Bones of Betrayal: Update in Forensic Technology

Forensic evidence can be the linchpin in a court case, so it is crucial to stay abreast of new developments, as well as understanding current forensic techniques. Join forensic anthropologist Dr. William Bass, founder of the University of Tennessee's "Body Farm," and his writing partner, Jon Jefferson, for a TennBarU CLE program Feb. 12 in Nashville to learn about current and emerging forensic anthropology research and investigative technologies and how they might be encountered in court.

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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.

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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.

GEORGE LOCKARD v. ESTES EXPRESS LINES, INC.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

David Hardee, Jackson, Tennessee for the appellee, George Lockard.

Juan Villasenor, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellee/intervenor, The Second Injury Fund.

Judge: HAYES

The employee worked as a long-haul truck driver for the employer, a carrier of motor freight. While operating a truck, the employee was struck in the rear of his trailer by another vehicle. Medical treatment was not deemed necessary at the time of the collision. Shortly thereafter, the employee reported pain in his neck and lower back. The trial court awarded 90% permanent partial disability. On appeal, the employer raises the following issues: (1) whether the employee's medical condition is causally connected to the vehicular accident; (2) whether the employee has sustained permanent impairment; (3) whether the employee is 90% disabled; and (4) whether the trial court's award for the payment of medical expenses to Dr. Curlee, an unauthorized medical provider, is proper. The employee also appeals arguing that he is totally and permanently disabled. After review, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2009/lockardg_012809.pdf


WILLIE R. BREAZEALE v. JASON E. HENSLEY, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

D. Alexander Fardon and Jeffrey J. Miller, Nashville, Tennessee for the Appellant, Roane Medical Center.

Patrick C. Cooley, Kingston, Tennessee for the Appellee, Willie R. Breazeale.

Judge: SWINEY

Willie R. Breazeale ("Plaintiff") was involved in an automobile accident and received treatment for her injuries at Roane Medical Center ("the Hospital"). Plaintiff sued the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident. The Hospital filed hospital liens for the care and treatment it rendered to Plaintiff. Plaintiff filed a motion to quash or reduce the hospital liens. After hearing argument on the motion to quash or reduce hospital liens, the Trial Court entered an order finding and holding, inter alia, that the Hospital's lien of $2,199.04 shall be reduced by one-third representing Plaintiff's attorney's lien pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 29-22-101(b) and (c). The Hospital appeals the reduction of its lien by one-third. We hold that the Hospital's lien shall not be reduced by one-third representing the Plaintiff's attorney's lien, and we modify the judgment to so reflect. We affirm the judgment as so modified.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/breazealew_012809.pdf


JAMES CONDRA and SABRA CONDRA v. BRADLEY COUNTY, TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John M. Wolfe, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellants, James and Sabra Condra.

Jeffrey M. Atherton, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellee, Bradley County, Tennessee.

Judge: FRANKS

Plaintiffs brought this action against Bradley County, alleging the County was negligent in failing to properly maintain a defective, unsafe and dangerous condition at the intersection of two county roads, which caused an accident wherein plaintiffs were injured. The County filed a Motion for Summary Judgment which the Trial Court granted on the grounds the County was immune. On appeal, we hold the record before us does not support the Judgment granted by the Trial Court as a matter of law. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/condraj_012809.pdf


SONJA FILSON, ET AL. v. SETON CORPORATION d/b/a BAPTIST HOSPITAL, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

B. Keith Williams, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellants, Sonja Filson and Timothy Filson.

Mary Martin Schaffner, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Seton Corporation, d/b/a Baptist Hospital.

Judge: COTTRELL

A mother who had recently given birth was given someone else's child to nurse, but realized the mistake after a short time. The mother and father filed suit against the hospital alleging, among other things, negligent infliction of emotional distress. The hospital admitted a breach of the standard of care, but argued on summary judgment that there was no genuine issue of material fact regarding the mother's lack of emotional injuries as required by Camper v. Minor, 915 S.W.2d 437 (Tenn. 1996). The trial court granted partial summary judgment to the defendant hospital by limiting the mother's claim for damages to those suffered within ten days of the hospital's error while the couple awaited confirmation that the baby they brought home was their biological child. We affirm the trial court in part and reverse in part.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/filsons_012809.pdf


AMBER HOBBS, ET AL. v. SETON CORPORATION d/b/a BAPTIST HOSPITAL, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Richard L. Colbert, Courtney Lynch Wilbert, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Amber Hobbs and Chloe King.

Mary Martin Schaffner, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Seton Corporation, d/b/a Baptist Hospital.

Judge: COTTRELL

This is a companion case to Filson v. Seton Corp. d/b/a Baptist Hospital, No. M2006-02301-COA- R9-CV. Both cases were brought by mothers of newborns against the hospital where the babies were born, and both arose from the same incident. Employees of the hospital mistakenly brought the wrong infant to a mother for feeding. In the case before us, Ms. Hobbs, the mother of the child who was mistakenly taken to the wrong mother, claimed emotional distress on her own behalf and negligence and battery on behalf of her child. The hospital admitted a breach of the standard of care, but argued that the plaintiffs did not suffer any actual damages because the mistake was corrected within a very short time after it was made. The trial court dismissed all the claims on summary judgment. Ms. Hobbs argues on appeal that the trial court erred in dismissing the claims for negligence and battery that she filed on behalf of her infant child. We affirm the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/hobbsa_012809.pdf


RICKY LEE WILSON, and KIMBERLY WILSON, as guardians and next friends of BRANDON WILSON, a minor, v. METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE, TOM MADDOX, TIMOTHY JOHN McKNIGHT and JUSTIN LEJUAN DUNNIGAN

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Sue B. Cain, Director of Law, The Department of Law of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, and Kevin C. Klein and Andrew D. McClanahan, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

D. Andrew Saulters, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellees, Ricky Lee Wilson and Kimberly Wilson, as Guardians and Next Friends of Brandon Wilson.

Judge: FRANKS

The minor plaintiff and his parents sued for damages for serious bodily injury resulting from an assault, and at the conclusion of the trial the Trial Judge held the defendants liable for the injuries and awarded damages. The defendants have appealed, insisting the assault was not foreseeable. We affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/wilsonr_012809.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Politics
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Senate committee approves Holder
The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the nomination of Eric Holder to become attorney general. The vote was 17-2; a full Senate vote could come as early as tomorrow.
ABAJournal.com give you the story
Judge tells victim to have a gun to protect herself
General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon told a female home invasion victim today that she needs to buy a gun to protect herself. "There should be a law that law abiding citizens with no felony convictions should own a gun," the judge said while setting bond for Colton Dobbins. Moon addressed Dobbins, saying, "If it had been my house you came in on, you would have wound up at Coulter Funeral Home."
Read more at Chattanoogan.com
Editorial: Environmental Court is worthwhile
In an editorial today, the Jackson Sun says the city's Environmental Court "has proven itself since its inception last year as a place where neighborhood livability issues can get a fair court hearing. Monday, it proved this again by giving ... poor, abused dogs their day in court." The court was created to deal with rundown buildings, delinquent landowners and other issues that negatively affect neighborhoods. "Dealing with abusive pet owners helps improve neighborhoods," the paper says. "The Environmental Court is a solid tool for helping strengthen neighborhoods."
Read the editorial
Legislative News
Ethics committee will not hear Williams' case, Lynn hospitalized
The House Ethics Committee has decided not to proceed with a sexual harassment complaint against Tennessee's new House Speaker, Kent Williams. Rep. Brian Kelsey filed the complaint regarding accusations made by Rep. Susan Lynn two years ago. The committee voted not to take up the case -- after a legislative attorney said the ethics committee is not authorized to hear sexual harassment cases -- and recommended that legislative attorneys review the state's sexual harassment policy to determine how to best proceed if such a case should arise again. This morning, Rep. Susan Lynn was taken to the hospital for stress-related issues.
WSMV-TV reports
NashvillePost.com reports that after the meeting Kelsey was "trembling with anger after his complaints were denied, saying that the committee made a 'mockery of ethics.' He said his Republican colleagues who voted against his complaint had made a 'bad mistake.'"
Link to NashvillePost.com [subscriptoin required]
Politics
Kustoff will chair Gibbons' run for governor
Memphis lawyer David Kustoff, who managed former president George W. Bush's two successful campaigns in Tennessee, will chair Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons' campaign for governor, the campaign announced today. Three other Shelby County lawyers are joining the campaign: John Bobango, also a veteran of numerous statewide GOP races, will serve as chairman of the campaign's advisory committee; Justin N. Joy is legal counsel; and Adam Nickas is state field director.
The Commercial Appeal has the story
TBA Member Services
Secure, compliant data backup service now available
The TBA's official data protection, backup and recovery vendor of choice, i365, offers secure online backup solutions. i365 minimizes downtime by backing up files quickly and easily, and helps lawyers remain compliant by maintaining file integrity. Get i365 and be confident your data is securely stored and protected. TBA members enjoy a 10 percent savings on all services. For more information on this member benefit Denise Lucas at (407) 523-9774.
Learn why lawyers trust i365 for online data backup solutions

 
 
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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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