JAMES MICHAEL ADLER ET AL. v. CITY OF JOHNSON CITY ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 27, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Jeffrey A. Cobble, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellants, James Michael Adler and Kim Kidner Adler.

Attorneys 2:

K. Erickson Herrin, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellee, City of Johnson City.

Suzanne S. Cook, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellee, Rick Leslie dba ABC Plumbing.

Gregory S. McMillan and Preston A. Hawkins, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Purofirst of Tri-Cities, LLC.

William T. Wray, Jr., Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellee, T. Martin Browder, Jr.

R. Wayne Culbertson, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellee, George Todd East.

Judge(s): SUSANO

James Michael Adler and Kim Kidner Adler filed this action against Johnson City and Purofirst of Tri-Cities, LLC, alleging damage from sewage that backed up and entered their basement. Later, they filed another complaint alleging that their attorneys in the sewage case were guilty of malpractice. In the sewage case, the trial court dismissed the defendant Purofirst with prejudice as a sanction for the Adlers? repeated failure to comply with the court?s discovery orders. The Adlers did not attempt to amend their malpractice complaint to include a claim based on Purofirst?s dismissal until almost six years after the dismissal of Purofirst. Their motion to amend was filed on July 2, 2012, in violation of the trial court?s scheduling order, which provided that “[n]o amendments shall be allowed after May 15, 2012.” The trial court denied the Adlers? motion to amend. The trial court also refused to allow the Adlers to bring Purofirst back into the sewage litigation. It did so despite the fact that another defendant had recently alleged the comparative fault of Purofirst. This latter action of the trial court was taken in an order entered pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 54.02. We hold that the Adlers did not timely appeal this order. We further hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the Adlers? motion to amend their malpractice action. The trial court?s judgment is affirmed.

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