CLE: Handling malpractice cases in Tennessee

If you need to learn more about litigating medical and professional malpractice claims, a new CLE program presented by the TBA Young Lawyers Division is for you. Whether you represent defendants or plaintiffs, this seminar will provide tools for taking a case from initial assessment to final disposition. Learn from seasoned practitioners how to evaluate client claims, conduct effective discovery, use expert witnesses and win over juries. This six-hour program will be offered March 6 in both Memphis and Nashville.

Learn more about this course or sign up now

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 or to obtain a text version of each opinion, 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 the TBA's Membership Central.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
05 - TN Court of Appeals
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00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) 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. 2) 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.

JEFF FITZGERALD v. ANDREW ABBOTT

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jonathan R. Bunn, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeff Fitzgerald.

Tim K. Garrett and Justin A. Page, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Andrew Abbott.

Judge: FARMER

Plaintiff appeals the trial court's award of summary judgment to Defendant in this action for intentional interference with employment. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/fitzgeraldj_020609.pdf


MARK HOLLIMAN, ET AL. v. FRANK MCGREW, M. D., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Mark Ledbetter, Bruce D. Brooke, Memphis, TN, for Appellants, Mark Holliman, Sharon Woodson, Michelle Purser, Michael Holliman and Charles Holliman, Jr.

Jerry E. Mitchell, Edd L. Peyton, Memphis, TN, for Appellees, Frank McGrew, M.D., and The Stern Cardiovascular Center, P.A.

Judge: STAFFORD

This is a wrongful death action brought under a theory of medical malpractice. The trial court granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment, finding that Plaintiffs filed their complaint after the one-year statute of limitations had expired. After careful review, we find that Plaintiffs had notice of their claim no later than February 27, 2003, and their lawsuit was not timely filed. The ruling of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/hollimanm_020609.pdf


MATTIE PIANA, ET AL. v. OLD TOWN OF JACKSON, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

David W. Camp, Jackson, TN, for Appellant, Mattie Piana, et al.

David I. Feigelson, Memphis, TN, for Appellee, Brooks Shaw & Son Old Country Store Inc.

Kyle C. Atkins and Terri Smith Crider, Humboldt, TN, for Appellee, Town and Country Property Management.

Judge: STAFFORD

This is an wrongful death action arising under a theory of premises liability. Plaintiff's husband died as a result of injuries he sustained after tripping over a piece of concrete embedded in a dirt path. Plaintiff alleged that two of the defendants, who were under a separate maintenance contract with the owner of the property, failed to exercise the required due care in the maintenance, inspection, and repairs of the path. The trial court granted directed verdicts for both defendants after finding that neither owed a duty to Plaintiff's husband. We agree that defendant Brooks Shaw did not have a duty to maintain the path. However, we have determined that defendant Town and Country did owe a duty to Plaintiff's husband. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, we find that there are genuine issues of material fact for the jury to decide. We therefore reverse and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/pianam_020609.pdf


SHELBY COUNTY HEALTH CARE CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONWIDE MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Curtis H. Goetsch, Germantown, TN, for Appellant, Shelby County Healthcare Corporation, et al.

Gordon C. Aulgur, Nashville, TN, for Appellee, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

Judge: STAFFORD

Appellant hospital filed suit against Appellee insurance company for damages arising from Appellee's alleged impairment of the Appellant's hospital lien. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Appellant hospital, finding that Appellant had perfected its lien under Tenn. Code Ann. Section 29-22-101, and that the Appellee had impaired that lien pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. Section 29-22-104. The trial court, however, limited Appellant's recovery to the amount of coverage under the insurance policy. We affirm as modified herein.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/shelbycountyhealthcare_020609.pdf


HOLLY THRASHER v. RIVERBEND STABLES, LLC, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Kirk L. Clements, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Holly Thrasher.

Michael H. Johnson and M. Kristin Selph, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Riverbend Stables, LLC, Stephen Daniel, and Michael Daniel.

Judge: CLEMENT

Plaintiff appeals the summary dismissal of her complaint arising out of the death of her Tennessee Walking Horse while the horse was being trained at Riverbend Stables, LLC. Plaintiff filed suit claiming the horse died as a result of the defendants' negligence and gross negligence. The trial court dismissed the complaint upon a finding that the claims of negligence were barred by the exculpatory provisions in the parties' written agreement and Plaintiff had failed to make out a prima facie claim of gross negligence. Finding the exculpatory agreement between Plaintiff and Riverbend Stables enforceable, we affirm the trial courtís determination that Plaintiff's claim of ordinary negligence is barred by the parties' agreement. As for Plaintiff's claim of gross negligence, we have concluded Riverbend Stables failed to negate an essential element of that claim and failed to establish that Plaintiff cannot prove an essential element of that claim at trial, as is required under the summary judgment analysis stated in Martin v. Norfolk S. Ry. Co., 271 S.W.3d 76 (Tenn. 2008) and Hannan v. Alltel Publ'g Co., 270 S.W.3d 1 (Tenn. 2008); therefore, Riverbend Stables is not entitled to summary judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/thrasherh_020609.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GREGORY A. PATTERSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mart S. Cizek, Clinton, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gregory A. Patterson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany, Assistant Attorney General; David S. Clark, District Attorney General; and Sandra N.C. Donaghy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, Gregory A. Patterson, appeals from his conviction by a jury in the Criminal Court for Anderson County for voluntary manslaughter, a Class C felony. He was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to six years of confinement and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. The defendant contends the trial court erred in imposing the fine by not stating the reasons for its imposition. After concluding that the defendant failed to provide a sufficient record for us to review the trial court's sentencing determinations, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/pattersongregoryaOPN.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SHIRLEY P. SPINA

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender, and Robert C. Edwards, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Shirley P. Spina.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Kevin James Allen, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, Shirley P. Spina, appeals from the Knox County Criminal Court's denial of her motion to withdraw her "no contest" pleas to aggravated assault, a Class C felony, and unlawful possession of a weapon, a Class A misdemeanor. We hold that trial court erred in denying the defendant a hearing on her motion to withdraw her pleas, and we vacate the judgments and remand for a hearing on the motion to withdraw the pleas.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/spinashirleyp_020609.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. COREY DEAUNTAE TARVIN, alias COREY DEANTE TARVIN, alias COREY DEAUNTAE BROWN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Daniel J. Ripper, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Corey Deauntae Tarvin, alias Corey Deante Tarvin, alias Corey Deauntae Brown.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, District Attorney General; and Jason Thomas and Charles Minor, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant appeals as of right from his Hamilton County jury conviction for first degree premeditated murder, for which he received a life sentence. He contends that the trial court erred by admitting unduly prejudicial autopsy photographs of the victim and that the evidence was insufficient to show that he premeditated the killing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/tarvincoreydeauntae_020609.pdf


JERRY TIMBERLAKE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Hewitt Chatman, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Jerry Timberlake.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Alfred L. Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Jerry Timberlake, appeals the post-conviction court's summary dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief based on his failure to verify the petition under oath. Following our review, we reverse the judgment of the post-conviction court and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/timberlakeJ_020609.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Upcoming
TBA Member Services
Disciplinary Actions

Legal News
Kentucky Bar director steps down
The executive director of the Kentucky Bar Association has announced he is resigning to join a Lexington law firm. The Courier-Journal reports that Jim Deckard, 39, will step down April 1. The KBA has been roiled in a controversy over the leadership of its president, Barbara Bonar, who faces a disciplinary complaint and has been stripped of some of her powers for misusing her appointment authority.
News Channel 5 has more
Anderson County, city disagree over court costs
Anderson County officials are asking Oak Ridge to put up more money to pay for a recently relocated General Sessions Court in Oak Ridge because rental costs have been higher than expected.
Read more in the Oak Ridger
Residency of judicial candidate questioned
The residency of one of 12 applicants for a vacant General Sessions position in Montgomery County has come under question. While juvenile court referee Craig Hargrow is a Montgomery County native, his driver's license has a Murfreesboro address. County commissioners will review the matter Monday.
Read more in the Leaf Chronicle
Williams first to apply for 14th district post
Mark A. Williams of Fisher & Williams PLC in Manchester is the first candidate to apply for the 14th Judicial District Circuit Court vacancy created by the death of Judge John W. Rollins. The application deadline is Feb. 26.
More information is available from the Administrative Office of the Courts
Knox commissioners advised to leave boards
Knox County commissioners are being told to resign immediately from all boards and committees on which they serve if they were appointed to the panels by the commission. The recommendation comes from Knox County Law Director Bill Lockett, who is basing his advice on a recent attorney general's opinion regarding such appointments.
Read more in the Knoxville News Sentinel
Upcoming
Memphis law school offers diversity outreach program
The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law will host a diversity outreach program for high school students and college and university undergraduate students on March 6. The event will include a question-and-answer session with current law students, a panel discussion led by distinguished local attorneys and a luncheon with law school alumni. There is no admission fee, but reservations are required; they may be made by calling (901) 678-2528. The day-long program will also include breakout sessions for the high school students to discuss undergraduate admissions and the upcoming summer internship program sponsored by the Memphis Bar Association.

TBA Member Services
Unlimited free online legal research for TBA members
Online legal research is now available free to all Tennessee Bar Association members through an agreement with Fastcase, a leading online legal research firm. The TBA member benefit is national in scope and offers TBA members unlimited usage, unlimited customer service and unlimited printing -- all at no cost.
Access Fastcase now
Disciplinary Actions
Nashville lawyer receives public censure
Nashville lawyer Joseph Beecham received a public censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility on Jan. 27 after he was found to have filed suits on behalf of a client while his license was suspended for non-payment of BPR fees and non-compliance with continuing legal education requirements. His conduct violated Rule 5.5 of the Rules of Professional Responsibility and rules of the Supreme Court of Tennessee regulating the practice of law.
Read the full BPR release
Chattanooga lawyer suspended
The Tennessee Supreme Court on Jan. 29 temporarily suspended Chattanooga lawyer Jeffrey Stinnett from the practice of law upon finding that he failed to respond to the Board of Professional Responsibility concerning complaints of misconduct.
Read the full BPR release
Knoxville lawyer suspended
The Supreme Court of Tennessee on Feb. 2 temporarily suspended Knoxville lawyer Aubrey Lewis Davis from the practice of law upon finding that he has failed to substantially comply with his Monitoring Agreement with the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program.
Read the full BPR release

 
 
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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.

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