Opinion FlashJune 18, 2002
Volume 8 Number 104
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.
TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi . If you are a TBA member, but do not have a username and password, you can receive one online at http://www.tba.org/signup.mgi. Here's how you can obtain full-text version.
Howard H. Vogel
KRISTINA BROWN, Individually and on Behalf of All Other Individuals and Entities Similarly Situated in the State of Tennessee, and BOBBY DAVIDSON, Individually and on Behalf of All Other Individuals and Entities Similarly Situated in the State of Tennessee v. TOM TAYLOR CHEVROLET-PONTIAC OLDSMOBILE GMC TRUCK, INC. and UNION CITY FORD-LINCOLN/MERCURY, INC. Court:TCA Attorneys: Gordan Ball, of Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bobby Davidson, Individually and on Behalf of All Other Individuals and Entities Similarly Situated In The State of Tennessee. George T. Lewis, III, Baker, Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell, P.C., of Memphis, Tennessee, for appellee Union City Ford-Lincoln/Mercury, Inc. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Wyla M. Posey, Assistant Attorney General, of Nashville, Tennessee, for the intervening appellee, Attorney General and Reporter. Judge: LILLARD First Paragraph: This is a constitutional challenge to Tennessee Code Annotated S 67-1-112, which outlines how a dealer may pass along a business tax to its customers. The plaintiffs bought automobiles from the defendant automobile dealers. The dealers "passed on" their business tax expense to the plaintiffs in an itemized invoice listing the tax as an element of the purchase price. The plaintiffs brought this class action arguing, inter alia, that Section 67-1-112 is unconstitutional because it unlawfully delegates taxation authority to the automobile dealers, and because the discretion granted to the dealers in the statute violates the equal protection clause of the Tennessee Constitution. The trial court upheld the constitutionality of the statute and granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. Plaintiff Bobby Davidson now appeals. We agree with the reasoning of the trial court, and therefore affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/brownk.wpd
JAMES H. KELLEY, et al. v. JOHN CAGE, M.D., et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Daniel L. Clayton, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, James H. Kelley, et al. Steven R. Walker, Memphis, Tennessee for the appellee, John Cage, M. D. and Mid-State Cardiology Associates, P. C. Judge: WHEATCRAFT First Paragraph: This appeal involves the granting of a summary judgment motion in a medical malpractice case. The issue is whether the trial court properly granted summary judgment on the basis that there was never a physician/patient relationship between the decedent, Lillie Donnette Kelley, and Dr. John Cage, a cardiologist, and an employee of Mid-State Cardiology Associates, P.C.. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/kelleyvcage.wpd
PATRICK MCGEE v. TIMOTHY BEST, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: G. Kline Preston, IV, Nashville for Appellant, Patrick McGee Tim K. Garrett, Nashville, For Appellees, Timothy Best, Robert Frank, David Ingram, Ingram Entertainment, Inc., and McGee, Best, Frank & Ingram LLC Judge: CRAWFORD First Paragraph: This case involves the termination of membership and employment of a member of an LLC. The terminated member and employee filed suit against the LLC and the other members thereof alleging breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of fiduciary duty, civil conspiracy, unfair competition, fraud, and misrepresentation. The trial court granted defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings as to all claims except the claim for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Thereafter, the trial court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment on the remaining two claims. Plaintiff appeals. We affirm, modify, reverse in part, and remand. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/mcgeepatrick.wpd
FRANK G. PORTER, et al. v. RALPH H. FREEDLE, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: William R. Goodman, III, Springfield, Tennessee, for appellants, Frank G. Porter and Frank G. Porter Family Limited Partnership John R. Bradley, Portland, Tennessee, for appellees, Ralph H. Freedle and E. V. Freedle Judge: KURTZ First Paragraph: This appeal involves a dispute over a roadway easement and interests in the use of a spring and springhouse. The chancery court determined that appellants abandoned the interest in the roadway easement and access to a spring and springhouse and dismissed appellants' suit for an injunction. Appellants challenge the chancery court's decision that the rights were abandoned. As discussed below, we affirm the judgment of the chancery court that there was clear, unequivocal evidence that appellants abandoned any interest. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/porterfrank.wpd
TENNESSEE FARMERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, as Subrogee of Dwight E. Paschal v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY Court:TCA Attorneys: Stephen D. Jackson, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company. Jonathan Cole and Sandi L. Pack, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ford Motor Company. Judge: LILLARD First Paragraph: This is a consolidated appeal of three products liability cases. Three vehicles manufactured by the defendant automobile company were destroyed by spontaneous combustion, allegedly caused by a defective steering column. No personal injuries resulted from the fires, and no other property was damaged. The plaintiff insurance company, which insured the cars, paid the owners the value of the vehicles. The insurance company, as subrogee for the insureds, then filed the actions below, seeking to recoup the payments from the defendant automobile manufacturer to the insureds on a theory of products liability. The trial court dismissed the actions, holding that the economic loss doctrine precluded recovery in tort, because the product damaged only itself in each case. The plaintiff insurance company now appeals. The appeals were consolidated for purposes of our review. We affirm the trial court in all respects, finding that the economic loss doctrine precludes recovery in these cases. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/tfic.wpd
IN RE: ESTATE OF BRUCE DILLARD WYATT, SR., DECEASED Court:TCA Attorneys: Timothy Boxx, The Agee Law Firm, of Tiptonville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Betty Scates Wyatt, personal representative of the estate of Bruce Dillard Wyatt. Mark L. Hayes and W. Lewis Jenkins, Jr., Wilkerson Gauldin & Hayes, of Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellees, Sarah Wyatt Patton and Patricia Wyatt. Judge: LILLARD First Paragraph: This is a claim by devisees to enforce their right to exoneration under a will. The decedent died testate and devised to his three children real property that was encumbered by a mortgage. For a few years, the children paid the mortgage on the property. However, after realizing that the debt belonged to the estate, they filed a motion to compel the executrix of the will to make the mortgage payments and thereby exonerate the realty from the lien. The executrix objected, claiming that the time to file such a claim had expired under the Claims Act, Tennessee Code Annotated S 30-2- 306(c). The trial court granted the motion to compel the executrix to pay the mortgage, finding that the Claims Act was inapplicable because the devisees were not "creditors" under the Act. The executrix now appeals that decision. We agree with the reasoning of the trial court, and therefore affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/wyatt.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRENDA LEE HICKS Court:TCCA Attorneys: Hank Hill, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brenda Lee Hicks. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger, Assistant Attorney General; and Rodney C. Strong, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee. Judge: WADE First Paragraph: The defendant, Brenda Lee Hicks, was convicted of vehicular homicide and entered a plea of guilt to one count of driving without a license. The trial court imposed a sentence of six years for the vehicular homicide and ordered service of 11 months and 29 days in jail. The balance of the sentence is to be served on supervised probation. The trial court imposed a concurrent sentence of 30 days incarceration for the charge of driving without a license. In this appeal as of right, the defendant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support the vehicular homicide conviction and questions the propriety of the sentence for that offense. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/hicksbrendal.wpd
PLEASE FORWARD THIS E-MAIL!
GET A FULL-TEXT COPY OF AN OPINION!
JOIN THE TENNESSEE BAR ASSOCIATION!
SUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH!
UNSUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH? ... SURELY NOT!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba.org/op-flash.mgi
© Copyright 2002 Tennessee Bar Association