News

Chattanooga Firm Files Class Action Suit Against Volkswagen

Chattanooga firm Patrick, Beard, Schulman & Jacoway PC filed a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and related corporate entities following the company’s admission that it installed “defeat devices” in certain Volkswagen and Audi diesel automobiles in order to pass emissions tests. The lawsuit joins the more than 175 class actions filed in 32 states. The firm's lawsuit contains plaintiffs from Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. “Volkswagen has been an important part of the Chattanooga community, but we are certainly disappointed in Volkswagen’s intentional actions in mispresenting the true nature of its diesel engines,” managing partner Gary Patrick said.

read more »

Transitory Venue Statute Upheld in Med Mal Case

KATHLEEN N. BARRETT, ET AL. v. THOMAS M. CHESNEY, MD
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Albert C. Harvey and Justin N. Joy, Memphis Tennessee, for the appellants, Trumbull Laboratories, LLC, Thomas M. Chesney, and Pathology Group of the Midsouth, PC.

John F. Floyd, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kathleen N. Barrett. Marty R. Phillips and John O. Alexander, IV, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Michael Kellogg, Portland Primary Care, LLC, Portland Primary Care, LLC d/b/a Tristar Medical Group-Fairvue, and Portland Primary Care, LLC d/b/a Tristar Medical Group- Fairvue Primary Care.

Judge: ARMSTRONG

This interlocutory appeal arises from a health care liability action and concerns the question of proper venue. Plaintiff filed her original lawsuit in Shelby County against the Appellants, a pathology group located in Shelby County. Appellants answered the complaint and raised, as an affirmative defense, the comparative negligence of Appellees, plaintiff’s primary care physician and his employer, who are residents of Sumner County. Plaintiff then moved, under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 20-1-119, for leave to amend her complaint to add the Sumner County residents to the lawsuit. Leave was granted, and plaintiff filed an amended complaint under Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 15.01. Appellees answered the complaint and averred that venue was improper in Shelby County under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 20-4-101(b). Appellees asked for dismissal of the lawsuit; however, rather than dismissing the lawsuit, the Shelby County court transferred the case to Sumner County. Appellants appeal. We affirm and remand.

.PDF Version of Case

Comment on this Article

read more »

Med Mal HIPPA Release Substantially Complies, per Eastern Section

MARGIE HUNT ET AL V. SUDHA NAIR, M.D. ET AL
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Heidi A. Barcus and Daniel T. Swanson, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Thomas W. Lawrence, Jr. and Matthew A. Moushon, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sudha Nair, M.D.

David E. Waite, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Nitin J. Rangnekar, M.D. Mark T. Smith and Lauren Z. Curry, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Metro Knoxville HMA, LLC, dba Tennova Healthcare-Turkey Creek Medical Center. Brett D. Stokes, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Margie Hunt and husband, Rickey Hunt.

Judge: SUSANO

This interlocutory appeal involves a health care liability action.1 The plaintiffs, Margie Hunt and husband, Rickey Hunt,2 claim that Mrs. Hunt suffered injuries proximately caused by the conduct of the defendants with respect to two surgeries.3 Prior to filing their complaint, the plaintiffs gave timely written notice of their claim to potential defendants. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121(c) (Supp. 2013). Each of the three defendants moved to dismiss the complaint. Their separate motions were predicated on their assertion that the plaintiffs? pre-suit notice failed to comply with the requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121, part of the Tennessee?s Health Care Liability Act. Specifically, the defendants argue that the plaintiffs failed to provide a HIPAA- compliant4 medical authorization with their pre-suit notice. They also contend that the plaintiffs failed to attach to the complaint the medical authorization and also the pre-suit notice served upon the defendants. The defendant Dr. Nitin J. Rangnekar also relies upon the ground of insufficiency of service of process. The trial court denied each defendant?s motion. On the defendants? further motions, the court granted them permission to pursue an interlocutory appeal pursuant to the provisions of Tenn. R. App. P. 9. We likewise granted the defendants permission to file a Rule 9 appeal. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

.PDF Version of Case

Comment on this Article

read more »

Supreme Court Review Possible in Birth Control Requirement Dispute

The Justice Department says the U.S. Supreme Court should review a federal appeals court decision that agreed with religious-oriented nonprofits' claims that the option to opt of out mandatory birth control provisions unjustly burdens companies. The Associated Press reports that the court in St. Louis last month became the first to agree with the religious-oriented nonprofits after seven other appellate panels sided with the Obama administration.

read more »

Volkswagen Hit with Class Action Suits in 32 States

Volkswagen has been hit with more than 175 class actions in 32 states since news of its emissions troubles came to light last month. Almost all the suits have been brought on behalf of consumers alleging they were duped into paying premium prices for “clean diesel” vehicles that exceeded U.S. regulatory standards. Others have been filed by dealership franchises. The cases are in addition to investigations by the U.S. Justice Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and attorneys general in at least 28 states, the National Journal reports.

read more »

Court Grants Tax Refunds to Insurance Companies

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled today that the state Department of Commerce and Insurance must refund more than $16 million in taxes paid by five groups of Pennsylvania insurance companies. In 2012, the companies requested refunds for taxes they paid under Tennessee’s retaliatory tax statute, arguing they did not owe taxes on certain assessments that were paid by policyholders. The court agreed, concluding that the department could not require a retaliatory tax because the assessments did not impose a direct financial burden on Tennessee insurance companies doing business in Pennsylvania. Read the opinion.

read more »

Volkswagen Fix Won’t Apply to U.S. Vehicles

Volkswagen’s promise to deliver a fix for its rigged diesel engine “in the next few days” refers to vehicles sold in Europe and other foreign markets, not the United States, according to a company source, WRCB TV reports. The American retrofit is likely to require separate software solutions for three different versions of the engine and may also require hardware changes. As a result of that complexity, company officials are still working with the EPA. An announcement of a solution for American car owners remains some time off, the source said.

read more »

Former Councilman's Suit Against Newspaper for Defamation by False Light Gets New Life in Western Section Reversal of Dismissal

TN Court of Appeals

GREG GRANT v. THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Christopher F. Donovan, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Greg Grant.

James Bennett Fox, Jr., and Lucian T. Pera, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis Publishing Company, Mark Perrusquia, Louis Graham, and George Cogswell.

Judge: STAFFORD

Plaintiff brought action for defamation and false light invasion of privacy based on an allegedly defamatory newspaper article published by defendant newspaper, reporter, editor, and publisher. Defendants moved to dismiss, claiming that liability was precluded based on the fair report privilege. Defendants also asserted that plaintiff failed to state a cause of action upon which relief may be granted because the article‘s statements were not capable of being defamatory. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, finding that the article was not capable of defamation and that the fair report privilege applied. We reverse in part as to the determination that the fair report privilege applied; affirm in part as to the dismissal of the defamation and false light claims; and reverse in part as to the defamation by implication claims.

.PDF Version of Case

Comment on this Article

read more »

A Divided Supreme Court Declines to Extend Municipality GTLA Statue of Limitations via TCA 20-1-119

RICHARD MORENO v. CITY OF CLARKSVILLE
With dissenting opinion.
Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys:

Amy J. Farrar, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Lance A. Baker and Jeffrey T. Goodson, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, City of Clarksville, Tennessee.

Bruce Kennedy and John T. Maher, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Richard Moreno.

Judge: KIRBY

In this appeal, the claimant seeks to toll the statute of limitations on his claim against a municipality based on two statutes: (1) Tennessee Code Annotated § 20-1-119, the 90-day “window” in Tennessee?s comparative fault statute to name a non-party defendant as a comparative tortfeasor, and (2) Tennessee Code Annotated § 9-8-402(b), the tolling provision in the Tennessee Claims Commission Act that states that the filing of written notice of a claim against the State tolls all statutes of limitations as to other persons potentially liable to the claimant. The trial court dismissed the claimant?s complaint against the municipality. It held that, because the antecedent complaint against the State of Tennessee was filed in the Tennessee Claims Commission after expiration of the one-year limitations period, the 90-day window under Section 20-1-119 to file the lawsuit against the municipality, as a comparative tortfeasor, was never triggered. The Court of Appeals reversed, reasoning that the claimant?s written notice of his claim against the State, filed with the Division of Claims Administration before the one-year limitations period elapsed, was an “original complaint” within the meaning of Section 20- 1-119, so the lawsuit against the municipality was timely. The municipality appeals. We hold that the complaint, not the written notice of a claim, is the “original complaint” under Section 20-1-119, so the 90-day window to name a non-party defendant as a comparative tortfeasor was never triggered in this case. We also hold that Section 9-8- 402(b), the tolling provision in the Claims Commission Act, is not applicable to toll the statute of limitations for a claim against a municipality filed under Tennessee?s Governmental Tort Liability Act. Therefore, this action is time-barred.

.PDF Version of Case

WADE dissenting

Comment on this Article

read more »

No Duty of Pre-Sale Home Inspector to Subsequent Guest for Failed Deck Rail, per Middle Section

CHARLES GROGAN v. DANIEL UGGLA, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Matthew E. Wright, Franklin, Tennessee, and Edmund J. Schmidt III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Grogan.

Daniel W. Olivas, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Jerry Black d/b/a Pillar to Post of Middle Tennessee, and Pillar to Post, Inc.

Judge: MCBRAYER

This appeal concerns a home inspector’s liability for a guest’s injury following the collapse of a homeowner’s second-story deck railing. The accident occurred just one month after the home inspection was performed. In his report to the homeowner, the inspector noted that the deck flooring was warped but failed to report the improper construction of the deck railing. The injured guest filed suit against the homeowner and the home inspector, among others. The inspector moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted summary judgment, finding that the inspector did not owe a legal duty to the guest. We affirm.

.PDF Version of Case

Comment on this Article

read more »

Middle Section Reverses Insured Summary Judgment Over Sinkhole Coverage; Granting Judgment Instead to Insurer

KEITH PATTERSON ET AL. v. SHELTER MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Autumn LaCarla Gentry and Thomas M. Donnell, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Shelter Mutual Insurance Company.

Sonya S. Wright, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Joshua E. Burnett, Tampa, Florida, for the appellees, Keith and Kimberly Patterson.

Judge: CLEMENT

This is an action by homeowners against the insurance company that provided their homeowners? insurance coverage. At issue is whether the insurer violated Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-130(b) (2006) by failing to make available coverage for insurable sinkhole losses and whether the physical damage to the home was caused by “sinkhole activity.” When the insurer denied coverage, Plaintiffs commenced this action alleging, inter alia, that the insurer breached the policy and acted in bad faith when it refused to pay their claim. Plaintiffs also sought to hold the insurer liable for violating Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-130(b) because the insurer did not notify Plaintiffs that sinkhole coverage was an available option. At the time of the occurrence, the statute stated: “Every insurer offering homeowner property insurance in this state shall make available coverage for insurable sinkhole losses on any dwelling, including contents of personal property contained in the dwelling, to the extent provided in the policy to which the sinkhole coverage attaches.” Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-130(b) (emphasis added). It is undisputed that the insurer did not notify Plaintiffs that sinkhole coverage was available. The insurer filed a motion for summary judgment contending that Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-130 did not require it to notify Plaintiffs that sinkhole coverage was an available option. The insurer also denied the factual assertion that sinkhole activity caused the loss and asserted that it was not liable because, if sinkhole activity caused the damage, the policy contained an exclusion for such an occurrence. Plaintiffs filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, arguing that they were entitled to a judgment that the insurer had violated Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-130 and that their insurance policy did not exclude coverage for the damage to their home. The trial court granted Plaintiffs? motion with respect to Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-130, concluding it was undisputed that the insurer “did nothing to make the Plaintiffs aware of the sinkhole endorsement and, therefore, did not meet the requirements of [Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-130].” The trial court denied summary judgment on all remaining issues concluding that material facts were disputed concerning the cause of the damage to Plaintiffs? home. On appeal, we reverse the grant of summary judgment to Plaintiffs based on Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-130 and remand with instructions to grant summary judgment to the insurer on that issue because the statutory language, “make available,” does not require insurers to give notice that sinkhole coverage is available. We affirm the trial court?s denial of summary judgment concerning whether the loss at issue is excluded from coverage because, as the trial court correctly found, material facts are in dispute.

.PDF Version of Case

Comment on this Article

read more »

Supreme Court Dismisses Claims Against Clarksville

The Tennessee Supreme Court dismissed a complaint against the city of Clarksville after ruling that claims made by Richard Moreno, who was injured by a tree on state property in Clarksville, were filed too late and should be dismissed. Moreno waited nearly a year after the 2009 incident to file a complaint against the state and later filed against Clarksville. The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of Moreno’s complaint against Clarksville. In his dissent, Justice Gary R. Wade wrote, “a ‘notice of claim’ qualifies as an ‘original complaint initiating a suit’ because the notice meets the traditional definition of a ‘complaint’ and its filing has the same effect.” Read the majority opinion

read more »

Eastern Section Rules Premises Case Untimely After Misnamed Defendant and Insufficient Process Remain Uncorrected

KIMBERLY URBAN v. ROBIN NICHOLS, individually and d/b/a WILLOW BROOK LODGE
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Travis D. McCarter, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kimberly Urban.

Joshua M. Ball and Mabern E. Wall, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Robin Nichols and Willow Brook Lodge, LLC.

Judge: MCCLARTY

This is a negligence action. The plaintiff sustained injuries to her foot and heel while attempting to use a water slide on the defendants’ property. The plaintiff filed suit against the defendants exactly one year after her injury. The complaint, filed against “Robin Nichols and Willow Brook Lodge,” failed to include the proper name of the company, which is “Accommodations by Willow Brook Lodge, LLC.” Approximately fifteen days after filing the complaint, instead of serving Robin Nichols, the plaintiff served her son, Grant Nichols. The defendants’ answer made the errors known, but the plaintiff’s counsel was dilatory in filing a motion to amend. Upon the defendants filing a motion for summary judgment claiming that the suit was barred by the statute of limitations, the trial court granted the motion. We affirm the decision of the trial court.

.PDF Version of Case

Comment on this Article

read more »

Winning the Battles but Losing the War: Middle Section Rules that Jail Bunk Assignment is not a Discretionary Function but County Free of Negligence

TIMOTHY R. PARSONS v. WILSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

David L. Cooper, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timothy R. Parsons.

Jeffrey R. Thompson and N. Craig Strand, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Wilson County, Tennessee.

Judge: DINKINS

Inmate at Wilson County jail, who fell from top bunk bed and injured his shoulder, sued the County under the Governmental Tort Liability Act for failing to assign him to a bottom bunk or provide him with a ladder to access the top bunk. Following a trial, the court held that the bunk assignment was a discretionary function, and consequently, the County was immune from suit; that the county owed no duty to provide a bottom bunk, and that the inmate was more than 50 percent at fault for his injuries. We reverse the trial court?s ruling that the County was immune and the court?s consideration of comparative fault; determining that the County was not negligent, we affirm the judgment in favor of the County.

.PDF Version of Case

Comment on this Article

read more »

Columns Include Same-Sex Marriage, Tolerance and Atticus Finch

President Bill Harbison makes a plea for tolerance among lawyers who hold divergent viewpoints in his column in the September Tennessee Bar Journal. Marlene Eskind Moses and John A. Day each cover the issue of same-sex marriage in their columns: Moses on how that affects family law and Day on loss of consortium claims. Humor columnist Bill Haltom remains steadfast in his admiration of Atticus Finch, even after the jolting view portrayed in Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman

read more »

Rule Change Package Released for Review, Comment

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 dismiss appeals; provisions permitting electronic signatures in courts employing electronic filing; clarification of the effect of service of process on commencement of actions; adoption of the term preliminary hearing in lieu of preliminary examination in criminal procedure; and, refinement of procedure for correction of illegal sentences in criminal cases. The are no evidence rules changes proposed this year. A 90-page comprehensive restructuring and revision of the Rules of Juvenile Procedure is also included.

Six TBA sections -- Appellate Practice, Litigation, Tort and Insurance Law , Family Law, Juvenile and Children’s Law and Criminal Justice -- will be asked to review the proposed amendments and recommend comments on behalf of the association. Comments on the proposals are due to the Court by November 25, 2015.

read more »

Court Square Series Offers 3 CLE Hours in Dyersburg, Jackson

Judge C. Creed McGinley and Judge J. Steven Stafford will speak at the annual Court Square CLE in Dyersburg, Sept. 17. Judge Allen Phillips will talk about his role on the Court of Workers' Compensation Claim at the Court Square CLE in Jackson. Both programs offer three hours of CLE.

read more »

Jail Related GTLA Suit Dismissal Affirmed by Eastern Section

ESTATE OF WALTER BRADLEY by Next of Kin, IRENE KING, ET AL. v. HAMILTON COUNTY
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

H. Whitney Durand, III, and John M. Wolfe, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Estate of Walter Bradley by next of kin, Irene King.

R. Dee Hobbs, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Hamilton County.

Judge: MCCLARTY

Following his conviction, Mr. Bradley was placed at the Hamilton County Jail in March 2012. Over the next seven months, Mr. Bradley spent several weeks in and out of Erlanger Medical Center and Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute due to his poor health. In October 2012, he passed away from tuberculosis. His sister brought this action for wrongful death and negligence under Tennessee?s Governmental Tort Liability Act against Hamilton County. She later amended the complaint in order to add a claim for severe emotional distress she personally suffered as a result of her brother?s alleged mistreatment. Hamilton County filed a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment. The trial court consolidated the two motions together and dismissed the complaint in its entirety. The sister appeals. We affirm.

.PDF Version of Case

Comment on this Article

read more »

You May Not Fire a Worker for Making a Work Comp Claim, but There is No Cause of Action for Failing to Hire, per Supreme Court

KIGHWAUNDA M. YARDLEY v. HOSPITAL HOUSEKEEPING SYSTEMS, LLC
Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys:

David L. Cooper, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kighwaunda M. Yardley.

Fred C. Statum III and Thomas W. Whitworth, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Hospital Housekeeping Systems, LLC. Wade B. Cowan and Douglas B. Janney III, Nashville, Tennessee; Justin S. Gilbert, Jackson, Tennessee; Jennifer B. Morton, Knoxville, Tennessee; and Bryce W. Ashby and William B. Ryan, Memphis, Tennessee, for the amicus curiae, Tennessee Employment Lawyers Association.

Dale Conder Jr., Jackson, Tennessee, for the amicus curiae, Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association.
Judge: LEE

We accepted a question of law certified by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee to determine whether a job applicant has a cause of action under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act against a prospective employer for failure to hire if the prospective employer failed to hire the job applicant because that applicant had filed, or is likely to file, a workers’ compensation claim against a previous employer, and if such a cause of action exists, what standard should apply. We hold that there is no cause of action for failure to hire under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act.

.PDF Version of Case

Comment on this Article

read more »

A Pro Se Parent's Attempt to Represent Child Deemed a Nullity by the Middle Section

JAMES R. VANDERGRIFF ET AL. v. PARKRIDGE EAST HOSPITAL ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

James R. Vandergriff and Samantha J. Vandergriff, Pro se.

H. Dean Clements and Brie Allaman Stewart, Chattanooga, Tennessee for the appellees, ParkRidge East Hospital. F. Laurens Brock, Rocklan W. King III, and Donna L. Boyce, Nashville, Tennessee for the appellees, Richard J. Bowers, M.D., Elizabeth M. Bowers, M.D., and Chattanooga Women’s Specialist, P.C. Arthur P. Brock and Drew H. Reynolds, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, Shawn P. Stallings, M.D. and Regional Obstetrical Consultants, P.C.

Judge: CLEMENT

The parents of a minor child filed a pro se complaint asserting claims on behalf of their daughter and individual claims by each parent. The complaint alleges that the daughter was born with brain injuries and remains severely disabled due to the failure of health care providers to treat her mother for a severe womb infection during two hospitalizations preceding birth. Plaintiffs also allege that the complaint was filed timely, although it was filed ten years after birth, because the defendants fraudulently concealed the fact that the mother was not treated for the infection. The complaint states that the parents learned of the infection in 2012 when they obtained medical records that included a previously- undisclosed placenta pathology report. The defendants responded to the complaint by filing Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(6) motions to dismiss the parents’ individual claims pursuant to the one-year statute of limitations, Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-116(a)(1)-(2), and the daughter’s claims based upon the three-year statute of repose, Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-116(a)(3). The trial court dismissed the parents’ individual claims because the complaint established that the parents learned of the infection no later than December 31, 2012, yet another eighteen months passed before the complaint was filed. As for the daughter’s claims, the trial court concluded that her claims were barred by the statute of repose. Plaintiffs appealed, contending that it was error to dismiss their individual claims based upon the statute of limitations and the daughter’s claims on the statute of repose. We affirm the dismissal of the parents’ claims as barred by the statute of limitations because the complaint indicates that in 2012 the plaintiffs had sufficient facts to put a reasonable person on notice that they had been injured by the defendants’ negligence, and they failed to file their claims in a timely manner thereafter. As for the minor child’s separate claims, they were asserted in a pro se complaint filed by her parents, and neither of her parents is a licensed attorney. Although a parent “may sue or defend” on behalf of their minor child, see Tenn. R. Civ. P. 17, a parent who is not “duly licensed” may not engage in the “practice of law” on behalf of their minor child. See Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 7, § 1.01; Tenn. Code Ann. § 23-3-103(a). A claim asserted in a pleading by a person who is not entitled to practice law is a nullity. Bivins v. Hosp. Corp. of Am., 910 S.W.2d 441, 447 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1995); see Investors Grp., I Ltd. v. Knoxville's Cmty. Dev. Corp., ?? No. E1999-00395-COA-R3-CV, 2001 WL 839837, at *2 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 25, 2001). Because the parents’ attempt to assert claims on behalf of their daughter was a nullity, see Gentry v. Gentry, 924 S.W.2d 678, 680 (Tenn. 1996), the trial court’s judgment on the merits of the minor’s purported claims is vacated.

.PDF Version of Case

Comment on this Article

read more »

Court to Review Uninsured Motorist Coverage

A case granted review by the Tennessee Supreme Court may help determine if an uninsured motorist policy can cover damages caused by a rental car when the rental car’s company is self-insured. The trial court determined that a rental car owned by a car agency was self-insured, so damages incurred in the wreck did not arise from an “uninsured” motor vehicle. The Raybin-Perky Hotlist reviews the case and offers a prediction on how the case may be decided.

read more »

EJU Registration Closes Next Wednesday

Registration for the 2015 Equal Justice University (EJU) conference will close next Wednesday. Attendees will hear from national speakers such as Eric Carlson, with Justice in Aging; the National Employment Law Project's Rebecca Dixon; Camille Holmes with the National Legal Aid and Defender Association; and Georgetown University law professor David Super. EJU is hosted by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services and co-sponsored by the Tennessee Bar Association.

read more »

Nashville Lawyer Receives 2015 Paladin Award

Nashville attorney Kenny Byrd of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein has been recognized with the Tennessee Association for Justice’s (TAJ) 2015 Paladin Award. The award is the group’s highest honor, given to an attorney who has demonstrated superior skills as a trial advocate, has achieved an outstanding result for clients and has worked to improve the civil justice system. Byrd was recognized for the role he played in successful litigation against cigarette manufacturers R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Philip Morris USA Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco Company.

read more »

Class Action Suit Filed Over Train Derailment

The first lawsuit against CSX has been filed in Maryville, WATE reports. The suit alleges that CSX was “negligent and caused a nuisance” when its train carrying toxic, flammable liquid derailed and caused thousands to be evacuated. Maryville attorney Kevin W. Shepherd said he filed the suit with the Tucson, Arizona, law firm of Bellovin and Karnas, because of that firm's experience with toxic chemical tort litigation.

read more »

Date Set for Fungal Meningitis Criminal Trial

The 14 suspects accused of being involved in a criminal conspiracy that led to the fungal meningitis outbreak are scheduled to go to trial on April 4, 2016, the Tennessean reports. The U.S. Department of Justice has started sending notices of the trial to those victimized by the outbreak. Tennessee was one of the hardest hit states with 153 illnesses, including 16 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The trial will take place in Boston.

read more »