Tort and Insurance Law Section

This section provides a venue for attorneys to share views and to develop relationships with colleagues in this area of practice. The section offers CLE on issues impacting both tort and insurance law and sends out case updates to its members.

Chair
Farmers Insurance Exchange and...
6 Cadillac Dr., Suite 260
Brentwood, TN 37027
(615)370-7002
Immediate Past Chair
Butler, Vines & Babb
PO Box 2649
Knoxville, TN 379012649
(865)637-3531

Western Section Reverses GTLA Defense Verdict for Jail's Failure to Treat Hypertension

JOHN PAYNE AS NEXT OF KIN ON BEHALF OF THE LEGAL MINOR HEIRS OF MARCUS K. PAYNE v. TIPTON COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Court: TN Court of Appeals
Attorneys:
Danese K. Banks and Ursula Y. Holmes, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Payne, as next of kin on behalf of the legal minor heirs of Marcus K. Payne.
Brandon O. Gibson and Jon A. York, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tipton County, Tennessee.
Judge: STAFFORD
This is a negligence case filed against Tipton County for injuries an inmate sustained as a result of a severe hypertensive crisis that occurred while he was confined in the Tipton County jail. The trial court denied the claim, finding that Tipton County did not breach the duty of care. Based on the evidence in the record, we reverse the decision of the trial court and remand this matter for consideration of damages. Reversed and remanded.

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Eastern Section Reverses Finding that UM Carrier's Efforts to Avoid Arbitration were Flawed

LINDA F. COFFEY ET AL. v. TYLER N. HOFFMAN ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals
Attorneys:
Thomas L. Kilday and Brandy M. Burnette, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company.
Phillip L. Boyd, Rogersville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Linda F. Coffey and C. Wayne Coffey.
Judge: SUSANO
The issue presented in this appeal is whether the plaintiffs’ uninsured motorist insurance carrier preserved its rights to a jury trial and subrogation interest under Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-1206 (2008). This statute allows an uninsured motorist insurer to “elect to decline binding arbitration and preserve its subrogation rights” under certain prescribed circumstances. Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-1206(k). The trial court held that the uninsured motorist insurance carrier failed to comply with a local circuit court rule that requires a response to a motion to be filed and served on the movant no later than 30 days after the motion is filed. Pursuant to that local rule, the trial court treated the plaintiffs’ motion to compel arbitration as “unopposed.” The trial court further held that the uninsured motorist insurance carrier “did not strictly comply with the requirement of T.C.A. § 56-7-1206 objecting to arbitration” and ordered the parties to submit to binding arbitration. We hold that the uninsured motorist insurance carrier complied with the statute, thereby preserving its rights to a jury trial and subrogation, and that the local rule does not operate to abrogate these rights. The judgment of the trial court is vacated and this case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

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