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Posted by: Landry Butler on Feb 12, 2018

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Henry S. Queener, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Leslie Johansen.

Attorneys 2:

C. Benton Patton and Britney K. Pope, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, GEICO Casualty Company.

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter, Andre´e S. Blumstein, Solicitor General, and Lindsay H. Sisco, Assistant Attorney General, for the intervenor-appellee, the Tennessee Attorney General.

Judge(s): SWINEY

This appeal concerns a release of liability. Leslie Johansen (“Johansen”) was a passenger in an ATV accident that resulted in the death of the driver, Lee Martin Sharber. Johansen sued Leon Sharber, Personal Representative of Lee Martin Sharber’s Estate, in the Circuit Court for Rutherford County (“the Trial Court”) alleging negligence. Johansen’s uninsured motorist carrier, GEICO Casualty Company (“GEICO”), was joined as a defendant. While the tort action was underway and without GEICO’s approval, Johansen executed a release of claim regarding the Personal Representative which was filed in the Probate Court for Rutherford County (“the Probate Court”). GEICO filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that, as a result of the release, Johansen forfeited any recovery rights she had against GEICO. The Trial Court granted summary judgment to GEICO. Johansen appealed. We hold that the release executed by Johansen served to release GEICO from any liability arising from Johansen’s personal injury claim stemming from the ATV accident. We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court.