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If a Tree Falls ...

RONALD D. GRAHAM, ET. AL. V. BRADLEY COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Michael E. Jenne, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellants, Ronald D. Graham and Winifred Marie Graham.

Thomas E. LeQuire, Cleveland, Tennessee, and Courtney E. Smith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Bradley County, Tennessee.

Judge: MCCLARTY

This is a negligence case in which the Grahams were severely injured when the top portion of a tree collapsed, hitting their car while they were driving in Cleveland, Tennessee. Plaintiffs filed suit against the County, alleging that the County’s failure to maintain and inspect its roadways caused the accident. The County alleged that it could not be held liable pursuant to the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act, codified at Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-10-101, et. seq. Following a trial, the trial court dismissed the complaint. The Grahams appeal. We affirm the decision of the trial court.

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Western Section Reverses Slip Fall Summary Dismissal

RICK P. NEWMAN v. THE KROGER COMPANY
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Bruce D. Brooke, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rick P. Newman.

Betty Ann Milligan, Bradford J. Spicer, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, The Kroger Company.

Judge: HIGHERS

This is a slip and fall case. Plaintiff sued The Kroger Company after he fell in a puddle of water near a freezer at a local Kroger store. The trial court granted Kroger’s motion for summary judgment, but failed to include findings indicating the reason for its decision. We find that summary judgment was inappropriate and therefore reverse the trial court’s decision and remand for further proceedings.

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Defense Verdict is Affirmed Where Surgeon Delegates Sponge Count

ESTATE OF CLYDE DEUEL v. THE SURGICAL CLINIC, PLLC
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

H. Anthony Duncan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lorraine Deuel, individually and as Adm’x of the Estate of Clyde Deuel

Clarence James Gideon, Heather Piper, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, The Surgical Clinic, PLLC.

Judge: COTTRELL

A surgeon left a sponge in the abdomen of a patient, closing the incision after receiving assurances from two operating room nurses that all the surgical sponges used in the operation had been fully accounted for. A second surgery was required to remove the sponge from the patient’s body. The patient died of unrelated causes seven months later. The patient’s widow filed a medical malpractice complaint against the surgeon and argued that the evidence of negligence was so plain that she could be excused from the normal requirement of producing expert testimony to prove that medical malpractice had occurred. The defendant surgeon presented expert testimony during trial to prove that the surgical standard of care entitled him to rely on the accuracy of the sponge count provided by his nurses. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant surgeon. The plaintiff argues on appeal that the trial court committed reversible error by allowing the use of expert testimony in a case that is based on the common knowledge exception and res ipsa loquitur. We affirm.

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Learn About Comparative Fault, Cemetery Law

John Paul Nefflen writes about comparative fault in audit malpractice cases in this issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal.  Also, Don Paine explains "cemetery law" -- and a surprising situation involving the body of a former Tennessee Supreme Court justice.

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2014 Rules Package Published for Comment

The Tennessee Supreme Court today 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 applications; 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 be asked to review the recommendations and propose comments on behalf of the association. Comments on the proposals are due Nov. 27. 

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Conclusory Summary Judgment Order Remanded by Western Section for Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in Dog Attack Case

EDWARD RAGLAND, ET AL. v. ROY MORRISON
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Lewis K. Garrison, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Edward Ragland.

Jeremy M. Thomas, Osceola, Arkansas, for the appellee, Roy Morrison.

Judge: STAFFORD

This appeal arises from the grant of summary judgment in favor of Appellee. Appellants claimed that Appellee was liable for injuries caused by dogs that Appellee allegedly owned and allowed to run loose in the Appellants’ neighborhood. The trial court’s order fails to state the legal ground upon which the court granted the motion for summary judgment. Further, there is no indication in the record of the trial court’s reason(s) for granting the motion. Because Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 56.04 mandates inclusion of the trial court’s legal ground in the order on the motion for summary judgment, we vacate and remand.

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GTLA Win by a Whisker is Upheld by Eastern Section in Premises Case

MARGIE R. HUSKEY ET AL. v. RHEA COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Arthur F. Knight, III, and Jonathan Swann Taylor, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rhea County, Tennessee.

Howard L. Upchurch, Pikeville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Margie R. Huskey and Norman Huskey.

Judge: FRIERSON

In this negligence action, the trial court, following a bench trial, found the defendant 51% at fault and the plaintiff 49% at fault for a severe injury plaintiff, Margie R. Huskey, suffered to her left arm at the Rhea County Convenience Center. The trial court assessed total compensatory damages at $298,376.65, which it reduced by 49%, awarding $152,172.09 to Ms. Huskey. The court further assessed damages of $25,000.00 for loss of consortium in favor of plaintiff, Norman Huskey, which it likewise reduced by 49%, awarding $12,750.00. The County raises three issues on appeal: (1) whether the trial court erred by finding the County liable for negligence; (2) whether the injured plaintiff was at least 50% at fault and therefore barred from recovery; and (3) whether the damages awarded were excessive. Discerning no error, we affirm.

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Judge Sets Deadline in Life Care Centers Lawsuit

Federal prosecutors won't know until next spring if a massive whistle-blower Medicare fraud lawsuit against Life Care Centers of America can proceed to trial. The case was filed in 2008 and merged with a similar 2012 lawsuit, which involves allegations that the company provided unnecessary, often harmful, therapies to patients in its assisted living facilities to maximize Medicare billings. The Chattanooga Times Free Press has more about the case and the Cleveland, Tenn., based company.

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Supreme Court Reverses Court of Appeals and Reinstates 6.6M Judgment Against Ford Motor

AUNDREY MEALS EX REL. WILLIAM MEALS v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys:

J. Houston Gordon and Amber Nicole Griffin Shaw, Covington, Tennessee, for the appellant, Aundrey Meals, as Natural Parent, Guardian, and Next Friend of William Meals.

Lawrence C. Mann, Troy, Michigan (at trial); Sandra Giannone Ezell and Michelle B. Scarponi, Richmond, Virginia (at trial); John Randolph Bibb, Jr. and Ryan Nelson Clark, Nashville, Tennessee (at trial and on appeal); Robert Francis Chapski, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Christopher T. Handman and Sean M. Marotta, Washington, D.C. (on appeal), for the appellee, Ford Motor Company.

Judge: LEE

A six-year-old boy’s spine was fractured in a car wreck when the force of the impact caused him to jackknife over his lap seatbelt and pushed the seatbelt into his stomach and against his spine. The child’s mother filed suit on his behalf against Ford Motor Company (“Ford”), alleging that the defective design of the seatbelt and Ford’s failure to warn of a potential danger caused the child’s permanent paralysis and other enhanced injuries. A jury returned a $43.8 million verdict for compensatory damages, finding Ford to be 15% at fault and two non-parties 85% at fault. Ford’s share of the verdict, based on its degree of fault, was $6,570,000. The jury awarded no punitive damages. Ford moved for a new trial, arguing that the verdict was excessive. The trial court denied the motion for new trial and affirmed the verdict in its capacity as thirteenth juror. The Court of Appeals, in a divided opinion, ruled that the verdict was excessive and remanded to the trial court with a suggestion of remittitur from $43.8 million to $12.9 million, a 70.55% reduction. The suggested remittitur, if the plaintiff accepted it, would reduce Ford’s share of the verdict to $1,935,000. Meals ex rel. Meals v. Ford Motor Co., No. W2010-01493-COA-R3-CV, 2012 WL 1264454, at *18- 21 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 13, 2012). We hold that the Court of Appeals had the authority to suggest a remittitur even though Ford did not request a remittitur. We further hold that the Court of Appeals erred in remitting the verdict to $12.9 million. Having taken the strongest legitimate view of all the material evidence in favor of the verdict, assuming the truth of all that supports it, allowing all reasonable inferences, and discarding any to the contrary, we hold that the jury’s verdict was supported by material evidence and was within the range of reasonableness. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed and the jury’s verdict is reinstated.

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Lack of Certificate of Good Faith Dooms Death Suit Against Nursing Home

SHEILA DUNLAP v. LAUREL MANOR HEALTH CARE, INC.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Lyle H. Moe, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sheila Dunlap, individually and as personal representative of the estate of Victoria Adkins.

Marc A. Sorin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Laurel Manor Health Care, Inc.

Judge: SUSANO

Sheila Dunlap (“plaintiff”) brought this action alleging liability for the wrongful death of her daughter (“deceased”) on the part of the nursing home operated by Laurel Manor Health Care, Inc. (“defendant”) where deceased was living. Although the allegations of the complaint were couched in terms of ordinary negligence, the trial court determined that the cause of action was one for medical malpractice. The court dismissed the complaint for failure to comply with Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-122, which requires the filing a certificate of good faith with a medical malpractice complaint. We hold that the plaintiff’s claims that the nursing home failed to properly administer medication and a medical device prescribed by a physician, and failed to monitor the medical condition of the deceased at all times prior to her death, sound in medical malpractice. Consequently, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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Exclusion of Claim for Unlisted Driver Enforced by Eastern Section

KELLY WEED v. FIRST ACCEPTANCE INSURANCE COMPANY OF TENNESSEE, INC.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

George R. Garrison, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kelly Weed.

Louis Andrew McElroy, II, and Rachel E. Sanders, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, First Acceptance Insurance Company of Tennessee, Inc.

Judge: SUSANO

This appeal involves the interpretation of an exclusionary clause in an automobile casualty insurance policy. The policy excluded coverage for a loss resulting from an accident occurring while the vehicle was being driven by an unlisted driver who “is a regular or frequent operator of” an insured vehicle. Caleb Jenkins, who was not listed in the policy as a “driver,” was involved in an accident while driving the vehicle of Kelly Weed (“Insured”). Insured brought suit after First Acceptance Insurance Company of Tennessee, Inc., (“Insurer”) denied her claim. Insurer moved for summary judgment, alleging that Jenkins was a regular and frequent operator of Insured’s vehicle. Based on Insured’s statement that Jenkins was a “fairly regular” driver of her vehicle who had been driving it once or twice a week for six months, the trial court denied coverage and granted Insurer summary judgment. We affirm the trial court’s judgment that the policy excluded coverage because Insured’s admission establishes that Jenkins was a “regular or frequent operator” of her vehicle.

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Eastern Section Reversed Summary Judgment Against Plaintiff in Premises Case

GREG PARKER, ET. AL. V. HOLIDAY HOSPITALITY FRANCHISING, INC., ET. AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

William Richard Baker, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Greg Parker and Diane Parker.

Andrew J. Lewis and Brian H. Trammell, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Shashi Patel, individually and d/b/a S.P. Partnership d/b/a Holiday Inn Express.

Judge: MCCLARTY

This is a premises liability case in which Plaintiffs alleged that a shower bench in Hotel collapsed, causing Husband to fall and sustain injuries. Plaintiffs filed suit against Defendant, claiming negligence. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that he did not install the bench and did not have actual or constructive notice of the independent contractor’s negligent installation of the bench. The trial court granted the motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case. Plaintiffs appeal. We reverse the decision of the trial court and remand for further proceedings.

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Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Payments Decline

Tennessee is one of 22 states where both workers’ compensation payments and costs to employers decreased in 2011, according to a new report from the National Academy of Social Insurance. According to the report, the state’s employers paid $783.7 million in workers’ compensation benefits, down 0.1 percent from 2010. By contrast, workers’ compensation payments rose 3.5 percent and costs to employers rose 7.1 percent nationwide during 2011. The report also estimated that 125.8 million workers are now covered by workers’ compensation protection – up 1.1 percent from 2010. The Memphis Daily News has more.

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Court: Farm Music Festivals Not Really Farming

The state Supreme Court has ruled that "agritourism" is not the sort of activity the legislature was trying to protect in exempting farmers from nuisance complaints, Knoxnews reports. The court was deciding if a farmer hosting a music festival was protected under the Right to Farm Act, or if his neighbor's complaint that it was a noisy nuisance was valid.  “We find it significant that the General Assembly chose to use the word ‘production’ alone in its definition of ‘farm operation,’” Justice William Koch wrote in the opinion. “It did not include ‘marketing,’ as other states have done in similar contexts. Marketing activities are not mentioned elsewhere in the Tennessee Right to Farm Act, and we have found no reference to marketing in the legislative history of the Act or any of its amendments.”

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Supreme Court Rules that Music Concerts are not Farming Activities

VELDA J. SHORE v. MAPLE LANE FARMS, LLC ET AL.
Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys:

Michael H. Meares, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Velda J. Shore.

John T. Johnson, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Maple Lane Farms, LLC, Robert A. Schmidt d/b/a Maple Lane Farms, and Al Schmidt d/b/a Maple Lane Farms.

Julie P. Bowling and Edward K. Lancaster, Columbia, Tennessee, for the amicus curiae, Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, Tennessee Agritourism Association, Tennessee Fruit and Vegetable Association, Tennessee Soybean Association, Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Alliance, and Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves a dispute over the noise from amplified music concerts being conducted on farm land in rural Blount County. After the business owners who hosted the concerts defied the county zoning authority’s order limiting the concerts to one per year, a neighboring property owner filed suit in the Chancery Court for Blount County seeking to abate the concerts as a common-law nuisance and to enforce the decision of the county board of zoning appeals. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion for an involuntary dismissal at the close of the plaintiff’s proof, finding that the Tennessee Right to Farm Act, Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 43-26-101 to -104 (2007), precluded nuisance liability and that the concerts were exempted from the local land use regulations because they qualified as “agriculture.” The Court of Appeals affirmed. Shore v. Maple Lane Farms, LLC, No. E2011-00158-COA-R3- CV, 2012 WL 1245606(Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2012). We granted the plaintiff homeowner permission to appeal. We hold that the trial court erred by granting the motion to dismiss because the plaintiff homeowner presented a prima facie case of common-law nuisance and because the concerts are not “agriculture” for the purpose of the zoning laws.

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Workers’ Comp Law Favoring Independent Exams Upheld

In a unanimous opinion this week, the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a workers’ compensation law that gives priority to the opinion of an independent medical examiner when parties cannot agree on a disability rating. The court found that the law does not violate principles of due process and does not constitute an infringement by the legislative branch on the exclusive powers of the judiciary. With regard to the specific facts of Mansell v. Bridgestone, the court also found that the employee did not provide evidence to contradict the independent examiner’s finding. Read more from the court.

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Appeal of Multifaceted Tort Suit Directed Verdict Fails Before Western Section

KIM BROWN v. CHRISTIAN BROTHERS UNIVERSITY
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Kim Brown, Memphis, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Stephen W. Vescovo and Margaret F. Cooper, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Christian Brothers University.

Judge: STAFFORD

This is an appeal from the trial court’s grant of a directed verdict, dismissing Appellant’s claims of: (1) slander/defamation; (2) false light invasion of privacy; (3) false imprisonment; (4) malicious harassment; (5) negligent supervision, hiring, and retention; (6) negligent failure to affirm identification; (7) negligence; (8) assault and battery; and (9) civil conspiracy. Appellant also raises issues concerning the scope of cross-examination and the admission of certain evidence. We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion concerning either the scope of the cross-examination, or by excluding certain evidence. We further conclude that Appellant failed to put forth sufficient evidence to make out a prima facie case for any of the foregoing claims. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s grant of a directed verdict. Affirmed and remanded.

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Insurance Contracts May Shorten Statutes of Limitation

DONALD CHILL ET AL. v. TENNESSEE FARMERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

A. Wayne Henry, Loudon, Tennessee, for the appellants, Donald Chill and Martha Chill.

John T. Johnson, Jr. and Brandon L. Morrow, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company.

Judge: SUSANO

Donald Chill and his wife, Martha Chill, brought this action against their homeowner’s insurance carrier, Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company (“Insurer”), alleging breach of contract by virtue of its refusal to pay for their loss caused by an earthquake. The insurance policy required suit to be brought within one year of the loss. The Chills filed their complaint almost seven years after the loss and over three and a half years after the Chills refused to accept Insurer’s offer to settle the claim for $88,086.49. The trial court granted Insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings on the ground that the lawsuit was not timely filed. Plaintiffs appeal. We affirm.

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Med Mal Suit Dismissed for Want of Good Faith

ANNE GROVES, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NEXT OF KIN OF CHARLES GROVES v. CHRISTOPHER COLBURN, M.D.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Cyrus Lucius Booker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ann Groves, individually and as next of kin of Charles Groves.

Jonathan Eric Miles, Phillip Lester North, and Lauren J. Smith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Christopher Colburn, M.D.

Judge: BENNETT

Plaintiff filed a complaint against a hospital in which she asserted claims for medical malpractice and wrongful death. She later amended her complaint to add a party and did not contemporaneously file a certificate of good faith. The trial court dismissed the second complaint with prejudice based upon the court’s determination that plaintiff failed to satisfy the requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-122. We affirm the trial court.

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Classification of Worker Results in Reversal of Summary Judgment

LAFAYETTE INSURANCE COMPANY v. JERRY S. ROBERTS, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Christopher H. Crain, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lafayette Insurance Company.

Dean P. Dedmon, W. Lewis Jenkins, Jr., Sean P. Day, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellee, Bobby Burns.

John M. Lannom, James S. Wilder, III, Dyersburg, TN, for the appellees, Jerry Roberts, Diane G. Roberts, and James P. Roberts, Jr.

Judge: HIGHERS

In this appeal we must determine whether an injured worker was an “employee” or a “temporary worker” within the meaning of a commercial general liability insurance policy. The policy excludes coverage for injuries to the insureds’ employees, but it covers injuries to “temporary workers” who are not employees, as that term is defined in the policy. The trial court granted summary judgment to the worker upon concluding that he was a “temporary worker,” and therefore covered under the policy, and it denied the insurer’s motion for summary judgment. We find that the worker was not a “temporary worker” as that term is defined by the insurance policy. Therefore, the trial court erred in granting the worker’s motion for summary judgment and denying the insurer’s motion. We reverse and remand for entry of an order granting summary judgment to the insurer.

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Suit by Adjoining Landowner for Fire Damage Fails

MAIN STREET MARKET, LLC, ET AL. v. EMILY V. WEINBERG
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

William L. Hendricks, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Gilbert Lawrence Callaway and Rebecca Duncan Callaway.

Stephen R. Leffler, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Main Street Market, LLC.

Judge: FARMER

This dispute arises from a fire that destroyed six adjoining buildings in 1997. The buildings were located along a single city block, running north to south, in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. Defendant owned the second building, sandwiched between one building to the north, owned by one of the Plaintiffs, and the four remaining buildings to the south, owned by the other Plaintiff. Approximately one month before the fire, a substantial portion of the second and third buildings collapsed, damaging all six buildings, and compromising the structural integrity of each building. Due to safety concerns, the parties were ordered not to enter the buildings and were required to ensure that their buildings were inaccessible to the public. The parties complied with the orders. Shortly thereafter, a trespasser entered the Defendant’s building and started a fire which spread to each of the adjoining buildings resulting in substantial damage. Plaintiffs filed negligence actions against the Defendant and argued that she was liable to them for their property damage caused by the criminal acts of the trespasser. Following a trial, the trial court entered a directed verdict in favor of the Defendant based on its conclusion that the Plaintiffs failed to establish any of the requisite elements of their negligence claims. After throughly reviewing the record, we affirm.

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Nader to Build Tort Law Museum

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader says he is planning to build an American Museum of Tort Law in his Connecticut hometown of Winsted and has raised $2 million for the project. Nader told the Associated Press that he got the idea after trial lawyers said they had no place to put exhibits used in court cases. Nadar said he hopes to showcase the history of tort law with exhibits on significant cases such as the 1998 national settlement with tobacco companies and the Chevrolet Corvair featured in his 1965 book, Unsafe at Any Speed. Above all, Nader says, he hopes the museum will promote the legal system. “We’ll be puncturing a lot of myths and lies that it’s a cash cow for greedy tort lawyers,” he said. The Washington Post has the AP story.

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Compounding Center Blamed for Meningitis Outbreak Declared Insolvent

The New England Compounding Center, which has been blamed for the deaths of 15 patients treated in Tennessee, has been declared insolvent by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Henry J. Boroff. Judge Boroff granted the request by the Nashville attorney representing a McMinnville man whose wife died in last year's fungal meningitis outbreak. With the declaration of the center’s insolvency, the widower can file suit in Tennessee under the provisions of the state product liability statute. WBIR has the story. 

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Middle Section Affirms Summary Judgment Rejection Premises Liability

ARLEEN CHRISTIAN v. EBENEZER HOMES OF TENNESSEE, INC. D/B/A GOOD SAMARITAN NURSING HOME
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Terry Renease Clayton, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Arleen Christian.

Michael T. Schmitt, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Ebenezer Homes of Tennessee, Inc., d/b/a Good Samaritan Nursing Home.

Judge: DINKINS

Visitor to a nursing home who was injured when a door swung into her brought suit against the nursing home, alleging that the door constituted a dangerous and defective condition and that the nursing home failed to exercise reasonable care to avoid injuries to visitors. The nursing home filed a motion for summary judgment which was granted on the basis that the door did not constitute a dangerous or defective condition. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment.

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Eastern Section Reverses Rejection of PI Claim for Want of Contesting Medical Proof from Defendant

LORI K. WILHOIT ET AL. v. JOSHUA ANDREW ROGERS ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Aleania Smith and Howell H. Sherrod, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellants, Lori and Jeffrey Wilhoit.

James E. Rasnic, Bristol, Virginia, for the appellees, Joshua Andrew Rogers and Englewood Lawn & Landscape, LLC.

Judge: FRIERSON

This case involves an automobile accident wherein a refrigerator being hauled by Defendants fell from a truck and collided with Plaintiffs’ vehicle. Plaintiff, Lori K. Wilhoit, was driving the vehicle and filed suit regarding her personal injuries and the property damage to her vehicle. Her husband, Jeffrey Wilhoit, also asserted claims regarding property damage to the vehicle and loss of consortium with and services of his wife. A jury trial was held in November and December 2011. As the matter of liability was stipulated, the only issues submitted to the jury related to the amount of damages, if any, suffered by Plaintiffs. The jury returned a verdict awarding Plaintiffs $3,200 for property damage and zero damages for all other claimed injuries. Plaintiffs have appealed. We affirm the jury’s verdict regarding property damage and Mr. Wilhoit’s claims, but we reverse in part the jury’s verdict regarding a portion of Ms. Wilhoit’s injuries and medical expenses. We remand this case for further proceedings regarding Ms. Wilhoit’s damages.

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