee Products Liability Act, specifically Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-28-103(a). We affirm.

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Middle Section Affirms TCPA Award Against Tennessee Farmers with Fees Equalling 55% of the Damage Award

ERIC D. BROOKS, ET AL. V. TENNESSEE FARMERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Jack O. Bellar and Jamie D. Winkler, Carthage, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company.

William L. Moore, Gallatin, Tennessee; and Edgar Taylor, Hartsville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Eric D. Brooks and Tonia D. Brooks.

Judge: DINKINS

Plaintiffs filed suit against their property insurer for breach of their homeowner’s insurance policy to recover for damages sustained to their home as a result of a tornado; Plaintiffs also alleged that Defendant violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). A jury found that Defendant’s actions violated the TCPA and awarded damages to Plaintiffs. Finding Defendant’s conduct to be willful, the trial court doubled the jury’s award; the court also awarded Plaintiffs attorneys fees and costs. Defendant appeals. We modify the award of costs to Plaintiffs; in all other respects, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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Property Owner's Summary Judgment Survives Eastern Section Review in Case Involving Allegedly Defective Stairs

BRENDA Y. HANNAH v. SHERWOOD FOREST RENTALS, LLC, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

H. Franklin Chancey, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brenda Y. Hannah.

Kenneth W. Ward, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Sherwood Forest Rentals, LLC d/b/a Sherwood Forest Resort; Mary Ruth Hovell; and Charles M. Hovell.

Judge: FRIERSON

This appeal results from the grant of summary judgment to the defendants in a premises liability action. The plaintiff fell while descending a set of wooden stairs leading to a rental cabin. The plaintiff filed the instant action against the owners of the cabin and the rental company, which manages and maintains the cabin. In granting summary judgment to the defendants, the trial court determined that there were no genuine issues of material fact by which a reasonable jury could find that either defendant had actual or constructive notice of any allegedly defective condition existing that caused or contributed to the plaintiff’s fall. The plaintiff has appealed. Discerning no error, we affirm.

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Appeals Court: Officials Immune from Protestors’ Claims

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday reversed a federal district court ruling in finding that Tennessee officials are entitled to qualified immunity for alleged violations of protesters’ First Amendment rights. The finding came in a case brought by six “Occupy Nashville” protestors seeking to sue state officials after they were arrested for violating a curfew. The district court had found that the officials were not entitled to immunity and were personally liable for damages. In the appeal, state officials argued that protesters had no First Amendment right to occupy state property indefinitely. Absent this right, there could be no constitutional violation, and qualified immunity should apply. The Sixth Circuit agreed. The ABA provides an analysis of the decision.

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Court Seeks Comments on Rule Change Package

The Tennessee Supreme Court has published the annual package of recommendations from the Advisory Commission on Rules of Procedure and Evidence. Proposals include new authority for appellate courts to suspend rules; requirements for electronic copies of transcripts; specification of the color of application responses and amici in TRAP 9 and 11 matters; and refinement of criminal contempt provisions. Four TBA sections — Appellate Practice, Litigation, Tort and Insurance Law, and Criminal Justice — will review the recommendations and propose comments on behalf of the association. Comments on the proposals are due Nov. 27.

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Nashville Lawyers Win $27M Philip Morris Verdict

Kenny Byrd and John Spragens, both with the Nashville office of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, have won a $27 million verdict against Philip Morris USA after a Florida jury agreed that the company targeted teenagers as consumers. Among the evidence presented at trial was a company memo that stated, “today’s teenager is tomorrow’s regular customer.” The case of Judith Berger – who began smoking at age 14 – stemmed from a class action that was decertified, though individual cases were allowed to proceed. The Nashville Post has more.

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Slatery Addresses Amendment 2, Upcoming Term

Newly appointed state Attorney General Herbert Slatery was in Knoxville yesterday with former Gov. Phil Bredesen campaigning for Amendment 2 to the state constitution. When asked by reporters how he would differ from his predecessor, Slatery said, “I think I will do it differently, which is not to say better. I am a people person. I like to build relationships.” Slatery also said he will spend time talking to legislators. “I want to see all of the sides of an issue,” he explained. Finally, he pledged the office would continue fighting Medicare fraud and protecting consumers. Knoxnews has more.

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Medical-Legal Partnerships, Copyright and More in New TBJ

TBA President Jonathan Steen explains medical-legal partnerships in his September Tennessee Bar Journal column and his hopes for fostering more MLPs in the state. Technology versus the Copyright Act is covered by Nashville lawyer Tim Warnock, while columnists Marlene Eskind Moses and Benjamin Russ write about forced marriage.

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DA Seeking Potential Victims in Alleged Cemetery Scam

The Third Judicial District Attorney General’s office in Rogersville would like to interview anyone who purchased a grave plot or mausoleum vault at the Hawkins County Memorial Gardens (HCMG) — particularly those sold by former owner/operator Vickie Ringley, who is accused of taking money for work that was not performed. The request is part of an ongoing fraud investigation at the cemetery. An investigator with the attorney general’s office will be in Rogersville this week to speak with potential victims. The Times News has more on the story.

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MD Escapes Liability for PA's Conduct

MARCHELLE BUMAN, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF KENNETH JENKINS v. ALYCIA D. GIBSON, P.A., THOMAS PAUL EVANS, M.D., ANDREW H. LUNDBERG, M.D., AND PARIS SURGICAL SPECIALISTS, PLLC
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Al H. Thomas and Aaron L. Thomas, Memphis, Tennessee for Plaintiff/Appellant Marchelle Renee Buman, Executor of the Estate of Kenneth Jenkins.

William H. Haltom, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee for the Defendant/Appellee Thomas Paul Evans, M.D.

Judge: SUMMERS

This is a health care liability action involving a physician’s duties when supervising a physician’s assistant. The plaintiff alleged the supervising physician negligently supervised a physician’s assistant which resulted in the eventual amputation of the plaintiff’s leg. The physician moved for summary judgment, contending that he complied with all statutory duties. The plaintiff responded to this motion and simultaneously moved to amend her complaint to allege that the physician was vicariously liable for the negligent actions of the physician’s assistant. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s request to amend her complaint and granted the physician’s motion for summary judgment. Discerning no error, we affirm.

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Western Section Affirms That Notice of Nonsuit Precludes Subsequently Filed Summary Judgment Even Without Entry of Order of Dismissal

DESHON EWAN, ET AL. V. THE HARDISON LAW FIRM, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Richard Glassman, Edwin E. Wallis, III, and William Terrell, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jonathan T. Martin.

Robert M. Fargarson, Daniel F.B. Peel, Ted S. Angelakis, and Daniel A. Seward, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, DeShon Ewan and Patrick Ewan.

Judge: STAFFORD

Defendant appeals the trial court’s order of voluntary dismissal of Plaintiffs’ complaint. Defendant argues that Plaintiffs were not entitled to a voluntary dismissal because a motion for summary judgment was filed prior to the entry of the order on the nonsuit. We hold that a motion for summary judgment filed after a written notice of nonsuit has been filed does not preclude the plaintiff’s right to take a voluntary dismissal pursuant to Rule 41 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. We also conclude that the Defendant is not entitled to sanctions pursuant to Rule 11 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. Affirmed and Remanded.

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Mary Carter, Mary Carter — Is That You? Western Section Treats Mary Carter Issue and Remittur in Lengthy Divided Opinion Following Trucking Case

DONRIEL A. BORNE v. CELADON TRUCKING SERVICES, INC.
With Dissenting Opinion
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Dwight E. Tarwater, Ryan M. Connor, Knoxville, Tennessee; Jim Summers, Kevin W. Washburn, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Celadon Trucking Services, Inc.

R. Sadler Bailey, Thomas R. Greer, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Donriel A. Borne

Judge: HIGHERS

Plaintiff was injured in an accident involving three tractor-trailer trucks. Plaintiff, who was driving a tractor-trailer, sued the other truck drivers and the trucking company owners of the vehicles. However, prior to trial, Plaintiff entered into an agreement with one of the trucking companies whereby Plaintiff and the agreeing defendant agreed to cooperate regarding the litigation and to work together to expose the defenses asserted by the non-agreeing defendant. The jury returned an itemized verdict of $3,705,000 for the Plaintiff against the non-agreeing defendant. The trial court denied the non-agreeing defendant’s motion for a new trial, but it suggested a remittitur of $1,605,000, for a total award of $2,100,000. Plaintiff accepted the remittitur under protest and the non-agreeing defendant appealed to this Court. For the following reasons, we affirm in part and we reverse in part. Specifically, we affirm the physical pain and mental anguish and permanent injury awards as reduced by the trial court; we reverse the trial court’s suggested remittitur of the loss of earning capacity award and we instead reinstate the jury verdict of $1,455,000; and we further reduce the loss of enjoyment of life award to $50,000. Thus, we approve a total award to Plaintiff of $2,105,000.

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