CAROLYN CRISP v. MICHAEL NELMS, ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Karen Belcher on Mar 28, 2018

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

David T. Black, Melanie E. Davis, and Carlos A. Yunsan, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carolyn Crisp.

Attorneys 2:

P. Alexander Vogel, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Michael Nelms.

Rick L. Powers and William A. Ladnier, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, George Long.

Judge(s): D. MICHAEL SWINEY

This appeal arises from a lawsuit over a fatal cycling accident. Carolyn Crisp (“Plaintiff”), surviving spouse of William Andrew Crisp (“Decedent”), sued Michael Nelms (“Nelms”) and George Long (“Long”) (“Defendants,” collectively) in the Circuit Court for Blount County (“the Trial Court”) for negligence. Decedent and four others, including Nelms and Long, were riding as part of a “paceline” group when a crash occurred. Nelms asserted comparative fault, stating that Long slowed down suddenly at the head of the line. Long denied he slowed down suddenly. Defendants filed motions for summary judgment. The Trial Court held, among other things, that paceline cycling inherently is dangerous and that Decedent was at least 50% at fault for his accident. Plaintiff appealed to this Court. We hold, inter alia, that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Long slowed down suddenly at the head of the line and whether a reasonable jury could find Decedent less than 50% at fault in his accident. We reverse the judgment of the Trial Court and remand for the case to proceed.

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