BRITTANY NOEL NELSON, ET AL. v. CHARLES W. MYRES, ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Mar 5, 2018

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Russell E. Edwards, Michael W. Edwards, and Randolph Anderson Veazey, Hendersonville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles W. Myres.

Attorneys 2:

James Randolph Tomkins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Adenus Group, LLC, Adenus Utilities Group, LLC, Adenus Solutions Group, LLC, and Adenus Operations, LLC.

Jon M. Cope, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Westfield Group Insurance.

Judge(s): PAGE

The primary issue in this appeal is whether a surviving spouse maintains priority to file a wrongful death action when the decedent’s child has also filed a wrongful death action in which the child alleges that the surviving spouse negligently caused the decedent’s death. The trial court dismissed the daughter’s wrongful death complaint, but the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, ruling that under the circumstances presented in this case, the surviving spouse was disqualified from filing the wrongful death action. Because the wrongful death statutes do not include an exception to the spousal priority rule and because the surviving spouse did not waive his right to file the wrongful death action, we hold that the trial court properly dismissed the daughter’s wrongful death action. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed and the cause remanded to the trial court.

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