Opinion FlashMay 13, 2002
Volume 8 Number 83
Following this index are summaries of each case, including its name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion.
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Howard H. Vogel
BILLY DON GEORGE, SR. v. CLARENDON NATIONAL INSURANCE, et. al. Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel Attorneys: Joseph M. Huffaker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Clarendon National Insurance Company and Weaver Transport, Inc. William Joseph Butler and Frank D. Farrar, Lafayette, Tennessee for the appellee, Billy Don George, Sr. 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 S 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The defendants contend that the trial court erred in awarding the plaintiff 50% permanent partial disability to the right arm and 65% permanent partial disability to his left arm for injuries sustained when he slipped on ice and fell while stretching a tarpaulin over a flatbed trailer which led to diagnoses and surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists and chronic lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) of his left elbow. The defendants also contend the trial court abused its discretion in commuting a portion of the award to Mr. George to a lump sum amount. After a complete review of the entire record, the briefs of the parties, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/georgebillydon.wpd
HERSCHEL EDWIN LUNA v. GAF FIBERGLASS CORPORATION, et al. Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel Attorneys: James H. Tucker, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, GAF Fiberglass Corporation, Building Materials Manufacturing Corporation, Zurich Insurance Company Ann Buntin Steiner, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Herschel Edwin Luna 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 insists (1) the claim is barred by Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-203 and (2) the trial court's award of permanent partial disability benefits based on 100 percent hearing loss is excessive. As discussed below, the panel has concluded the judgment should be affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/lunaherscheledwin.wpd
JOHN MARSHALL V. SVERDRUP TECHNOLOGIES, INC. Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel Attorneys: Robert J. Uhorchuk, Spicer, Flynn & Rudstrom, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Sverdrup Technology, Inc. Jerre M. Hood, Winchester, Tennessee, for the Appellee, John Marshall Judge: PEOPLES 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) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The employer appeals an award of permanent total disability benefits to age 65, and the Second Injury Fund appeals the apportionment of liability for 30 percent of the benefits to the Fund. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/marshalljohn.wpd
MICHELE RENEE SMITH v. COOKEVILLE REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel Attorneys: Robert R. Davies, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Cookeville Regional Medical Center. W.I. Howell Acuff, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Michele Renee Smith. 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 S 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The defendant appeals the judgment of the trial court finding that the employee, an ICU nurse: 1) suffered a back injury while caring for a patient that aggravated her pre-existing back condition; 2) gave proper notice of her injury under the circumstances; and 3) sustained a 17% anatomical impairment and 37% permanent partial disability to the body as a whole. We hold that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's findings. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/smithmichele.wpd
ROBERT LEWIS DAVIDSON, Individually and as Administrator of the Estate of Joyce Davidson, Deceased, et al v. Charles R. Lindsey, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Russell E. Reviere, Michael L. Mansfield, Jackson, TN, for Appellants Edward L. Martindale, Jr., Jackson, TN, for Appellee Davidson Raymond G. Prince, Nashville, TN, for Appellees Jason R. Ross and Alan P. Ross Fred N. McLean, Paris, TN, for Appellee Charles R. Lindsey Judge: HIGHERS First Paragraph: This appeal arises from an automobile accident involving the Appellants and the Appellees in which the Appellee's wife was killed and the Appellee was seriously injured. The Appellee, individually and as administrator of the estate of his wife, and the Appellee's children filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Henry County against the Appellants and three of the Appellees. Following a jury trial, the jury found that the Appellants were 100% liable for the accident and dismissed the claims against the three Appellees. The jury awarded the Appellee $1,250,000.00 and awarded the estate of the Appellee's wife $500,000.00. The trial court entered a judgment on the jury's verdict. The Appellants filed a motion for a new trial. The trial court denied the motion for a new trial. The Appellants appeal the jury verdict and denial of the motion for a new trial entered by the Circuit Court of Henry County. For the reasons stated herein, we reverse and remand for a new trial in accordance with this opinion. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/davidsonrobertl.wpd
EDDIE LaMARTIN FRITZ v. WANDA LORRAINE WILLIAMS FRITZ Court:TCA Attorneys: Keith A. Hopson and Timothy R. Wilkerson, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the Appellant Eddie LaMartin Fritz. Gregory W. Francisco, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the Appellee Wanda Lorraine Williams Fritz. Judge: SWINEY First Paragraph: Eddie LaMartin Fritz ("Husband") filed for divorce alleging inappropriate marital conduct or, in the alternative, irreconcilable differences. Wanda Lorraine Williams Fritz ("Wife") counter-claimed seeking a divorce on the same grounds. The parties eventually agreed how to divide most of their personal property and stipulated to grounds for the divorce. Wife had opened two savings accounts into which she claims she placed funds for the college education of her two daughters from a previous marriage. The Trial Court concluded the funds in these accounts were not marital property, and Husband challenges this conclusion on appeal. Husband also challenges the Trial Court's holding that he be responsible for all of the credit card debt accumulated during the marriage. We modify the division of property, and affirm the judgment as modified. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/fritzel.wpd
JAMES E. RAY D/B/A RAY'S GULF STATION v. BILLY S. WILLIAMS, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS PRESIDENT OF U-HAUL CO. OF MEMPHIS, U-HAUL COMPANY OF MEMPHIS, U-HAUL INTERNATIONAL, INC., JOE SHOEN, PRESIDENT/CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Court:TCA Attorneys: Michael G. McLaren and Michael R. McCusker, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellants Billy S. Williams, individually and as President of U-Haul Co. of Memphis, U-Haul Company of Memphis, U-Haul International, Inc., Joe Shoen, President/Chairman of the Board. Herman L. Reviere, Ripley, Tennessee, for the appellee, James E. Ray d/b/a Ray's Gulf Station. Judge: LILLARD First Paragraph: This case involves the doctrine of promissory fraud. The plaintiff service station owner claimed that the defendant rental trailer company fraudulently induced him into entering into a contract to operate a rental trailer dealership by orally assuring him that his dealership rights would be exclusive in Ripley, Tennessee. At the bench trial below, the trial court admitted parol evidence of the oral assurances to show fraud in the inducement of the dealership contract. Based on that evidence, the trial court held that the rental trailer company had committed promissory fraud and awarded damages to the plaintiff service station owner. The rental trailer company now appeals. We affirm the finding of promissory fraud, but reverse in part the damage award. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/rayje.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TRACY T. BOSTIC Court:TCCA Attorneys: John H. Henderson, District Public Defender, for the Appellant, Tracy T. Bostic. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Thomas E. Williams, III, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; and Mary Katharine Harvey, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WITT First Paragraph: The Williamson County Grand Jury returned separate, one-count presentments against the defendant, Tracy T. Bostic, charging him with felony sale or delivery of a controlled substance, in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-17-417, and with felony sale or delivery of a counterfeit controlled substance, in violation of Code section 39-17-423. The defendant was tried and convicted on the controlled substance charge, and the trial court imposed an incarcerative sentence of nine years as a Range II, multiple offender and assessed a $25,000 fine. The defendant elected to forego a trial on the counterfeit controlled substance charge, and he entered a "blind" guilty plea to that offense, for which he received a three-year incarcerative sentence as a Range II, multiple offender, which was ordered to be served consecutively to the nine-year sentence. On appeal, the defendant contests the sufficiency of the evidence upon which his controlled substance conviction rests, and he complains about the length and manner of service of his combined sentences and about the $25,000 fine. Based upon our review of the video record in this case and our consideration of the briefs of the parties and applicable law, we affirm the defendant's convictions and the incarcerative portion of his sentences, but we modify the $25,000 fine imposed to $15,000. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/bostictracyt.wpd
Constitutionality of H.B. 2651 regarding forfeiture of motor vehicles used in promoting or patronizing prostitution Date: April 30, 2002 Opinion Number: 02-055 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/OP55.pdf
Break-the-mold schools as authorized by Tenn. Code Ann. S 49-3-365. Date: April 30, 2002 Opinion Number: 02-056 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/OP56.pdf
Proposed Private Act for Loudon County Board of Education Date: April 30, 2002 Opinion Number: 02-057 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/OP57.pdf
Write-In Candidate for Sheriff Date: May 3, 2002 Opinion Number: 02-058 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/OP58.pdf
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