© 2023 Tennessee Courts System
Video recordings of oral arguments heard in Nashville before the Tennessee Supreme Court beginning October 3, 2018 are available to view approximately 21 days after the oral argument. You may access the video by clicking on the case number listed below. When the window opens, click on the Play icon on the lower left corner (it will say Opening, but click on the Play icon and the video will begin).
2021 2020 2019 2018
Cases were live-streamed to the TN Courts YouTube page.
December 6, 2022State of Tennessee v. Dashun Shackleford - E2020-01712-SC-R11-CD
State of Tennessee v. Dashun Schackleford - Mr. Shackelford (Defendant), a seventeen-year-old from Chattanooga, and his fifteen-year old friend robbed four teenage boys at gunpoint. The victims were playing basketball when the perpetrators approached them. The mother of one of the victims notified police of the robbery. The next day, one of the victims saw the same car Defendant drove the day before parked on his street. Later that day, Defendant and his friend were arrested. At trial, Defendant denied that he was the perpetrator, but he did not deny that the victims had been robbed at gunpoint. A jury convicted Defendant of four counts of aggravated robbery and attached criminal gang enhancements to each count. He was sentenced to twenty years. The Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the convictions, finding that the State failed to sufficiently prove the gang enhancement counts. The State appealed to the Supreme Court.
December 6, 2022State of Tennessee v. Kemontea Dovon McKinney - M2020-00950-SC-R11-CD
State of Tennessee v. Kemontea Dovon McKinney - Mr. McKinney (Defendant) was almost eighteen when he shot and killed the victim. He and two other men met the victim at a gas station under the pretense of buying a Camaro. When one of his accomplices locked the doors and tried to speed away in the car, Defendant shot the victim. After the car crashed, police used evidence in the car, anonymous tips, and social media photos to track down Defendant at home. He was taken to the police station where he was met by his mother. Police read Defendant his Miranda rights and an interview proceeded. Defendant claimed he was forced by the accomplices to help steal the car and admitted to shooting the victim and discarding the murder weapon. At a pre-trial hearing, the Defendant and his mother said they did not understand the Miranda warning, did not read the waiver he signed, and did not know he could request an attorney. The trial court denied the motion to suppress the confession, and the jury found him guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree felony murder, aggravated robbery, and theft. The Court of Criminal Appeals concluded that the trial court erred by denying the motion to suppress and admitting the statement into evidence. The CCA found that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction for first-degree premeditated murder. The CCA reversed the convictions and granted a new trial limited to the charges of felony murder, second degree murder, aggravated robbery, and theft. The State appealed to the Supreme Court.November 9, 2022Roger Baskin v. Pierce & Alred Construction, Inc.- M2021-00144-SC-R11-CV
Plaintiff Roger Baskin sued Pierce & Allied Construction, Inc. in Davidson County, Tennessee, for breach of contract and breach of warranty. Mr. Baskin alleged that the defendant failed to construct a house in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in accordance with the parties’ contract. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. The Court of Appeals reversed, finding that the defendant’s contacts with Tennessee, including its purposeful applications for a certificate of authority to transact business and for a contractor’s license, were sufficient to allow Tennessee courts to exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant. Italso found Davidson County to be a proper venue for the action. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the defendant’s ensuing application for permission to appeal to consider whether the trial court could exercise specific personal jurisdiction over the non-resident defendant in this case. November 9, 2022Commercial Painting Company, Inc. v. The Weitz Company, LLC, Et Al. - W2019-02089-SC-R11-CV
This appeal concerns a contract dispute between a general contractor, The Weitz Company, Inc., and its drywall subcontractor, Commercial Painting Company, Inc. The case has been pending for sixteen years and has been the subject of multiple appeals. The case went to a trial before a jury in September 2018 on claims of negligent and intentional misrepresentation, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and a request for damages pursuant to a payment bond. The jury awarded Commercial Painting $1,729,122.46 in compensatory damages and $3,900,000 in punitive damages. The trial court further awarded Commercial Painting pre- and post-judgment interest and attorney’s fees and costs. The Court of Appeals reversed the award of punitive damages and interest because such damages were not authorized under the parties’ agreement; affirmed the compensatory damages; and vacated the award of attorney’s fees for a determination of the fees incurred in obtaining the compensatory damages award. The intermediate court awarded no attorney’s fees on appeal. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted Commercial Painting Company’s application for permission to appeal specifically as to two issues: (1) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in applying the Tennessee Supreme Court’s holding in Milan Supply Chain Solutions, Inc. v. Navistar, Inc., 627 S.W.3d 125 (Tenn. 2021), and expanding the application of the economic loss doctrine to the circumstances of this case; and (2) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in vacating the trial court’s award of attorney’s fees and in limiting the scope of recoverable fees on remand, and whether the Court of Appeals erred in denying Commercial Painting Company an award of costs and fees on appeal.November 9, 2022
James A. Welch Et Al. v. Oaktree Health and Rehabilitation Center, LLCd/b/a Christian Care Centers of Memphis, Et Al. - W2020-00917-SC-R11-CV
David Welch, the brother of Appellant James Welch, was admitted to a nursing home in 2016. At the time of admission, an arbitration agreement was signed by the patient’s brother, who presented a durable power of attorney for health care executed by the patient several years earlier. After the patient’s death in 2017, the brother filed a wrongful death action against the nursing home. The nursing home filed a motion to compel arbitration, which the brother opposed. The trial court ruled that it would “look beyond” the face of the power of attorney to determine whether the patient, who had Down syndrome, was competent when he executed the document. After discover, the court concluded that the patient was incompetent and denied the nursing home’s motion. The Court of Appeals reversed, citing Owens v. National Health Corp., 263 S.W.3d 876 (Tenn. 2007), and concluding that the trial court erroneously looked beyond the face of the power of attorney to determine competency. The Supreme Court granted Mr. Welch’s application for permission to appeal and limited review to the following issues: (1) Whether the Court of Appeals went beyond the permitted scope of review in reversing the circuit court’s decision based on application of the Tennessee Health Care Decisions Act, Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-1801 to -1815, a statute not raised by either of the parties on appeal or addressed by the circuit court; (2) Whether this Court’s citation to Tennessee Code Annotated section 34-6-208 in footnote 4 in Owens v. National Health Corp., 263 S.W.3d 876 (Tenn. 2007), creates a bright line rule prohibiting trial courts from considering a principal’s lack of capacity to grant a healthcare power of attorney and other healthcare agency appointments; and (3) Whether the Court of Appeals’ determination that the circuit court erred in looking into the validity of the health care power of attorney to enforce the arbitration agreement improperly favors nursing home arbitration agreements over other contracts, contrary to the requirements of 9 U.S.C.A. § 2, AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. 333 (2011), and Tennessee contract law.
November 9, 2022Paul Zachary Moss v. Shelby County Civil Service Merit Board - W2017-01813-SC-R11-CV
The appellant, Paul Zachary Moss, was a firefighter and paramedic in Shelby County, Tennessee. He was terminated from his employment after he was involved in a physical altercation while off-duty at a political rally. After a hearing, the Shelby County Civil Service Merit Board upheld his termination. Mr. Moss sought judicial review, and the chancery court likewise upheld the termination, but the Court of Appeals reversed due to its finding that there was a violation of his due process rights. The Tennessee Supreme Court found no due process violation, so it reversed and remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for consideration of Mr. Moss’s alternative arguments. On remand, the Court of Appeals considered Mr. Moss’s argument that the Board deprived him of a protected property right to be “treated fairly and consistently” compared to the discipline of other similarly situated civil service employees. The intermediate court held that the Board’s decision to exclude evidence of disparate discipline was arbitrary and unreasonable, but it affirmed the trial court on all other issues. Thus, the Court of Appeals remanded the case to the Board for further proceedings and permitted Mr. Moss to introduce evidence concerning the discipline of other employees. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the ensuing application for permission to appeal.October 5, 2022Robert Crotty Et Al. v. Mark Flora, M.D - M2020-01510-SC-R11-CV
In this healthcare liability action, the plaintiff, Robert Crotty, alleged that the defendant physician, Dr. Mark Flora, perforated the plaintiff’s ureter during a surgical procedure to treat a kidney stone that ultimately resulted in the loss of his right kidney. The plaintiff’s condition required subsequent procedures by other physicians, including non-party physician Dr. Mitchel Wiatrack. In his answer to the complaint, Dr. Flora denied the allegations and asserted a conditional and general comparative fault defense, which did not identify any other healthcare provider. Prior to trial, the plaintiff filed a motion in limine to exclude testimony regarding the fault of Dr. Wiatrak. Dr. Flora filed a motion in limine to exclude and limit evidence of the plaintiff’s medical expenses to those actually paid or payable. The trial court granted the plaintiff’s motion and denied Dr. Flora’s motion. The trial court then granted Dr. Flora’s motion for an interlocutory appeal; however, the Court of Appeals denied the defendant’s application for review. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the ensuing application for permission to appeal.October 5, 2022
Ernest Falls Et Al. v. Mark Goins Et Al. - M2020-01510-SC-R11-CV
In 1986, plaintiff Earnest Falls was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Virginia. He served his sentence and was later released. In 2018, Mr. Falls moved to Tennessee. In February 2020, the Governor of Virginia restored certain of Mr. Falls’ rights of citizenship, including the right to vote. However, when he attempted to register to vote in Tennessee, his registration was denied because he failed to provide evidence that he owned no fees or restitution related to his conviction as required by Tennessee Code Annotated § 40-29-202. The election commission denied his application to vote, and the circuit court upheld the election commission’s decision. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted Mr. Falls’ application for permission to appeal to consider whether, under Tennessee law, a citizen is automatically re-enfranchised when the state of their convictions restores their citizenship rights, or if the citizen must also comply with the requirements of § 40-29-202. As noted in the Court’s order granting review, Justice Sarah K. Campbell will not be participating in this appeal.
October 5, 2022Emergency Medical Care Facilities, P.C. v. Division of TennCare Et Al. - M2020-01358-SC-R11-CV
This appeal concerns a reimbursement limitation that TennCare imposed on “non-emergent” medical services provided by emergency department physicians. TennCare informed its managed care organizations of the reimbursement limitation via email without engaging in the rule-making procedures outlined in the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (“UAPA”). Emergency Care Medical Facilities, P.C., a professional corporation comprised of healthcare professionals that provide services in emergency departments, filed a petition seeking a declaratory judgment under the UAPA that the reimbursement limitation is void and of no effect because it was a rule implemented without following rule-making procedures. The trial court determined that the limitation was a “rule” subject to the rule-making requirements of the UAPA and granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff. The Court of Appeals reversed. The Supreme Court granted review of the case to consider whether the trial court properly determined that the limitation was subject to the UAPA’s rule-making requirements. October 5, 2022 Kenneth J. Mynatt v. National Treasury Employees Credit Union, Chapter 39 Et Al. - M2020-01285-SC-R11-CV
This case involves claims of malicious prosecution and civil conspiracy by an Internal Revenue Service employee against the employee’s union and several other defendants. The trial court dismissed the claims, determining that the plaintiff, Kenneth J. Mynatt, could not prove that the underlying criminal prosecution had terminated in his favor, which is a necessary element of the malicious prosecution claim. The court determined that the civil conspiracy claim had to be dismissed as well because the conspiracy claim was only actionable if the underlying tort were actionable. The Court of Appeals reversed, determining that, under the applicable standard of review, the trial court erred in dismissing the plaintiff’s claims. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the defendants’ application for permission to appeal to consider whether a dismissal of a criminal action can be a favorable termination for purposes of a malicious prosecution claim.
September 28, 2022 - Zoom -In Re Markus E.In 2014, Markus E. was born prematurely and subsequently suffered numerous health problems. When the child was seven months old, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services placed him with a relative after an emergency room visit revealed multiple rib fractures and chronic subdural hemorrhages. The child’s mother could not offer a satisfactory explanation for the child’s condition. In 2019, the trial court terminated the parental rights of both parents, concluding that there was clear and convincing evidence of two statutory grounds for termination of the mother’s parental rights (substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan and severe child abuse) and one statutory ground for the termination of the father’s parental rights (severe child abuse). The trial court also concluded that termination was in the child’s best interest. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the parents’ applications for permission to appeal to consider whether their parental rights were properly terminated.
September 7, 2022State of Tennessee v. Joseph Gevedon - M2020-00359-SC-R11-CD
Defendant crashed his vehicle into a cemetery while driving under the influence and damaged several grave monuments. He pleaded guilty to three counts of driving under the influence. The trial court sentenced Defendant to three consecutive terms of eleven months and twenty-nine days but permitted him to serve all but ninety-six hours (two forty-eight-hour periods) on probation. Later, at a separate hearing, the trial court considered probation violation warrants against Defendant and the issue of restitution. State and Defendant stipulated that he caused $30,490.76 in damage to the cemetery. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court fully revoked Defendant’s probation and also ordered restitution of the full amount of damage. Defendant appealed, arguing that restitution cannot be ordered when probation is fully revoked, that the court erred in ordering restitution without considering his future ability to pay, and that the court erred by purporting to convert the restitution into a civil judgment. A majority of the Court of Criminal Appeals declined to address the merits of the issues raised and dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, stating that there was no final judgment because the trial court had failed to specify a payment schedule for the ordered restitution. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted Defendant’s application for permission to appeal to consider whether the Court of Criminal Appeals properly dismissed the appeal. September 7, 2022
State of Tennessee v. Johnny Summers Cavin - E2020-01333-SC-R11-CD
After breaking into a barn and stealing hand-hewn hardwood, Defendant entered guilty pleas to burglary of a building and theft of property valued at more than $2,500 but less than $10,000. The parties agreed that Defendant would serve four years on supervised probation. At a later-scheduled restitution hearing, the trial court ordered Defendant to pay $5,500 in restitution. Defendant appealed arguing that the trial court erred by ordering restitution because the alleged pecuniary loss was not substantiated by the proof and because the amount was unreasonable considering his financial ability to pay. The Court of Criminal Appeals, in a two-to-one decision, dismissed the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, concluding that the judgment was not final for purposes of appeal. The majority held that the trial court’s failure to set a payment schedule for the restitution defeated finality. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted Defendant’s application for permission to appeal to consider whether the Court of Criminal Appeals properly dismissed the appeal.
June 1, 2022
Greg Adkisson, Et Al. v. Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc - M2021-01239-SC-R23-CV
This case involves a certified question of law filed by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Defendant Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. was hired by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to manage the cleanup and remediation efforts of the Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant following a coal-ash spill in 2008. The plaintiffs are individuals who worked on the remediation efforts. The plaintiffs suffer from a variety of medical conditions, which they claim were caused by the defendant’s negligence with respect to air monitoring, dust control, the use of personal protective equipment, and work training, all in violation of the defendant’s contract with TVA. Pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 23, the federal district court certified four questions to the Tennessee Supreme Court regarding application of the Tennessee Silica Claims Priorities Act (TSCPA): (1) Are the requirements of the TSCPA an affirmative defense that must be pleaded in a responsive pleading, or are they prima facie requirements which can be raised at any stage of litigation? (2) Do the TSCPA’s requirements apply to all cases involving exposure to silica or mixed dust, or, if coal ash is silica or mixed dust within the meaning of the TSCPA, are plaintiffs’ claims exempted from the TSCPA’s requirements because they are raised under the common law? (3) Does coal ash, which contains silica, fibrogenic dusts, and other components that may cause injury, but are not “fibrogenic dusts,” constitute “silica” or “mixed dust” such that the requirements of the TSCPA would apply in these cases? and (4) If coal ash does qualify as silica or mixed dust, does the TSCPA apply even if plaintiffs’ claims are based on injury resulting from exposure to elements of coal ash that are not silica or fibrogenic dusts? The Supreme Court accepted the certified questions.
May 25, 2022
George Gary Ingram v. Dr. Michael Gallaher Et Al. - E2020-01222-SC-R11-CV
Penny Lawson Et Al. v. Hawkins Co., Tennessee Et Al. - E2020-01529-SC-R11-CV
May 3, 2022
Brittany Borngne Ex Rel Miyona Hyter v. Chattanooga-Hamilton Co. Hospital Authority Et Al. - M2021-01107-SC-R23-CV
his health care liability action arises from injuries suffered by a minor, Miyona Hyter, during her birth in 2014. Ms. Hyter, by and through her mother, Brittany Borngne, sued the obstetrician who delivered the child via cesarean section and the certified nurse midwife who assisted with the birthing process, among other healthcare providers. By agreed order, the trial court granted partial summary judgment to the obstetrician on all claims of direct negligence, but the claims against him under the theory of vicarious liability for the alleged negligence of the nurse-midwife remained by virtue of his role as her supervisor. At trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of all defendants, finding that the providers had not deviated from the applicable standard of care. The plaintiff moved for a new trial on several grounds, which the trial court denied. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment and remanded for a new trial, explaining that the trial court erred by refusing to order the obstetrician to answer certain questions during his deposition concerning the nurse-midwife’s care of the patient. The intermediate court also concluded that the trial court erred in excluding proof of Ms. Hyter’s pre-majority medical expenses. Judge Kristi M. Davis filed a separate opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part that stated her belief that the trial court correctly refused to compel the obstetrician’s testimony. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the Defendants’ applications for permission to appeal to consider whether the Court of Appeals correctly determined that the trial court committed reversible error.
City of Knoxville, TN v. Netflix, Inc., Et Al.- M2021-01107-SC-R23-CV
This case involves a certified question of law filed by the United States District for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The City of Knoxville filed a federal lawsuit against Defendants Netflix and Hulu, which are streaming services that allow subscribers to view television shows, movies, documentaries, and other content through Internet-connected devices. The City claimed that Defendants provide their video services throughout the state of Tennessee without obtaining a franchise in violation of the Tennessee Competitive Cable and Video Services Act (“CCVSA”). Defendants filed separate motions to dismiss asserting that they do not provide “video service[s]” and are therefore not subject to the requirements of the statute. Pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 23, the federal district court entered an order certifying the following question: Whether Netflix and Hulu are video service providers, as that term is defined in the relevant provision of the CCVSA, Tennessee Code Annotated section 7-59-303(19). The Supreme Court accepted the certified question.
April 5, 2022
State of Tennessee v. Marvin Maurice Deberry - W2019-01666-SC-R11-CD
Officers stopped Marvin Maurice Deberry in 2018 and discovered that he had already been declared a motor vehicle habitual offender (“MVHO”). He was charged with driving after having been declared a MVHO and three other misdemeanor offenses. The jury convicted him, but before he was sentenced, the law changed, and the new law replaced the law the defendant had been convicted of violating. The defendant argued that this change in the law eliminated the penalty for his crime. In making this argument, he relied on the Criminal Savings Statute. The trial court agreed with the defendant’s argument and entered a judgment reflecting that the defendant was not subject to a penalty because the law had changed. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the State’s application for permission to appeal to consider whether the “lesser penalty” language of the Criminal Savings Statute, Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-11-112, applies where, as here, the legislature has repealed a criminal offense.
State of Tennessee v. Quinton Devon Perry - W2019-01553-SC-R11-CD
Defendant Quinton Devon Perry pleaded guilty to twenty-four counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor after a 2017 investigation revealed that the defendant uploaded numerous child pornography files to his Dropbox account and later shared and traded the images and videos electronically with other people. Prior to the sentencing hearing, the State requested consecutive sentencing, asserting that the defendant had an extensive criminal record. Although the defendant had no prior criminal history or prior arrests, the State argued that the court could consider the offenses for which the defendant was being sentenced as proof of his extensive criminal record. The trial court agreed and ordered consecutive service of some of the sentences imposed, for an aggregate sentence of eighteen years’ imprisonment. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the defendant’s application for permission to appeal to consider the issue of what constitutes prior criminal activity for the purposes of consecutive sentencing under Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-115.
February 24, 2022
Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County Et Al. v. Tennessee Department of Education Et Al.- M2020-00683-SC-R11-CV
State of Tennessee v. Tyshon Booker - E2018-01439-SC-R11-CD
January 26, 2022
State of Tennessee v. Tyler Ward Enix - E2020-00231-SC-R11-CD
Defendant Tyler Ward Enix was accused of killing his ex-wife. A jury convicted Defendant of first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery. After the jury deadlocked on a sentence for first-degree murder, the trial court imposed a life sentence. The trial court also ordered Defendant to serve a consecutive twenty-five-year sentence for especially aggravated robbery. Defendant filed a motion for new trial, which the trial court denied. He appealed raising numerous issues, including sufficiency of the evidence, improper statements made by the prosecutor, and improper admission of certain evidence. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Defendant’s convictions and sentences. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted Defendant’s application for permission to appeal to specifically consider whether plenary or plain error review should apply to a claim of prosecutorial misconduct during closing argument when a contemporaneous objection is not lodged at the time the misconduct allegedly occurred but the claim is raised in the motion for new trial.
Elijah “Lij” Shaw Et Al. v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County - M2019-01926-SC-R11-CV
Two homeowners filed suit against the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (“Metro”) challenging a code provision that prevented them from serving customers at their home-based businesses. The trial court granted summary judgment to Metro. After the homeowners appealed, the metropolitan council repealed the challenged code provision and enacted a new provision allowing certain home-based businesses to serve up to six clients a day. The Court of Appeals determined that, in light of Metro’s enactment of the new ordinance, the appeal was moot. The homeowners filed an application for permission to appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court arguing that the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the appeal as moot. They also argued that Metro’s restrictions on their home-based businesses violates the Tennessee Constitution. The Supreme Court granted review to consider these issues.
Recipient of Final Expunction Order in McNairy Co Circuit Court Case No. 3279 v. David B. Rausch, Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Et Al.M2021-00438-SC-R11-CV
In 2015, Plaintiff, an unnamed citizen of McNairy County, Tennessee, entered into a diversionary plea agreement with the State, whereby the State agreed to dismiss one of two charges and Plaintiff agreed to judicial diversion and probation on the remaining charge. Plaintiff successfully completed four years of probation and petitioned for expungement. The State consented, and the trial court entered an expungement order. Plaintiff later learned that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (“TBI”) had not expunged all records related to the case despite having received the expungement order. The TBI asserted that statutes prohibited it from complying with the order because the offenses involved in Plaintiff’s case were sexual in nature and statutorily ineligible for expunction. Plaintiff filed suit against the TBI and the TBI director seeking declaratory and injunctive relief and a finding of civil contempt. Plaintiff and the TBI filed cross motions for partial judgment on the pleadings, and the TBI also moved for permission to file under seal the unredacted criminal record. The trial court denied all three motions but granted Plaintiff permission to seek an interlocutory appeal. The Court of Appeals denied the application. The Tennessee Supreme Court, however, granted Plaintiff’s application for permission to appeal to consider under what circumstances, if any, may the TBI refuse to comply with a final expungement order issued by a court of record.