Tennessee Supreme Court Decisions 2020

Effler v. Purdue Pharma L.P.  
Date: December 17, 2020
Docket Number: E2018-01994-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the seven District Attorneys General who sued several drug companies under the Tennessee Drug Dealer Liability Act lacked standing and that the two Baby Doe plaintiffs who sued under the Act a...

In re Neveah M.  
Date: December 10, 2020
Docket Number: M2019-00313-SC-R11-PT

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reinstated the trial court's judgment terminating Mother's parental rights on the basis of the statutory factor enumerated in Tenn. Code Ann. 36-1-113(g)(14), holding that the statute is ambiguous and t...

Parveen v. ACG South Insurance Agency, LLC  
Date: December 4, 2020
Docket Number: E2018-01759-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the trial court's grant of summary judgment for an insurance agent on Plaintiffs' claim that the insurance agent negligently failed to procure exc...

State v. Styles  
Date: October 30, 2020
Docket Number: E2020-00176-SC-T10B-CO

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals reversing the trial judge's denial of Defendant's motion for recusal, holding that, for the reasons provided today in State v. Griffin, __ S.W.3d _...

State v. Griffin  
Date: October 30, 2020
Docket Number: E2020-00327-SC-T10B-CO

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals reversing the trial judge's decision to deny Defendants' motion for recusal on the grounds that the trial judge had supervisory authority over thei...

State v. Clark  
Date: October 30, 2020
Docket Number: E2020-00416-SC-T10B-CO

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals reversing the trial judge's denial of Defendant's motion for recusal, holding that, for the reasons provided today in State v. Griffin, __ S.W.3d _...

Crouch Railway Consulting, LLC v. LS Energy Fabrication, LLC  
Date: October 6, 2020
Docket Number: M2017-02540-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the chancery court dismissing this complaint against a Texas company for lack of personal jurisdiction, holding that the exercise...

Holland v. State  
Date: October 2, 2020
Docket Number: W2018-01517-SC-R11-PC

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals to remand this case and reinstated the post-conviction court's denial of Petitioner's petition for post-conviction relief, holding that the Court o...

Trent v. Mountain Commerce Bank  
Date: August 26, 2020
Docket Number: E2018-01874-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the trial court and the court of appeals denying reformation of a quitclaim deed, holding that equitable reformation was not available when reformation would benefit parties wi...

Cook v. State  
Date: August 25, 2020
Docket Number: W2018-00237-SC-R11-PC

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court remanded this matter to the trial court for a new post-conviction hearing before different judge, holding that the post-conviction judge should have recused himself even though Petitioner failed to file...

Earle J. Fisher, Et Al. v. Tre Hargett, Et Al.
Date: August 5, 2020
Docket Number: M2020-00831-SC-RDM-CV
Lay v. Goins  
Date: August 5, 2020
Docket Numbers: M2020-00832-SC-RDM-CV, M2020-00831-SC-RDM-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the trial court erred in issuing a temporary injunction enjoining the State from enforcing its current construction of the eligibility requirements for absentee voting stated in Tenn. Code Ann...

Howard v. State  
Date: July 16, 2020
Docket Number: W2018-00786-SC-R11-PC

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of criminal appeals concluding that Petitioner was entitled to postconviction relief based on trial counsel's failure to file a timely motion for new trial, holding th...

State v. Jarman  
Date: July 6, 2020
Docket Number: M2017-01313-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of criminal appeals reversing Defendant's conviction for voluntary manslaughter, holding that the trial court did not err in admitting acquitted-act evidence and that...

New v. Dumitrache  
Date: June 29, 2020
Docket Number: W2017-00776-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and reinstated the judgment of the chancery court dismissing Plaintiff's appeal from an order of protection "in nature of writ of error," holding that the w...

Geller v. Henry County Board of Education  
Date: June 15, 2020
Docket Number: W2017-01678-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the trial court upholding the transfer of a tenured teacher (Plaintiff), working as a school administrator, to a teaching position...

Keller v. Casteel  
Date: June 12, 2020
Docket Number: E2017-01020-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decisions of the court of appeals and the trial court that a municipality's personnel manual gave a firefighter a property interest entitled to due process protection, holding that Plaintif...

Jackson v. Burrell  
Date: June 12, 2020
Docket Number: W2018-00057-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the trial court's award of summary judgment to Defendant in this health care liability case, holding that Plaintiff did not have to present expert proof to establish her negligence claim, and th...

Franks v. Sykes  
Date: May 1, 2020
Docket Number: W2018-00654-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977, Tenn. Code Ann. 47-18-101 to -132, applies to health care providers when they are acting in their business capacities and that Plaintiffs, who we...

State v. Benson  
Date: April 30, 2020
Docket Number: W2017-01119-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals reversing Defendant's conviction of first-degree premeditated murder and remanding the case for a new trial, holding that the proof at trial did no...

Martin v. Rolling Hills Hospital, LLC  
Date: April 29, 2020
Docket Number: M2016-02214-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court dismissing Plaintiffs' health care liability action as time-barred, holding that Plaintiffs were not entitled to the 120-day extension of the statute of limitati...

Young v. Frist Cardiology, PLLC  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: M2019-00316-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held a doctor who was permitted to practice medicine in Tennessee under a statutory licensure exemption but was not licensed to practice in Tennessee or a contiguous state during the year before the dat...

Ken Smith Auto Parts v. Thomas  
Date: April 17, 2020
Docket Number: E2018-00928-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court clarified the procedure circuit courts must follow when an original defendant in general sessions court appeals an adverse general sessions judgment to circuit court but then fails to appear for the de...

In re Cumberland Bail Bonding  
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: M2017-02172-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of criminal appeals and reinstated the judgment of the trial court suspending a bonding company for violating a local rule of court requiring an agent of the bonding c...

Willeford v. Klepper  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: M2016-01491-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the qualified protective order entered by the trial court in this case, holding that Tenn. Code Ann. 29-26-121(f) is unconstitutional as enacted to the limited extent that it divests trial court...

Jodi McClay v. Airport Management Services, LLC (Concurring)
Date: February 26, 2020
Docket Number: M2019-00511-SC-R23-CV
McClay v. Airport Management Services, LLC  
Date: February 26, 2020
Docket Number: M2019-00511-SC-R23-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered in the negative questions of law certified from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee regarding the constitutionality of Tennessee's statutory cap on noneconomic...

Jodi McClay v. Airport Management Services, LLC (Dissenting)
Date: February 26, 2020
Docket Number: M2019-00511-SC-R23-CV
State v. Vance  
Date: February 25, 2020
Docket Number: M2017-01037-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the court of criminal appeals' judgment affirming Defendant's conviction for one count of second degree murder, an alternative count of first degree felony murder, especially aggravated robbery...

State v. Welch  
Date: February 19, 2020
Docket Number: E2018-00240-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of criminal appeals affirming Defendant's conviction for burglary, holding that application of the burglary statute under the circumstances of this case did not violat...

State of Tennessee v. Abbie Leann Welch (Concurring)
Date: February 19, 2020
Docket Number: E2018-00240-SC-R11-CD
Board of Professional Responsibility v. James S. MacDonald
Date: February 14, 2020
Docket Number: E2018-01699-SC-R3-BP
State v. Allen  
Date: January 29, 2020
Docket Number: W2017-01118-SC-R11-CD

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the criminal court's May 3, 2017 order and confirmed that the criminal court's February 3, 2012 remained intact and final, holding that the criminal court did not have authority to grant motions...

Harmon v. Hickman Community Healthcare Services, Inc.  
Date: January 28, 2020
Docket Number: M2016-02374-SC-R11-CV

Justia Opinion Summary: In this healthcare liability action, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the trial court denying Plaintiffs' motion to alter or amend after concluding that Plaintiffs' sole expert witness was not competent to test...

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