RONDAL AKERS ET AL. v. PRIME SUCCESSION OF TENNESSEE, INC. ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Oct 26, 2012

Head Comment: CORRECTION: Pursuant to Rehear Order filed 10-26-2012, corrections to the opinion appear on pages two (2), four (4) and thirteen (13), resulting in pagination change.

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

William J. Brown, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellants, Rondal Akers, Jr. and Lucinda Akers.

Attorneys 2:

Stuart F. James, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, T. Ray Brent Marsh.

Judge(s): LEE

Dr. Rondal D. Akers, Jr. and Lucinda Akers sued T. Ray Brent Marsh for the alleged mishandling of their deceased son’s body, which had been sent to Mr. Marsh’s crematorium for cremation. Following a jury verdict for the Akerses, the trial court entered judgment against Mr. Marsh based on the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim but granted his motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the Akerses’ Tennessee Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and bailment claims. The Court of Appeals affirmed. We hold the trial court did not err in (1) holding Mr. Marsh liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress in the amount of the jury verdict; (2) instructing the jury that they were permitted to draw a negative inference resulting from Mr. Marsh’s invocation of his Fifth Amendment privilege during questioning; and (3) dismissing the TCPA and bailment claims. The judgments of the trial court and the Court of Appeals are affirmed.

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