Opinion Flash

April 26, 2002
Volume 8 — Number 072

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
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
04 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
01 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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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


AEGIS INVESTIGATIVE GROUP  v. THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE
AND DAVIDSON COUNTY

Court:TCA

Attorneys:  

Dennis Stanford and Daniel W. Champney, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County,
Tennessee.

Phillip L. Davidson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Aegis
Investigative Group.

Judge: NEAL

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves the efforts of defendant, The Metropolitan
Government of Nashville and Davidson County, to reverse a judgment in
favor of Aegis Investigative Group (Aegis).  Plaintiff, a private
investigating firm, was hired to watch the wife of a Murfreesboro
client for information in a divorce action by placing an electronic
tracking device on her car.  After the wife discovered the device, she
came to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department to have the
device removed as part of a stalking investigation on September 5,
1997.  Metro held the device as potential evidence in a stalking and
illegal use investigation and notified the Murfreesboro Police
Department of a possible violation of Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-13-606.  No
charges were placed against Aegis.  Notwithstanding the conclusion of
its investigation, Metro did not return the device to plaintiff for
some five (5) months after suit was filed, resulting in a judgment for
$20,000 for negligence under the provisions of the Tennessee
Governmental Tort Liability Act for failure to return the tracking
device.  We hold that a finding of negligence on the part of the
defendant is not supported in the record and reverse the judgment
entered by the trial court and assess the costs of this appeal to the
appellee.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/aegisvmetro.wpd

DANA GENUA v. EMORY ASSOCIATES, et al.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:    

W. Andrew Fox and Jack W. Bowers, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Dana Genua.

David L. Buuck, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Emory
Associates.

John T. Johnson, Jr. and John E. Winters, Knoxville, Tennessee, for
the appellee, Edward Sanchez.                      

Judge: SUSANO

First Paragraph:

The plaintiff challenges the adequacy of a jury verdict.  The
defendant Edward Sanchez points us in a different direction; he
contends that the trial court erred when it denied his motion for a
directed verdict.  This litigation started when Dana Genua sued Emory
Associates ("the partnership") and Sanchez - respectively the former
and present owners of a tract of property situated near the
plaintiff's land - seeking to recover for flooding damage to the
plaintiff's property allegedly caused by surface water run-off from
the defendants' property.  The jury returned a verdict for the
plaintiff, awarding him $15,000 in damages against the partnership and
$10,000 as to Sanchez.  The plaintiff then filed a motion for an
additur or a new trial on the issue of damages, and the partnership
and Sanchez each filed a motion to set aside the verdict and for a
directed verdict.  The trial court denied all motions, approved the
verdict, and enjoined Sanchez from continuing the nuisance.  The
plaintiff appeals, arguing that the damage awards are below the lower
limit of the range of reasonableness.  Sanchez raises the additional
issue of whether the trial court erred in denying his motion to set
aside the verdict and for a directed verdict.  We affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/genuad.wpd

GORDON LAIN McCAMMON, et al. v. WILLIAM GIFFORD, SR., et al.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

Bruce Balcom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Gordon Lain
McCammon, Gordon F. McCammon, and Gale L. McCammon.

Kent E. Krause and Gordon C. Aulgur, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellee, William Gifford, Sr., d/b/a OK Campground.

Judge: KOCH

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves a guest of two residents of a campground who was
badly burned when a can of paint thinner ignited in his hosts' camper.
 The guest filed a negligence action in the Circuit Court for Davidson
County against his hosts and the owner of the campground.  The trial
court dismissed the claims against the owner of the campground on
summary judgment after concluding that the owner's duty to render aid
ended once the guest's brother undertook to provide this assistance. 
We affirm the summary judgment because the record contains no evidence
that the guest's brother was incompetent to come to his aid.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/mccammongl.wpd

TRAVELERS INDEMNITY COMPANY v. KENTON FREEMAN, et al.

Court:TCA

OPINION ON PETITION TO REHEAR                       

Judge: GODDARD

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/travelersind_reh.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BOBBY VINCENT BLACKMON
(This replaces the opinion originally filed November 16, 2001 and
includes a substitute for page 6.)

Court:TCCA

Attorneys: 

Randy P. Lucas, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Bobby Vincent
Blackmon.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Elizabeth T. Ryan, Assistant Attorney General;
Lawrence Ray Whitley, District Attorney General; and Dee David Gay,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of
Tennessee.                         

Judge: HAYES

First Paragraphs:

In May of 1993, the Appellant, Bobby Vincent Blackmon, was indicted by
a Sumner County grand jury for one count of class A felony possession
of cocaine over 300 grams stemming from his involvement in a "reverse
sting" drug operation.  He was subsequently convicted in February of
1995.  In 1998, the Tennessee Supreme Court granted Blackmon a new
trial.  See State v. Bobby Vincent Blackmon, 984 S.W.2d 589 (Tenn.
1998).

In November of 1999, Blackmon was re-tried and again convicted of the
offense of possession with the intent to sell over 300 grams of
cocaine.  After a sentencing hearing on May 17, 2000, the trial court
sentenced Blackmon to thirty-eight years as a Range II offender and
ordered his sentence be served consecutive to a prior first-degree
murder conviction.

On appeal, the following issues are presented for our review:  (1)
whether Blackmon was denied effective assistance of counsel at trial;
(2) whether the trial court erred by refusing to allow Blackmon to
assert an "outrageous government conduct" defense, an entrapment
defense and/or an impossibility defense; (3) whether the indictment in
this case was fatally defective; and (4) whether the sentence was
excessive.  After review, we find no reversible error.  Accordingly,
the judgment of conviction and sentence is affirmed.

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

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