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Posted by: Landry Butler on Nov 28, 2017

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

David H. Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kathy Carroll.

Attorneys 2:

Kenneth S. Williams, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Morgan County Board of Education.

Judge(s): SUSANO

The plaintiff Kathy Carroll, an employee of the defendant Morgan County Board of Education, was transferred to a position that she alleges she was physically unable to perform. She notes that her transfer occurred after she sent an email to a school board member complaining about school policy and practice regarding cancellation for bad weather. She brought this action stating claims for (1) age and gender discrimination under the Tennessee Human Rights Act; (2) breach of contract; (3) violation of the consitutional right to free speech; and (4) invasion of privacy. The trial court granted summary judgment on the invasion of privacy claims, stating that “all other issues are reserved for trial.” During the bench trial that followed, plaintiff’s counsel stated that plaintiff was not asserting a claim pursuant to a private right of action for violation of her right to free speech. The attorney also stated that the plaintiff was not seeking damages for such a claim. The trial court found in defendant’s favor on all claims. On appeal, plaintiff raises the sole issue of whether the trial court erred in dismissing her claim for violation of her right to free speech. We hold that plaintiff waived and abandoned this issue at trial. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.