SPENCER D. LAND ET AL. v. JOHN L. DIXON ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Nov 25, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Everett L. Hixson, Jr., Phillip E. Fleenor, and Adam U. Holland, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellants, Spencer D. Land and Action Building and Development, LLC.

Attorneys 2: James T. Williams and Zachary H. Greene, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, John L. Dixon, John Dixon and Associates, Inc., and Henry B. Glascock dba The Henry B. Glascock Company.

Judge(s): SUSANO

The plaintiffs – purchasers of a tract of land at auction – brought this action alleging professional negligence in the conduct of the auction, misrepresentation, and violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act (“the TCPA”). The trial court dismissed the complaint, finding that it failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. On plaintiffs’ first appeal, we affirmed the dismissal of the misrepresentation and TCPA claims. Land v. Dixon, No. E2004-03019-COA-R3-CV, 2005 WL 1618743 (Tenn. Ct. App. E.S., filed July 12, 2005) (“Land I”). We vacated the dismissal of the claim for professional negligence, and remanded the case for trial of that issue. After remand, the trial court granted the defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment and their subsequent motion in limine, holding that plaintiffs were precluded, under our holding in Land I, from presenting evidence of the defendants’ alleged misrepresentations as an aspect of their professional negligence claim. The jury returned a verdict for the defendants on the professional negligence claim. In this second appeal, we hold the trial court did not err in its ruling excluding evidence of misrepresentations and in limiting the negligence claim of the plaintiffs to the conduct of the defendants in their capacity as auctioneers. We further find no prejudicial error in the trial court’s jury charge regarding comparative fault and auctioneer discretion. We affirm the trial court’s judgment based on the jury verdict.

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