December 6, 2001
Volume 7 — Number 225

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
03 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 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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Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This option will allow you to download the original document.

Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

DWAIN PARKS v. ROYAL INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA

Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel

Attorneys:

Robin H. Rasmussen, Cordova, Tennessee, for the appellant, Royal
Insurance Company of America

Michael W. Whitaker, Covington, Tennessee, for the appellee, Dwain
Parks

Judge: LOSER

First Paragraph:

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special
Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance
with Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the
Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law.  In this
appeal, the employer's insurance carrier contends (1) the award of
permanent partial disability benefits based on 50 percent to the body
as a whole is excessive because the trial judge considered aggravation
of a pre-existing mental condition in addition to carpal tunnel
syndrome, (2) the trial court erred in awarding any permanent
vocational disability benefits, (3) the trial court erred in awarding
a psychologist's witness fee as discretionary costs, and (4) the trial
court erred in awarding a medical examiner's fee as discretionary
costs.  The employee insists the award of permanent partial disability
benefits is inadequate.  As discussed below, the panel has concluded
the judgment should be modified with respect to discretionary costs,
but otherwise affirmed.

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


LYNETTE SANGSTER v. MTD PRODUCTS, INC.

Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel

Attorneys:

Jeffrey P. Boyd, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, MTD Products,
Inc.

Sherry M. Percival, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Lynette
Sangster                     

Judge: LOSER

First Paragraph:

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special
Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance
with Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the
Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law.  In this
appeal, the employer contends the evidence preponderates against the
trial court's finding that the employee is permanently disabled.  As
discussed below, the panel has concluded the judgment should be
affirmed.

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

BILLY L. SEIVER v. PLUMBMASTER, INC., et al.

Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel

Attorneys:  

Kenneth M. Switzer, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants,
Plumbmaster, Inc. and Cigna Insurance Company.

Joe M. Haynes and Russell E. Freeman, Goodlettesville, Tennessee, for
the appellee, Billy L. Seiver.                        

Judge: LOSER

First Paragraph:

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special
Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann.
S 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and
conclusions of law.  In this case, the employer and its insurer
contend the claim is barred by Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-203, a one-year
statute of limitation.  The employee contends the award of permanent
partial disability benefits based on 25 percent to the body as a whole
is inadequate.  As discussed below, the panel has concluded the
judgment should be affirmed.

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


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL JOSEPH ARBUCKLE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Mark C. Scruggs, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael
Joseph Arbuckle.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Thomas E. Williams,
III, Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence Ray Whitley, District
Attorney General; and Lytle Anthony James, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                       

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

A Sumner County jury convicted the Defendant, Michael Joseph Arbuckle,
of one count of driving under the influence, one count of driving
under the influence, per se, and one count of driving under the
influence, second offense.  Following a sentencing hearing, the trial
court merged the convictions and sentenced the Defendant to eleven
months and twenty-nine days, with all but sixty days suspended.  In
this appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred in (1)
denying his motion to suppress the results of a blood alcohol test,
(2) admitting the blood alcohol test results despite incomplete
evidence of the chain of custody, (3) admitting the blood alcohol test
results despite a lack of relevance, and (4) finding that sufficient
evidence existed for a reasonable jury to find the Defendant guilty. 
We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/arbucklemj.wpd

JESSE C. MINOR by and through counsel, Hal Hardin v. STATE OF
TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

J. G. Mitchell, III, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Hugh C. Howser, Jr.,
Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Jesse C. Minor.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; David H. Findley,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney
General; and Roger D. Moore, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the Appellee, State of Tennessee.                        

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

We accepted this extraordinary appeal, see Tenn. R. App. P. 10, to
review certain pre-hearing actions of the Davidson County Criminal
Court in this post-conviction case.   Our grant of review extends to
these issues:  (1) whether a "next friend" may file a post-conviction
petition on behalf of an incompetent prisoner; (2) if so, may the
post-conviction court, sua sponte, order a mental evaluation of the
prisoner or conduct other inquiries into the matter to determine
whether the "next friend" petition was properly filed on the
prisoner's behalf; and (3) whether the court below properly denied the
petitioner's motion for recusal.  We conclude that we improvidently
granted extraordinary review in part, but we otherwise affirm the
rulings of the lower court and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/minorjc.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MELVIN WATERS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Daniel L. McMurtry, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Melvin
Waters.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Laura McMullen Ford,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District
Attorney General; and Brian K. Holmgren, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

The defendant appeals from his convictions for facilitation of
aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, resisting arrest and criminal
impersonation.  The only issue raised by the defendant is whether the
evidence was sufficient to support his conviction for aggravated
assault.  Based on our review of the evidence, we conclude that the
co-defendant's conduct amounted to aggravated assault and that the
defendant, as a party to the offense, was criminally responsible for
that conduct.  The judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/watersm.wpd

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