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TODAY'S OPINIONS
Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

00 - TN Supreme Court
03 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
02 - TN Court of Appeals
01 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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

HENRY ESTES vs. BRIDGESTONE AMERICAS HOLDINGS, INC.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Kitty Boyte, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc.

Susan K. Bradley, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Henry Estes.

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court our findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the Employer, Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. (Bridgestone) asserts that the trial court erred in awarding to the Employee, Henry Estes, seven and one-half percent permanent partial disability to the right arm based upon inconsistent alternative findings of the trial court related to apportioning Mr. Estes' injury to his hand. Mr. Estes alleges the injury should have been apportioned to his hand rather than the arm. We conclude the trial court correctly found Mr. Estes' carpal tunnel injury should be apportioned to the arm and, based upon our review of the record, fix his impairment at five percent of the right upper extremity. Based upon this finding, we agree with the trial court that Mr. Estes will sustain a seven and one-half percent permanent partial disability to the right arm. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2007/estes_032307.pdf


BETTY S. FLEISHER vs. ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE INSURANCE COMPANY and M-TEK COMPANY, INC.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Rick L. Moore, Moore & Hedges, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Betty S. Fleisher.

Thomas W. Tucker, III, Glasgow & Veazey, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Royal & Sunalliance Insurance Company and M-Tek Company, Inc.

Judge: BIVENS

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court found that the employee suffered a 5% medical impairment to the body as a whole and determined that the employee was entitled to a permanent partial disability award of 10% to the body as a whole. The employee contests the adequacy of this award and the failure of the trial court to award the employee additional amounts as a penalty against the employer for the employer’s delay in paying temporary total disability benefits. We affirm the trial court in all respects.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2007/fleishervm_032307.pdf


CHRISTINE PESCE v. AEROSTRUCTURES/VOUGHT AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES, ET AL.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Aaron S. Guin, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Aerostructures/Vought Aircraft Industries, and AIG Claim Services, Inc.

Joseph D. Dughman and James W. Tiller, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Christine Pesce.

Judge: HARRIS

In this case, the employee, Christine Pesce, suffered an acute injury to her left knee during the course of her employment with Aerostructures/Vought Aircraft Industries (Vought) resulting in the dislodging of a large osteochondral fragment in the knee. This fragment was surgically removed and her treating physician found she had sustained a loss of joint space in the patellofemoral joint. Because the injury is not covered by the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, the physicians who testified both for Ms. Pesce and Vought based their determinations on injuries that were covered by the Guides and thought by the testifying physician to be similar. The trial court found Ms. Pesce to have sustained a fifteen percent impairment to her left leg resulting in a fifty percent disability to that extremity. Vought has appealed challenging the amount of the award and the admissibility of the testimony of Ms. Pesce's treating and evaluating physicians based upon an alleged lack of their reliability. We find that the evidence does not preponderate against the disability award and that the trial court properly admitted the testimony of Ms. Pesce's expert witnesses. Accordingly, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2007/pesce_032307.pdf


DAVID PREWITT v. SEMMES-MURPHEY CLINIC, P.C., ET AL. DAVID PREWITT v. SEMMES-MURPHEY CLINIC, P.C., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Gary K. Morrell, Memphis, TN, for Appellant

Albert C. Harvey, Marcy L. Dodds, Memphis, TN, for Appellee, Semmes-Murphey Clinic

W. Lee Maddux, T. Ryan Malone, Chattanooga, TN, for Appellees, Kindred Pulmonary Unit, Kindred Healthcare Services, Inc., Kindred Hospital-Chattanooga and Marcia Glover, R.N.

Judge: HIGHERS

The plaintiff was rendered a quadriplegic after a car accident, and he received care at The Regional Medical Center at Memphis. The hospital staff included University of Tennessee School of Medicine residents, private physicians who were dual employees of a private corporation and the University of Tennessee as part of its residency training program, and nurses employed by another private corporation. The dual employee physicians treated patients independently in their capacity as employees of the private corporation and supervised resident physicians in their capacity as employees of the University of Tennessee. A University of Tennessee resident physician intended to perform a lumbar puncture procedure on the plaintiff, and he left a written request for a nurse for a lumbar puncture kit for said procedure. The nurse provided this kit, but did not include an antiseptic. The day of the procedure, the resident physician lowered the plaintiff’s bed rail and placed the plaintiff on his side in anticipation of performing the lumbar puncture, but when he noticed that an antiseptic was missing from the kit, he briefly left the plaintiff unattended to obtain the antiseptic. When the resident physician returned to the room, the plaintiff had fallen off the bed onto the floor. The plaintiff ruptured his spleen from the fall, requiring major surgery which resulted in subsequent complications. The plaintiff filed suit in both the Tennessee Claims Commission and the circuit court against the resident, the University, the hospital, the nurse, and the present corporate defendants, alleging claims of medical malpractice and negligent supervision. The liability of the resident and the University was stipulated by the parties in the Claims Commission, and these parties were dismissed from the circuit court proceeding on the basis of immunity. The present defendant corporations remained in the circuit court action. After discovery, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment in the circuit court. The defendant physicians' corporation moved for summary judgment based upon immunity and the plaintiff's lack of expert testimony, and the defendant nurse's corporation moved for summary judgment based upon the plaintiff's lack of expert testimony. The trial court granted both defendants' motions for summary judgment and certified the judgments as final. The plaintiff filed a timely notice of appeal to this Court. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/prewittd_032307.pdf


JOE RALPH WALKER v. KARRY DARDEN WALKER

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Karry Darden Walker.

Michael K. Williamson, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Joe Ralph Walker.

Judge: SUSANO

This is a divorce case. The trial court declared the parties divorced, divided their marital property, and awarded Karry Darden Walker ("Wife") rehabilitative alimony. She appeals, contending that the trial court erred (1) in awarding rehabilitative alimony, rather than alimony in futuro, and (2) in its division of the marital property. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/walkerj_032307.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. KASCEY MARQUIS CAMPBELL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Phyllis Aluko and Robert Jones (on appeal), and Kathy Kent and Latonya Burrow (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Kascey Marquis Campbell.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Thomas Hoover and Steve Crossnoe, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A Shelby County jury convicted the Defendant, Kascey Marquis Campbell, of first degree premeditated murder, two counts felony murder, robbery, and aggravated burglary. On appeal, he contends that there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions and that he acted under duress. Finding no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/campbellk_032307.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

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Legal News
Earlier primary likely for Tennessee
Tennessee looks likely to join a growing number of states that will hold their presidential primary on the first Tuesday in February. The House voted 91-2 on Thursday to move next year's primary from Feb. 12 to Feb 5. The Senate has yet to vote on the proposal, which is supported by leaders of both parties.
Read more in the Knoxville News Sentinel
Mayor should act to restore trust in MLGW
The Commercial Appeal writes in an editorial today that Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton needs to act to restore faith in the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division (MLGW). The utility's CEO, Joseph Lee III has been under investigation by the Memphis City Council over preferential treatment given Councilman Edmund Ford, who was allowed to amass a $16,000 debt to the utility without having his service cut off.
Read the editorial
New program brings immigration enforcement to Metro jails
Five arrested immigrants were identified for federal detention this week during a test run of a new Metro Nashville program that Sheriff Daron Hall says could lead to the possible deportation of up to 1,000 illegal aliens each year. Nashville is among about a half-dozen U.S. cities participating in a federal program that trains local officers to enforce immigration laws.
Read more in the Tennessean
Ford making most of hiatus from public service
In the four months since losing the Tennessee senate election to Bob Corker, Harold Ford Jr. has taken on four new jobs -- Merrill Lynch vice chairman, Fox News commentator, Vanderbilt guest professor and chairman of the Democratic Leadership Committee -- but the 37-year-old Ford makes no secret of the fact that this hiatus from politics won't last long.
Read more in the Tennessean
Upcoming
UT Legal Clinic to celebrate 60 years of service
The University of Tennessee College of Law will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its Legal Clinic with a celebration and symposium this September. The weekend's events will include a writing workshop for clinical professors, scholarly presentations highlighting emerging issues for clinical programs, and a dinner to acknowledge and thank Associate Dean Douglas Blaze for his contributions as director of the UT Legal Clinic. Contact the legal clinic at (865) 974-2331 if you have suggestions for the event.

TennBarU CLE
Learn the basics of juvenile law
New to the practice of juvenile law? Or only occasionally venture into Juvenile Court? Then TennBarU's upcoming Juvenile Law Basics CLE is for you. This "nuts & bolts" program will take place April 9 at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville.
Find out now or register
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TBA members are entitled to discounts on FedEx shipping. Did you know that TBA members are saving an average of $83 per quarter by utilizing their FedEx Association Advantage program discounts? Here's what some members have to say about their FedEx savings:

"Our firm took advantage of the Tennessee Bar Association FedEx discounts and saved over $200 on FedEx Express shipments last quarter alone. It's the best $200 we've ever saved," says member Bill Cameron of Cameron & Young in Cookeville. Start saving on your shipments today! For more information on how to enroll, call 1-800-923-7089 or
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