January 04, 2001
Volume 7 -- Number 003

What follows is the case style or name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion released eletronically today to TBALink.

This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
 
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
02 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
03 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
00 New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
00 New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility
 

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Lucian T. Pera
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

DEBRA WARD  v. KANTUS CORPORATION

Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel

Attorneys:  

Randolph A. Veazey, Connie Jones, Nashville, Tennessee for the
appellant, Kantus Corporation.

C. Kelly Wilson, Shelbyville, Tennessee for the appellee, Debra Ward.                        

Judge: WEATHERFORD

First Paragraph:

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special
Workers'  Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in
accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated S50-6-225 (e)(3) for hearing
and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions
of law.  The defendant, Kantus Corporation, appeals the judgment of
the Circuit Court for Marshall County, where the trial court awarded
permanent partial disability benefits of $32,879.60, representing a
permanent partial disability of thirty-two and one-half percent
(32.5%) to the body as a whole, and representing two and one-half
times the plaintiffs impairment rating of thirteen percent (13%)  with
open future medical benefits.  The trial court commuted the award to a
 lump sum, and taxed court costs to Kantus.  The defendant submits
that:  (1)  Ms. Ward's claim is barred by the statute of limitations;
(2)  she failed to give notice to her employer of her injury; (3)  
Ms. Ward did not sustain an injury arising out of and in the course
and scope of her employment; (4) the trial court's award of thirty-two
and one-half (32.5%)  permanent partial disability to the body as a
whole was excessive and contrary to the weight of the evidence; and 
(5)   the trial court erred in affording equal or greater weight to
the opinion of the evaluating physician than that of the treating
neurosurgeon in determining permanent partial  impairment and
disability.  For the reasons stated in this opinion, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/warddebra.wpd


JEANNE MICHELE ROGERS HUDGENS v. KEITH ALLEN ROGERS Court:TCA Attorneys: Laura Y. Goodall, Gallatin, Tennessee and Robert Todd Jackson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeanne Michele Rogers Hudgens. Mark T. Smith, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Keith Allen Rogers. Judge: FARMER First Paragraph: The mother of four minor children appealed the trial court's decision to change custody from Mother to Father based on a material change in circumstances. Prior to the entry of that order, it had been determined that an agreement, originally announced to the court which awarded custody of the children to Mother, had been set aside due to the court's finding that there had been no meeting of the minds of the parties as several critical issues had been left unresolved. We have determined that the court was correct in that decision. Therefore, the standard which the trial court should have applied was one of comparative fitness and best interest of the children rather than a material change of circumstances. This matter is reversed and remanded to the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/hudgensjeanne.wpd
UNIFIRST CORPORATION v. HARRY LANE, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Linda J. Hamilton Mowles, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Harry Lane, and Harry Lane Dodge-Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc., Cappo Management, Inc., d/b/a East Tennessee Dodge-Chrysler- Plymouth, Inc., and Jeffrey E. Cappo. Earl Porter, Jr. and Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Unifirst Corporation. Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: This is an appeal from an award of damages by the Chancery Court of Davidson County for a breach of a contract. The defendants assert that the individual executing the contract did not have the authority to bind the corporation and that the contract ended when the corporation sold its assets. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/unifirstcorp.wpd
STEPHEN L. CAREY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: James E. Wagner, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Stephen L. Carey. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Randy Eugene Nichols, District Attorney General; and Robert L. Jolley, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: RILEY First Paragraph: This is a post-conviction appeal. The petitioner is currently serving life as an habitual criminal plus a consecutive 105 years for other offenses, all imposed in 1987. The petitioner timely filed three petitions for post-conviction relief challenging his guilty pleas for offenses occurring in 1969, 1981, and 1983, all of which were subsequently used to establish his habitual criminal status. The petitioner attempted to amend his petitions for post-conviction relief by challenging two of his 1987 convictions, but it was denied as untimely. All petitions were dismissed by the trial court after a hearing. In this appeal as a matter of right, the petitioner contends (1) he received ineffective assistance of counsel and inadequate advice of his constitutional rights from the trial court, thereby rendering his guilty pleas involuntary and unknowing; and (2) the post-conviction court erroneously dismissed his amendment to the petition for post-conviction relief. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the post-conviction court correctly denied post-conviction relief. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/careysl.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. HAROLD L. GREEN Court:TCCA Attorneys: Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; James N. Ramsey, District Attorney General; and Janice G. Hicks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee. James M. Webster, Oak Ridge, Tennessee (on appeal), and Mike Farley, Clinton, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellee, Harold L. Green. Judge: TIPTON First Paragraph: The state appeals the defendant's withdrawal of his guilty plea to driving under the influence. It contends that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to grant the defendant's motion to withdraw because the judgment of conviction became final on the day the trial court accepted the plea and imposed the agreed upon sentence. We reverse the trial court's order permitting the defendant to withdraw his plea. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/greenhl.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CARLOS DEMETRIUS HARRIS Court:TCCA Attorneys: Cynthia A. LeCroy-Schemel, for the appellant, Carlos Demetrius Harris. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; R. Stephen Jobe, Assistant Attorney General; Bill Cox, District Attorney General; and Barry Steelman and Christopher Poole, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WELLES First Paragraph: The Defendant, Carlos Demetrius Harris, appeals as of right from his reckless homicide conviction. On appeal, he presents the following six issues: (1) whether the trial court erred by granting the State's motion to amend the indictment from voluntary manslaughter to reckless homicide; (2) whether the trial court erred by allowing inadmissible items into evidence; (3) whether the trial court erred by not allowing testimony by the Hamilton County Medical Examiner that an ordinary person would be unaware that one blow to the head would cause death; (4) whether the trial court erred by granting the State's jury instruction request regarding causation and intent; (5) whether the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction; and (6) whether the trial court erred by sentencing the Defendant to a term of six years and by denying the Defendant alternative sentencing. We find no reversible error; accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/harriscd.wpd

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