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Posted by: Barry Kolar on Jul 31, 2014

Head Comment: With Dissenting Opinion

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Dwight E. Tarwater, Ryan M. Connor, Knoxville, Tennessee; Jim Summers, Kevin W. Washburn, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Celadon Trucking Services, Inc.

Attorneys 2:

R. Sadler Bailey, Thomas R. Greer, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Donriel A. Borne

Judge(s): HIGHERS

Plaintiff was injured in an accident involving three tractor-trailer trucks. Plaintiff, who was driving a tractor-trailer, sued the other truck drivers and the trucking company owners of the vehicles. However, prior to trial, Plaintiff entered into an agreement with one of the trucking companies whereby Plaintiff and the agreeing defendant agreed to cooperate regarding the litigation and to work together to expose the defenses asserted by the non-agreeing defendant. The jury returned an itemized verdict of $3,705,000 for the Plaintiff against the non-agreeing defendant. The trial court denied the non-agreeing defendant’s motion for a new trial, but it suggested a remittitur of $1,605,000, for a total award of $2,100,000. Plaintiff accepted the remittitur under protest and the non-agreeing defendant appealed to this Court. For the following reasons, we affirm in part and we reverse in part. Specifically, we affirm the physical pain and mental anguish and permanent injury awards as reduced by the trial court; we reverse the trial court’s suggested remittitur of the loss of earning capacity award and we instead reinstate the jury verdict of $1,455,000; and we further reduce the loss of enjoyment of life award to $50,000. Thus, we approve a total award to Plaintiff of $2,105,000.