Tennessee Supreme Court Decisions 2013

State v. Pope  
Date: December 30, 2013
Docket Number: W2012-00033-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary. Defendant appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence. The court of criminal appeals affirmed the convictions and sente...

Westgate Smoky Mountains at Gatlinburg v. Phillips  
Date: December 23, 2013
Docket Number: E2011-02538-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Claimant was a licensed time-share salesperson who sold time-share interests at a resort. After resort management terminated the business relationship with Claimant, Claimant filed for state unemployment benefits. The De...

Garcia v. State  
Date: December 23, 2013
Docket Number: M2012-01058-SC-R11-PC

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner pled guilty to the felony charge of child neglect and to the misdemeanor charge of child abuse. About six months later, Petitioner for a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that he received ineffecti...

Jones v. State  
Date: December 23, 2013
Docket Number: M2012-02546-SC-S09-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, an employee of the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC), filed this defamation claim against the State and the TDOC. After Plaintiff was demoted for violating the State's travel billing policy, the TDOC C...

State v. Pollard  
Date: December 20, 2013
Docket Number: M2011-00332-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of felony murder, first degree premeditated murder, and especially aggravated robbery. The trial court merged the murder convictions and imposed consecutive sentences of life f...

Hood v. Jenkins  
Date: December 19, 2013
Docket Number: E2011-02749-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was the minor beneficiary of a $100,000 life insurance policy. Plaintiff filed a complaint against his financial guardian and the insurance company after the guardian misappropriated the insurance proceeds. The...

Johnson v. Hopkins  
Date: December 19, 2013
Docket Number: M2012-02468-SC-S09-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Landlords brought an unlawful detainer action against Tenants to regain possession of the premises and recoup damages. The general sessions court later entered a default judgment granting Landlords possession of the prop...

Cullum v. McCool  
Date: December 18, 2013
Docket Number: E2012-00991-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Jan McCool attempted to get medication at a Wal-mart Super Center, but Wal-Mart employees refused to fill McCool's medical prescriptions because they believed she was intoxicated. McCool became belligerent when her presc...

Jolyn Cullum et al. v. Jan McCool et al. (Concurring/Dissenting)
Date: December 18, 2013
Docket Number: E2012-00991-SC-R11-CV
Pickard v. Tenn. Water Quality Control Bd.  
Date: December 17, 2013
Docket Number: M2011-02600-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) issued a permit allowing a limestone quarry to discharge water into Horse Creek. A wildlife sanctuary (sanctuary) filed a petition with the Tennessee Water...

Rajvongs v. Wright  
Date: December 12, 2013
Docket Number: M2011-01889-SC-S09-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed a health care liability action against Defendant, a physician. Plaintiff's original complaint was filed prior to the effective date of the pre-suit notice requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. 29-26-121. Plaint...

Cooper v. Glasser  
Date: November 26, 2013
Docket Number: M2012-00344-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit against Defendants in California state court for business-related torts. Plaintiff then voluntarily dismissed his complaint and re-filed his action in the federal district court, alleging several fed...

Stevens ex rel. Stevens v. Hickman Cmty. Health Care Servs., Inc.  
Date: November 25, 2013
Docket Number: M2012-00582-SC-S09-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed a healthcare liability suit against several healthcare providers (collectively, Defendants). Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint based on Plaintiff's noncompliance with Tenn. Code Ann. 29-26-121(a)(...

King v. Anderson County  
Date: November 21, 2013
Docket Number: E2012-00386-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed a negligence claim against Anderson County for injuries he received during an altercation with another inmate while he was in custody at the Anderson County Detention Facility. Specifically, Plaintiff cla...

Kenneth E. King v. Anderson County, Tennessee (Dissenting)
Date: November 21, 2013
Docket Number: E2012-00386-SC-R11-CV
Armbrister v. Armbrister  
Date: October 21, 2013
Docket Number: E2012-00018-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Upon Mother and Father's divorce, Mother was named the primary residential parent of the parties' two minor children, and Father was awarded visitation. Overall, Mother was allocated 280 days and Father eighty-five days...

City of Memphis v. Hargett  
Date: October 17, 2013
Docket Number: M2012-02141-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was a law providing that citizens who appear in person to vote must present photographic proof of their identity. The statute authorized a photographic identification card issued by the State as a v...

City of Memphis, Tennessee et al. v. Tre Hargett et al. (Concurring)
Date: October 17, 2013
Docket Number: M2012-02141-SC-R11-CV
State v. Dickson  
Date: October 8, 2013
Docket Number: E2010-01781-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: After a bench trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of attempted first degree murder and one count each of especially aggravated burglary, attempted aggravated robbery, and aggravated assault. In sentencing Defend...

State of Tennessee v. Corinio Pruitt - Concur and Dissent (Concurring/Dissenting)
Date: October 8, 2013
Docket Number: W2009-01255-SC-DDT-DD
State of Tennessee v. Corinio Pruitt - Concur and Dissent (Dissenting)
Date: October 8, 2013
Docket Number: W2009-01255-SC-DDT-DD
State v. Pruitt  
Date: October 8, 2013
Docket Number: W209-01255-SC-DDT-DD

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree felony murder. The jury imposed a sentence of death based on three aggravating circumstances. The court of criminal appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed...

Fair v. Cochran  
Date: September 12, 2013
Docket Number: E2011-00831-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue for the Supreme Court's review in this matter centered on whether the return proof of service 412 days after issuance of the summons precluded a plaintiff from relying upon the original commencement of the laws...

Cristy Irene Fair v. Stephen Lynn Cochran (Concurring)
Date: September 12, 2013
Docket Number: E2011-00831-SC-R11-CV
Tennessee v. Smith  
Date: September 10, 2013
Docket Number: M2010-01384-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case centered on the appropriate response when a trial court learns during a jury's deliberations that a juror exchanged Facebook messages with one of the State's witnesses duri...

Lovlace et al. v. Copley et al.  
Date: September 6, 2013
Docket Number: M2011-00170-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case involved grandparents' visitation rights and the applicable burden of proof and standards trial court should apply when grandparents and parents seek to modify and terminat...

Baker v. Tennessee  
Date: September 6, 2013
Docket Number: M2011-01381-SC-R11-PC

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this matter centered on whether the petitioner was entitled to seek post-conviction relief from a civil judgment that found her in criminal contempt and imposed sanctions. The Court...

Meals ex rel. Meals v. Ford Motor Co.  
Date: August 30, 2013
Docket Number: W2010-01493-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: A mother sued Ford Motor Company on behalf of her six-year-old son, whose spine was fractured in a car wreck, alleging that the defective design of the seatbelt in the vehicle caused her son's permanent paralysis and oth...

Mansell v. Bridgestone Firestone N.A. Tire, LLC  
Date: August 20, 2013
Docket Number: M2012-02394-WC-R3-WC

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee suffered a right shoulder injury while working for Employer. After a benefit review conference in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development ended in an impasse, Employee filed suit for workers' compensat...

Shore v. Maple Lane Farms, LLC  
Date: August 19, 2013
Docket Number: E2011-00158-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Certain amplified music concerts were conducted on farm land in a rural county. The county board of zoning appeals later ordered the business owners who hosted the concerts to limit the concerts to one per year, but the...

State v. Merriman  
Date: August 16, 2013
Docket Number: M2011-01682-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted on one count each of driving under the influence, reckless driving, reckless endangerment with a motor vehicle, and violation of the implied consent law. The video recording of the arresting office...

Hammond v. Harvey  
Date: August 13, 2013
Docket Number: E2011-01700-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: A group of sergeants employed within the county sheriff's office were paid varying amounts within an established pay range. The sergeants filed a grievance regarding the pay disparities. The sheriff's department civil se...

State v. Cecil  
Date: August 12, 2013
Docket Number: M2011-01210-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of false imprisonment and assault and sentenced to concurrent sentences of six months. While Defendant's case was pending on appeal, the Supreme Court filed its opinion in Stat...

State v. Collier  
Date: August 12, 2013
Docket Number: W2010-01606-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of aggravated statutory rape and sentenced to four years incarceration. Defendant appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction because the tes...

Pratcher v. Methodist Healthcare Memphis Hosps.  
Date: June 28, 2013
Docket Number: W2011-01576-SC-S09-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Decedent died following complications that arose when she received anesthesia. Decedent's husband (Plaintiff) filed suit against various health care providers, including Defendant, which contracted with the hospital to p...

Eddie C. Pratcher, Jr. v. Methodist Healthcare Memphis Hospitals et al. (Dissenting)
Date: June 28, 2013
Docket Number: W2011-01576-SC-S09-CV
State v. Springer  
Date: June 24, 2013
Docket Number: W2010-02153-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was arrested on federal and state charges and taken into federal custody. After a trial in federal court, Defendant was convicted. Defendant was subsequently indicted by a Gibson County grand jury on the relate...

State v. Hawkins  
Date: June 20, 2013
Docket Number: W2010-01687-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder and tampering with physical evidence. The court of criminal appeals upheld Defendant's convictions and sentences. Defendant appealed, arguing (1) the tri...

Herbert S. Moncier v. Board of Professional Responsibility
Date: May 24, 2013
Docket Number: E2012-00340-SC-R3-BP
State v. Adams  
Date: May 16, 2013
Docket Number: W2009-01492-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree premeditated murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. The court of criminal appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence but granted permission to appeal to a...

Pending Cases 05-15-2013
Date: May 15, 2013
Docket Number: Pending Cases 05-15-2013
Cunningham v. Williamson County Hosp. Dist.  
Date: May 9, 2013
Docket Number: M2011-00554-SC-S09-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs filed a claim against a county hospital (Hospital) alleging that the negligence of the hospital and its employees caused the death of their son. The claim was filed fifteen months after Plaintiffs' son's death...

Lake v. The Memphis Landsmen, LLC  
Date: May 3, 2013
Docket Number: W2011-00660-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: A concrete truck collided with a shuttle bus used to transport passengers between an airport and a rental car facility. A passenger who was injured during the collision and his wife filed an action against the bus owner,...

Glassman, Edwards, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox, P.C. v. Wade  
Date: April 30, 2013
Docket Number: W2012-00321-SC-S10-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: A law firm filed suit against two former employees. Both defendants filed motions to compel arbitration. The trial court stayed discovery except as to the issue of whether the cases were subject to arbitration. The court...

Morgan Keegan & Co. v. Smythe  
Date: April 25, 2013
Docket Number: W2010-01339-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: An investor pursued a claim against an investment company over losses he incurred due to the failure of some of the company's bond funds. A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel ruled in the investor'...

Vandall v. Aurora Healthcare, LLC  
Date: April 24, 2013
Docket Number: W2011-02042-SC-R3-WC

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee fell while working for Employer and sustained a shoulder fracture. Employee subsequently filed a workers' compensation action. The trial court concluded that Employee had sustained a compensable injury during th...

Marta Vandall v. Aurora Healthcare, LLC (Dissenting)
Date: April 24, 2013
Docket Number: W2011-02042-SC-R3-WC
State v. Johnson  
Date: April 19, 2013
Docket Number: E2010-00172-SC-DDT-DD

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of premeditated first degree murder. During the penalty phase of the trial, Defendant refused to allow his lawyers to present mental health mitigation evidence. The trial court...

State v. Robinson  
Date: April 19, 2013
Docket Number: M2009-02450-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: A confidential informant arranged a drug buy from a co-defendant. The co-defendant arrived in his truck with Defendant and another passenger. The three men were arrested, and a consensual search of the truck yielded 153...

State v. Climer  
Date: April 19, 2013
Docket Number: W2010-01667-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with and convicted of first-degree premeditated murder and abuse of a corpse. On appeal, the court of criminal appeals modified Defendant's first degree murder conviction to second degree murder. Th...

State v. NV Sumatra Tobacco Trading Co.  
Date: March 28, 2013
Docket Number: M2010-01955-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: In a two-year period, more than eleven million cigarettes manufactured by an Indonesian cigarette manufacturer were sold in Tennessee. After the manufacturer withdrew its cigarettes from the United States market, the Sta...

State of Tennessee v. NV Sumatra Tobacco Trading Company (Dissenting)
Date: March 28, 2013
Docket Number: M2010-01955-SC-R11-CV
State v. Mangrum  
Date: March 27, 2013
Docket Number: M2009-01810-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: A grand jury returned an indictment charging Defendant with especially aggravated burglary, especially aggravated kidnapping, first degree premeditated murder, and first degree felony murder. That same day, the grand jur...

State v. Little  
Date: March 22, 2013
Docket Number: E2009-01796-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of especially aggravated kidnapping. The trial court subsequently granted Defendant's motion for a judgment of acquittal on the robbery charges. A...

State v. Moats  
Date: March 22, 2013
Docket Number: E2010-02013-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: While on patrol, a police officer observed a pick-up truck parked in a shopping center lot. Because the truck's headlights were turned on, the officer stopped her patrol car directly behind the truck and activated her bl...

State of Tennessee v. James David Moats (Dissenting)
Date: March 22, 2013
Docket Number: E2010-02013-SC-R11-CD
In re Estate of Brown  
Date: March 22, 2013
Docket Number: E2011-00179-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Husband and Wife signed a contract to make mutual wills and then executed those wills. Soon after Husband's death, Wife executed a new will that was inconsistent with her previous will. Following Wife's death, the childr...

In Re Estate of Ina Ruth Brown (Concurring)
Date: March 22, 2013
Docket Number: E2011-00179-SC-R11-CV
Whitehead v. State  
Date: March 21, 2013
Docket Number: W2010-00784-SC-R11-PC

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, especially aggravated robbery, and other robbery charges. The Supreme Court denied Petitioner's appeal, and the U.S. S...

Artis Whitehead v. State of Tennessee (Dissenting)
Date: March 21, 2013
Docket Number: W2010-00784-SC-R11-PC
In re Adoption of Angela E.  
Date: March 13, 2013
Docket Number: W2011-01588-SC-R11-PT

Justia Opinion Summary: Since their divorce in 2001, Father and Mother litigated their rights and responsibilities relative to their three children, including a prior appeal in which Father succeeded in overturning a voluntary termination of hi...

In re Estate of Smallman  
Date: February 26, 2013
Docket Number: E2010-02344-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose out of the death of Decedent and the ensuing dispute between his two sons from a previous marriage and Linda Carraway, whom he married two weeks before his death. Decedent's sons (Sons) challenged the val...

In Re: Estate of Raymond L. Smallman - Concur and Dissent (Dissenting)
Date: February 26, 2013
Docket Number: E2010-02344-SC-R11-CV
Wilson v. Americare Sys., Inc.  
Date: February 25, 2013
Docket Number: M2011-00240-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: When the nursing staff at the assisted living facility where Mable Farrar lived did not give Farrar an over-the-counter medicine for constipation as often as her doctor had prescribed, Farrar became constipated. Thereaft...

Furlough v. Spherion Atlantic Workforce, LLC  
Date: February 22, 2013
Docket Number: M2011-00187-SC-WCM-WC

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee injured his back while working for Employer. Employee and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (Department) agreed upon a settlement that provided for a lump sum payment to Employer for his injuries...

Mobley v. State  
Date: February 21, 2013
Docket Number: E2010-00379-SC-R11-PC

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of premeditated first degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, and setting fire to person property. Petitioner subsequently filed a petition for post-conviction relief based partly on numero...

In re Taylor B.W.  
Date: February 21, 2013
Docket Number: E2011-00352-SC-R11-PT

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother and Father entered into a martial dissolution agreement and parenting plan for their two minor children. Mother subsequently pleaded guilty to the attempted second degree murder of Father and was sentenced to twel...

Paul Dennis Reid, Jr. ex rel. Linda Martiniano v. State of Tennessee
Date: January 24, 2013
Docket Number: M2009-00128-SC-R11-PD
Reid v. State  
Date: January 24, 2013
Docket Numbers: M2009-01557-SC-R11-PD, M2009-00360-SC-R11-PD, M2009-00128-SC-R11-PD

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted in three separate trials of three sets of execution-style murders, of seven persons total. Defendant faced seven death sentences. Defendant elected not to seek a new trial in any of these cases. S...

Paul Dennis Reid, Jr. v. State of Tennessee
Date: January 24, 2013
Docket Number: M2009-01557-SC-R11-PD
Stanton v. State  
Date: January 23, 2013
Docket Number: M2010-01868-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was indicted on sixteen counts of animal cruelty for intentionally or knowingly failing to provide necessary food and care to horses on his farm. Defendant pleaded not guilty and filed an application for pretri...

Britt v. Dyer's Employment Agency, Inc.  
Date: January 22, 2013
Docket Number: W2011-00929-SC-WCM-WC

Justia Opinion Summary: Employer, a temporary staffing agency, assigned Employee to work temporarily at a manufacturing facility. Employee suffered a work-related injury during the assignment and reported the injury to Employer. At approximatel...

Dick Broad. Co., Inc. of Tenn. v. Oak Ridge FM, Inc.  
Date: January 17, 2013
Docket Number: E2010-01685-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Oak Ridge FM, Inc. contractually agreed for Dick Broadcasting Company (DBC) to have a right of first refusal to purchase Oak Ridge's radio station assets. The agreement was assignable by DBC only with Oak Ridge's consent...

Dick Broadcasting Company, Inc. of Tennessee v. Oak Ridge FM, Inc. et al. (Concurring)
Date: January 17, 2013
Docket Number: E2010-01685-SC-R11-CV
Cooper v. Logistics Insight Corp.  
Date: January 16, 2013
Docket Number: M2010-01262-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee was injured while in the course of scope of his employment through the actions of a third-party tortfeasor (Tortfeasor). Employee filed a claim for workers' compensation benefits and a lawsuit against Tortfeasor...

Joshua Cooper et al. v. Logistics Insight Corp. et al. (Dissenting)
Date: January 16, 2013
Docket Number: M2010-01262-SC-R11-CV
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