TBA takes convention to the mountains: Register now

Lawyers from across Tennessee will be in the Smoky Mountains this summer as the Tennessee Bar Association convenes its annual convention in Gatlinburg June 11-14. Register now to take part in the Meeting in the Mountains -- a joint event with the Tennessee Judicial Conference, the Tennessee Attorneys for Justice and the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women. You don't want to miss it.

http://www.tba.org/convention2008

TODAY'S OPINIONS
Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database or to obtain a text version of each opinion, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at the TBA's Membership Central.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
05 - TN Court of Appeals
00 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
01 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. 2) Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

JESSIE DAVIS, ET AL. v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Ronald C. Wilson, West Memphis, AR, for Appellant

Prince C. Chambliss, Jr., Memphis, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

This case involves a claim for breach of warranty. The plaintiff purchased a used Ford from a GMC dealership. The truck came with Ford's bumper to bumper limited warranty. The warranty specifically excluded from coverage any damage caused by after-market components and/or non- Ford components. Unbeknownst to the plaintiff, the truck had three after-market modifications: a "super chip," a "K& N" air filter, and a "Magnaflow" muffler. The plaintiff began experiencing oil consumption problems and trouble with the engine. He took the vehicle to several Ford dealerships for repair. One dealership service department recommended replacing the engine of the truck, but Ford denied warranty coverage, pointing to the after-market modifications as the cause of the trucks problems. The plaintiff sent Ford a letter of revocation of acceptance, and thereafter filed suit alleging several claims, including breach of warranty and a claim under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. A bench trial was held, and the court ruled in favor of Ford on all claims. The plaintiff appeals, and we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/davisj_031408.pdf


JESSIE DAVIS, ET AL. v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Ronald C. Wilson, West Memphis, AR, for Appellant

Prince C. Chambliss, Jr., Memphis, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

This case involves a claim for breach of warranty. The plaintiff purchased a used Ford from a GMC dealership. The truck came with Ford's bumper to bumper limited warranty. The warranty specifically excluded from coverage any damage caused by after-market components and/or non- Ford components. Unbeknownst to the plaintiff, the truck had three after-market modifications: a "super chip," a "K& N" air filter, and a "Magnaflow" muffler. The plaintiff began experiencing oil consumption problems and trouble with the engine. He took the vehicle to several Ford dealerships for repair. One dealership service department recommended replacing the engine of the truck, but Ford denied warranty coverage, pointing to the after-market modifications as the cause of the trucks problems. The plaintiff sent Ford a letter of revocation of acceptance, and thereafter filed suit alleging several claims, including breach of warranty and a claim under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. A bench trial was held, and the court ruled in favor of Ford on all claims. The plaintiff appeals, and we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/davisj_031408.pdf


THURSTON HENSLEY v. CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Gareth S. Aden and Christopher W. Cardwell, Nashville, Tennessee; Randall A. Jordan, Grant Buckley, Karen Jenkins Young, and Christopher R. Jordan, St. Simons Island, Georgia; and H. Dean Clements, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, CSX Transportation, Inc.

H. Douglas Nichol, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Joseph D. Satterley, Louisville, Kentucky, for the appellee, Thurston Hensley.

Judge: SUSANO

Thurston Hensley ("Employee") sued CSX Transportation, Inc. ("Railroad") pursuant to the Federal Employees Liability Act ("FELA"), 45 U.S.C. Section 51-60 (2008), alleging that he contracted toxic encephalopathy and asbestosis in the course and scope of his employment as an electrician with Railroad. The case was tried to a jury, which found in favor of Employee and awarded him $5,000,000 in compensatory damages. Railroad appeals, alleging that the trial court erred in the following ways: by directing a verdict against it on the Railroad's statute of limitations defense; by charging the jury with divergent standards of negligence and causation with regard to Railroad's negligence and Employee's negligence; by giving the jury a verdict form that, according to Railroad, predetermined the issue of whether Employee actually had the diseases he claims; by failing to instruct the jury that a plaintiff's fear of cancer must be "genuine and serious"; by failing to declare, as a matter of law, that Employee's evidence did not satisfy that standard; and by failing to declare a mistrial because of Employee's closing argument, which Railroad claims was inflammatory. We reject all of Railroad's arguments. Accordingly, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/hensleyt_031408.pdf


MELBA B. HOMRA, ET AL. v. HAROLD ELLIOTT NELSON

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

James S. Haywood, Jr. of Brownsville, Tennessee for Appellant, Harold Elliott Nelson

Mary Jo Middlebrooks and Betty Stafford Scott of Jackson, Tennessee for Appellees, Melba B. Homra and George B. Bridgewater

S. Jasper Taylor IV of Bells, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem

Judge: CRAWFORD

This case arises from a dispute over an antenuptial agreement. Appellant Husband and wife entered into an antenuptial agreement, whereby Husband was obligated to pay for daily necessities. Wife executed a durable power-of-attorney, naming her adult Children, the Appellees herein, as her attorneys-in-fact. When Wife became unable to care for herself because of advancing Alzheimer's, a dispute arose between Husband Appellant and Children Appellees as to who would be responsible for the costs associated with wife's care. The trial court held that, under the antenuptial agreement, Husband Appellant was responsible for these expenses. Husband Appellant appeals. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/homramb_031408.pdf

Williams Dissenting
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/homramb_dis_031408.pdf


REBECCA WOODY v. A.W. CHESTERTON COMPANY ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Dwight E. Tarwater, Thomas A. Bickers, John W. Elder, and Joshua R. Walker, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Bayer CropScience, Inc., Certain Teed Corporation, General Electric Company, Georgia-Pacific LLC, Industrial Holdings Corporation, and Union Carbide Corporation.

Michael J. King and M. Denise Moretz, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, National Service Industries, Inc., Mobil Corporation, and CBS Corporation.

Jimmy F. Rodgers, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee; John E. "Rett" Guerry, III, and Robert J. Klug, Sr., Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, for the appellee, Rebecca Woody.

Judge: BENNETT

An insulator and his wife sued multiple corporate defendants for damages related to his development of mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos. Most of the defendants filed motions for summary judgment based upon a release agreement signed by the plaintiffs in 1980 in settlement of another lawsuit concerning asbestos exposure. The trial court denied the motions for summary judgment. We have concluded that, except as to any claims arising from post-release asbestos exposure, the trial court erred in denying the motions for summary judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/woodyr_031408.pdf


Constitutionality of Regulation of Ticket Resales

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-03-13

Opinion Number: 08-53

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2008/ag_08_53.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Your Practice
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Legal News
'King of Torts' pleads guilty in bribery case
Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, the legendary trial lawyer who made Big Business tremble when he set foot in court, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to bribe a judge -- a crime that will almost surely send him to prison and perhaps spell the end of his storied legal career.
Read the Associated Press report
Bush suffers from stalemate on judicial nominations
With just about 10 months left in his term, President Bush is on track to leave office with fewer of his picks on the federal bench than his fellow two-term presidents, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, and only slightly ahead of Jimmy Carter.
A Legal Times story on Law.com breaks down the numbers and reasons
Memphis native prepares defense in terrorism case
A Memphis lawyer will be handling the defense of a suspected terrorist linked to the Sept. 11 attacks when he goes on trial. U.S. Army Major Jon Jackson, who was born and raised in Memphis, has been a lawyer in the Army JAG Corps since 1996 and has been assigned to defend one of the suspects now being held at Guantanamo Bay.
Read more from WMCTV
Courthouse evacuated after spray set off
Two levels of the Hamilton County Jail were evacuated shortly after noon today after an unknown substance was sprayed in the face of two officers. A Haz/Mat team later identified the substance as pepper spray and employees were allowed back into the building, the Times Free Press reports.

Judicial commissioner suspended
A Bedford County judicial commissioner accused of soliciting sex while on duty has been removed from his position pending the outcome of the case. The state administrator of courts will appoint a general sessions judge from another county to fill the position.
Read more in the Shelbyville Times-Gazette
Your Practice
Rating the world of in-house counsel
So, how does life at a law firm compare with that at a business? The Southern California chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel recently polled its members on everything from signing bonuses to company revenue to male vs. female pay to find out some answers. As expected, there are some pluses and some minuses for taking your talents in house.
Find out more on the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog
Upcoming
Law school recognition dinner will honor 3
The Nashville School of Law will honor three area attorneys at its annual recognition dinner on June 6. Those being honored are: Anne Russell, alumni; Mark Westlake, faculty; and Sen. Douglas Henry Jr., Community Service Award. For more information, contact the school at 615-256-3684.

TBA Member Services
Discounts from Office Depot
Are you saving yet? Sign up for the TBA-Office Depot Program and begin saving. TBA Members receive significant discounts on office supplies from Office Depot.
Find out more

 
 
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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.

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