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Court: TWCA


Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Lauren S. Lamberth, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellant, Second Injury Fund.

Jeffrey A. Garrety, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jeffrey Cotton.

Randy N. Chism, Union City, Tennessee, for the appellee, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.


This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Employee was a diabetic. He suffered a compensable shoulder injury, which required two surgeries and another procedure to correct. He returned to work on light duty status. Some time later, he fell into a diabetic coma. He subsequently developed renal failure and required dialysis thereafter. The trial court found Employee to be permanently and totally disabled, found that the shoulder injury alone had caused a 30 percent permanent partial disability, and apportioned the award between Employer and the Second Injury Fund. The Fund has appealed, contending that the trial court erred in awarding benefits for permanent total disability. Employee contends that the trial court erred in attributing only 30 percent disability to the shoulder injury, and in apportioning the award under Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-208(a). We affirm the judgment and remand the case for proceedings consistent with this opinion and the Suggestion of Death upon the Record filed in this matter.


HARRIS concurring


Court: TCA


Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Mary Ellen Knack, Senior Counsel, for the appellant, Loren L. Chumley, in her capacity as Commissioner of Revenue for the State of Tennessee.

Patricia Head Moskal and Joseph W. Gibbs, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, BMG Music.


The trial court granted Plaintiff/Taxpayer's motion to compel discovery of documents that Defendant Department of Revenue asserted were not subject to disclosure under the Taxpayer Confidentiality Act. We granted permission for interlocutory appeal, and reverse.



Court: TCA


Lewis L. Cobb, Clinton H. Scott, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, City of Jackson, Tennessee ex rel. Jim Campbell as Building Official for the City of Jackson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Douglas Earl Dimond, Senior Counsel for the appellee, State of Tennessee, ex rel. Paula Flowers as Commissioner of the Dept. of Commerce & Insurance.


The City of Jackson appeals the trial court's dismissal of its action against the Commissioner of Commerce and Insurance seeking reimbursement for building demolition expenses under Tenn. Code Ann. section 68-102-122. Finding that sovereign immunity prohibits monetary claims against the state when brought seeking a declaratory order under either the Declaratory Judgment Act, Tenn. Code Ann. section 29-14-101 et seq., or the Administrative Procedures Act, Tenn. Code Ann. section 4-5-225, we affirm.



Court: TCA


Joe Costner, Maryville, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Kathy Huber, individually and on behalf of Elizabeth Chenoweth as her surviving child and next of kin, and Barbara Pendergrass, individually and on behalf of Elizabeth Chenoweth as her surviving child and next of kin.

Wynne C. Hall, John W. Elder, and Daniel C. Headrick, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Internists of Knoxville, PLLC.

Judge: LEE

In this interlocutory appeal of a medical malpractice case, the issue presented is whether the trial court erred in granting partial summary judgment to the employer because it could not be held vicariously liable for the actions of its nonparty employee when the statute of repose had run as to the nonparty employee before the plaintiffs amended their complaint to include allegations based on the nonparty employee's actions. We hold that because the statute of repose extinguished the plaintiffs' cause of action against the nonparty employee, the employer cannot be held liable for allegations of medical negligence based solely on the actions of the nonparty employee. The trial court's partial summary judgment is affirmed.



Court: TCA


Mike Settle, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General and Kellena Baker, Assistant Attorney General, for the Tennessee Department of Correction.


Appellant, a prisoner in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction, challenges the trial court's order dismissing his Petition for Writ of Certiorari. The record reveals that the court reached its decision in a lawful manner. We affirm.



Court: TCA


Christopher D. Markel and April Perry Randle, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellant, Moquey Marquross.

David M. Elliott and Katherine Higgason Lentz, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellee, Philip W. Smith, M.D.


This action arose out of plaintiff's purchase of an aircraft from defendant on Ebay. The Trial Court ruled that defendant denied plaintiff his right to inspect the goods pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 47-2-513, and plaintiff was not required to purchase the aircraft. On appeal, we affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court.



Court: TCA


W. Gary Blackburn, Robert T. Holmar, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Layman Lessons, Inc.

Russell E. Freeman, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Valley View Mobile Home Parks, LLC.


Tenant appeals the Circuit Court's dismissal of its appeal of the Judgment and Order of the General Sessions Court granting Landlord possession of leased premises. The basis of the Circuit Court's dismissal was Tenant's failure to comply with the Court's second Order requiring Tenant to post a bond. Finding error in the application of Tenn. Code Ann. section 29-18-130, we reverse the decision of the Trial Court and remand this case for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.



Court: TCA


Joseph M. Dalton, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Digital Express Graphic, LLC.

Christopher W. Conner, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Xerox Corporation.


This is an appeal from summary judgment granted in favor of the lessor in an action to collect the accelerated unpaid balance of $191,945.47 allegedly due under a lease agreement for digital printing equipment. After careful review of the record, we find that the lessee failed to meet its burden of proving the existence of a dispute of material fact that would preclude summary judgment. We affirm the judgment of the trial court in all respects.



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Legal News
House release still in litigation
In a hearing before U.S. District Judge Harry "Sandy" Mattice today, a public defender representing death-row inmate Paul House asked the judge to free House if the state has not empanelled a jury by June 17 to hear new charges against him. Mattice set the June date six months ago as the deadline for commencement of a retrial. Today, however, Mattice held that the state merely has to take substantial steps toward retrying House to keep him behind bars. In response, House's attorney said he would file an emergency appeal to keep the state from holding his client indefinitely.
The News Sentinel reports
Moncier's suspension delays uranium case
The federal trial of Roy Lynn Oakley, a former Oak Ridge janitor accused of stealing uranium enrichment equipment and offering it to the French, was postponed yesterday after Oakley stated he wanted to be represented by Knoxville lawyer Herbert S. Moncier. Moncier has been suspended from practicing in federal court for up to seven years but is seeking to appeal that decision.
Read about it in the News Sentinel
Study supports new Shelby County jail
Faced with an increasing inmate population, Shelby County could save millions a year by investing in a new $480 million jail, according to a county-funded study recently released. The consulting firm that conducted the study also found the county could cut hundreds from its jail population by funneling $2 million into jail alternatives, such as treatment programs for drug users and the mentally ill. The county sheriff was to present the findings to the commission today.
The Commercial Appeal has more
Mayor to repay questionable charges; those who don't to face suits
Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale said he will reimburse the county almost $1,218 this afternoon to settle charges questioned in an audit of a purchasing card used by his office. Ragsdale claimed the charges were for gas for his county vehicle and office supplies although receipts for the purchases were not available. There is still $15,602 in questionable charges that has not been repaid or adequately documented. The deadline for repaying the funds is Friday and the county law director says he will file suit early Monday against any official who does not comply.
Read about it in the News Sentinel
Supreme Court Report
Workers can sue firms over retaliation
American workers who complain about race or age discrimination on the job can sue for subsequent retaliation according to the U.S. Supreme Court. In two decisions announced Tuesday, the court embraced an expansive view of certain civil rights laws that do not explicitly outlaw acts of retaliation. Nonetheless, the justices said the overall purpose of the laws suggests Congress intended to prevent discrimination and retaliation against those who file such complaints.
The Christian Science Monitor reviews the decisions
Politics could explain greater consensus
Last year at this time, the U.S. Supreme Court had issued 13 rulings decided by a 5-4 vote, but so far this year it has issued only one, the New York Times reports. Northwestern law professor Lee Epstein has found the court issues fewer 5-to-4 decisions during an election year, suggesting that the justices don't want to become an election issue.
Learn more about this trend
Disciplinary Actions
Knoxville lawyer suspended
On May 20, the Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Nathanael E. Anderson for 120 days and placed him on probation for seven months and 29 days. The court found that Anderson violated disciplinary rules by engaging in a pattern of neglect, having inadequate communication with clients, failing to refund fees, charging excessive fees, failing to clarify trust account ambiguities and making misrepresentations to clients.
Download the BPR release
Kingsport lawyer suspended
The state Supreme Court on May 20 suspended Thomas Martin Browder for 10 months and 29 days, retroactive to September 1, 2006. The court also directed Browder to make restitution to all complainants for neglecting client matters and failing to communicate with clients. Browder was first suspended in August 2006 for 11 months and 29 days -- with all but 30 days to be served on probation. His probation was revoked however, when he failed to meet conditions imposed by the court. He now must serve the remaining time on suspension.
Read the BPR release
Dyersburg lawyer suspended
On May 20, the Supreme Court of Tennessee suspended Christopher F. Donovan for 11 months and 29 days, but made the suspension retroactive to Jan. 31, 2006. It also imposed certain conditions on Donovan, including making him pay restitution to two clients, pay the costs of his disciplinary proceedings, and serve a three-year probationary period. Donovan was disciplined for failing to perform legal work for clients who retained him.
Read the BPR notice
TennBarU CLE
New online text course will help you prevail following entry of a judgment
To keep your creditor clients happy, you need to do more than win cases for them; you have to successfully collect on the judgments you've obtained. In a new online text course from TennBarU, Nashville lawyer David Anthony of Bone McAllester provides guidance on collections strategy and planning, as well as a review of the most common roadblocks to judgment enforcement, including a discussion of the bankruptcy process.
Register or find out more now
TBA Member Services
Free online legal research is hot TBA benefit
Online legal research is available free to all Tennessee Bar Association members through an agreement with Fastcase, a leading online legal research firm. The new TBA member benefit is national in scope and offers TBA members unlimited usage, unlimited customer service and unlimited printing -- all at no cost.
Log in now to try it out

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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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