In 2020, Ebony Robinson (“Defendant”) pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide by
intoxication, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and driving without a license. The trial
court imposed a ten-year sentence largely suspended to probation with periodic weeks of
confinement for the first three years. The State appealed the sentence, arguing that a 2017
amendment to the probation eligibility statute, Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-
303, prohibits defendants who are convicted of vehicular homicide by intoxication from
receiving any form of probation. The Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with the State and
reversed the trial court, ordering Defendant to serve the full sentence in confinement. The
intermediate court concluded that the amended probation statute expressly prohibits
probation of any kind, including periodic or split confinement, for criminal defendants
convicted of vehicular homicide by intoxication. After reviewing the relevant statutes, this
Court affirms the Court of Criminal Appeals and holds that the clear and precise language
of the 2017 amendment to the probation eligibility statute prohibits all forms of probation
for a defendant convicted of vehicular homicide by intoxication. Accordingly, we affirm
the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals.
In 2021, the Defendant, Timothy Eugene Wells, pleaded guilty to sexual assault by an
authority figure, as a Range II offender, in exchange for a sentence of six to ten years with
the manner of service to be determined by the trial court. After a sentencing hearing, the
trial court imposed an effective sentence of eight years of incarceration. On appeal, the
Defendant asserts that the trial court abused its discretion when it ordered him to serve his
sentence in confinement. After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.
We granted this interlocutory appeal to review the trial court’s order denying the State’s
motion to admit the preliminary hearing testimony of one of the victims who had
subsequently, and unrelatedly, been killed, and granting the Defendant’s motion to exclude
said testimony. The Defendant argued that the trial court should exclude the victim’s
former testimony because the State withheld exculpatory information prior to the
preliminary hearing in violation of the Defendant’s rights to confrontation, due process,
and a fair trial. The trial court agreed with the Defendant, and the State appeals. Following
our review, we reverse the trial court’s order and remand the case for further proceedings.
This case involves an appeal from the trial court’s appointment of a permanent conservator to oversee the person and property of the appellant, Tara Young. Ms. Young’s brother, Daniel Wood, petitioned for a conservatorship after he discovered that Ms. Young had been admitted to the Vanderbilt Adult Psychiatric Hospital following a car accident. After several months of proceedings and a two-day trial, the trial court concluded that a conservatorship was warranted and appointed a conservator for the person and property of Ms. Young. The trial court further determined that medical decisions should remain vested with Ms. Young. Ms. Young timely appealed. On appeal, Mr. Wood did not file a brief in response to Ms. Young’s appellate brief. Upon review, we conclude that Ms. Young’s brief lacks a statement of the issues presented for review and therefore does not comport with Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 27(a)(4). Inasmuch as Ms. Young has not presented any issues on appeal as required by Rule 27, we dismiss this appeal.
In this interlocutory appeal, the defendant physician in a health care liability action asks us
to review two pretrial orders. In the first, the trial court excludes evidence that a nonparty
physician was the cause-in-fact of the claimant’s injuries because the defendant never
amended his answer to include that allegation, as required under Rule 8.03 of the Tennessee
Rules of Civil Procedure as applied in George v. Alexander, 931 S.W.2d 517 (Tenn. 1996).
Because he does not allege that the nonparty physician was negligent, the defendant asks
us to modify our holding in George and reverse the trial court’s order. We respectfully
decline to do so. In the second pretrial order on appeal, the trial court considered Tennessee
Code Annotated section 29-26-119, a provision that partially abrogates the common law
collateral source rule in health care liability actions. It held that section 29-26-119 does
not abrogate the collateral source rule under the facts of this case. We agree with the trial
court that the collateral source rule remains in effect in this case. We affirm both of the
trial court’s pretrial rulings.
This appeal arises from a divorce after a very brief marriage. The parties had one young son at the time of the divorce. The trial court declared the parties divorced, named the mother primary residential parent, largely adopted her proposed parenting plan, and calculated child support after imputing income to the mother based on a finding of voluntary underemployment. The father appealed and raises three issues, primarily arguing that he should be named primary residential parent or at least have additional parenting time. The mother raises a host of issues regarding various other provisions of the parenting plan. For the following reasons, we affirm the decision of the circuit court as modified.
This interlocutory appeal involves two pretrial orders. I concur with the holding
and analysis of the majority as to the first pretrial order involving Rule 8.03 and George v.
Alexander, 931 S.W.2d 517 (Tenn. 1996). However, I respectfully dissent from the
majority’s holding and analysis as to the second pretrial order involving Tennessee Code
Annotated section 29-26-119 and the collateral source rule. This issue requires the Court
to interpret the meaning of section 29-26-119. I would hold that, when section 29-26-119
governs damages in a health care liability action, the statute’s clear language contemplates
only “actual economic losses suffered . . . paid or payable,” thereby abrogating the
collateral source rule. Thus, I would reverse the trial court’s pretrial order.
Defendant, Eugene W. Jones, appeals the trial court’s order revoking his probationary
sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon with a previous
conviction for a violent felony and simple possession of marijuana. Following our review
of the entire record and the briefs of the parties, we find no abuse of discretion and affirm
the judgment of the trial court.
Defendant, Christopher Alan Peters, was convicted by a McMinn County jury of
aggravated burglary, and the trial court sentenced him as a Range II offender to ten years
to serve in confinement. On appeal, Defendant argues that there is insufficient evidence to
sustain his conviction because the State presented no evidence that he entered the residence
with the intent to commit a theft. Following our review of the entire record, the briefs of
the parties, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
Defendant, Tyrone T. Roach, entered a nolo contendere plea to one count of sexual battery. The trial court imposed a diverted one-year sentence. As part of the plea, Defendant attempted to reserve a certified question of law under Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2) as to whether the four-year delay between the grand jury presentment on the sexual battery charge and his arrest on the presentment violated his rights to a speedy trial and due process. The State contends that this court lacks jurisdiction to hear an appeal from a diverted sentence. In the alternative, the State argues that Defendant did not reserve the certified question properly, and even if the certified question were reserved, the trial court did not violate his right to a speedy trial. Defendant has not responded to the State’s contention regarding jurisdiction. We conclude we lack jurisdiction to consider Defendant’s appeal. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.
A Madison County Grand Jury indicted the defendant, Cornell Poe, for driving on a
revoked license, unlawful use of a license plate, improper registration, and violation of the
financial responsibility law. The defendant filed a suppression motion, arguing the lack of
signage on the one-way street deprived him of due process. The trial court granted the
defendant’s motion, and the State appealed, asserting the defendant’s seizure was
supported by probable cause. Upon our review of the record, arguments of the parties, and
pertinent authorities, we agree with the State, reverse the judgment of the trial court and
remand the case for further proceedings.
This appeal stems from a lawsuit over a void marriage. Larry Inman (“Plaintiff”) sued
Cindy Craven Inman (“Defendant”) for divorce in the Circuit Court for Shelby County
(“the Circuit Court”). However, it emerged during the lawsuit that Defendant never
divorced her previous spouse. The Circuit Court entered an agreed final order holding that
the parties’ marriage was void and dismissing the complaint. Plaintiff later sued Defendant
in the Chancery Court for Shelby County (“the Trial Court”) asserting various causes of
action stemming from his being misled into believing he was married. Defendant filed a
motion to dismiss, which the Trial Court granted on res judicata grounds. Plaintiff appeals.
Plaintiff could have asserted his claims in the previous divorce lawsuit, but he did not.
Thus, the doctrine of res judicata bars Plaintiff’s claims. We affirm.
In this post-divorce case, Father appeals the trial court’s grant of sole decision-making authority over the Children’s non-emergency health care and religious decisions to Mother. Mother requests attorney’s fees incurred on appeal. Because there is no evidence to support an award of sole decision-making authority over religious decisions, we reverse the trial court’s order awarding Mother same. The trial court’s order is otherwise affirmed, and Mother’s request for appellate attorney’s fees is denied.
The Defendant, Eric Martell Small, was convicted by a Tipton County jury of evading
arrest in a motor vehicle endangering others, a Class D felony; driving while license
revoked, a Class A misdemeanor; violation of the financial responsibility law, a Class C
misdemeanor; and violation of the open container law, a Class C misdemeanor. On appeal,
the Defendant argues that the trial court erred in admitting hearsay testimony and that the
evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions. Based on our review, we affirm the
judgments of the trial court.
The Tennessee Department of Revenue issued a tax assessment against a horse-drawn carriage company pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-212(a)(2). The carriage company filed a complaint in the chancery court challenging the tax assessment on two grounds: (1) that its carriage rides did not constitute a place of amusement under the statute and (2) that its equal protection rights had been violated because no other carriage companies had been assessed the tax. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment. The court granted the Tennessee Department of Revenue’s motion for summary judgment and denied the carriage company’s motion for summary judgment. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm the chancery court’s decision.
In this appeal, a defendant asserts that the trial court erred when it granted the plaintiff’s motion to voluntarily dismiss its complaint while the defendant’s motion to dismiss and for attorneys’ fees was pending. We hold that a pending motion to dismiss does not preclude the plaintiff from voluntarily dismissing its case pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 41.01. Likewise, the defendant’s request for attorneys’ fees did not create a “vested right” preventing the plaintiff from voluntarily dismissing its case. The ruling of the trial court is affirmed.
This appeal involves a dispute between family members regarding their father’s/grandfather’s estate. Following the filing of an action to probate the decedent’s will by his daughter, the decedent’s son and grandson contested the will. The trial court conducted a bench trial, subsequently entering an order determining that the residuary clause in the decedent’s will was invalid due to undue influence by his daughter. The court also held that the decedent’s son and grandson had proven that a portion of the decedent’s real property should be vested in the son due to a “resulting/constructive” trust. The decedent’s daughter and her son have appealed the trial court’s rulings. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm.
This is a breach of contract action involving an agreement for purchase and sale of
improved real property. Upon the sellers’ motion for summary judgment and following a
hearing, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the sellers. Following an
evidentiary hearing to determine damages, the trial court entered a judgment directing the
buyers to pay $45,000 in compensatory damages and $15,000 in attorney’s fees. The
buyers have appealed. Determining that genuine issues of material fact preclude
summary judgment, we reverse.
The appeal arises from a conservatorship proceeding. At issue is whether the trial court
erred by quashing the appellant’s subpoena of the conservator’s records on the basis of res
judicata, rendering the document subpoena moot as a matter of law. We have determined
that a final judgment had not been rendered on the merits concerning the services rendered
by the conservator; thus, res judicata was not applicable. Accordingly, the judgment of the
trial court is reversed, and this matter is remanded for further proceedings.
economic-loss doctrine bars recovery in tort for purely economic losses in certain
situations. In this case, the Court is asked to apply that doctrine to bar tort claims brought
by a subcontractor against a general contractor, where the relationship between the
subcontractor and general contractor is governed by a contract. The majority opinion cabins
the economic-loss doctrine to products liability cases and refuses to extend it to contracts
for services for fear that doing so would require that we also create various exceptions. I
respectfully disagree with that holding. The core rationale underlying the economic-loss
doctrine—to create a boundary line between tort and contract law to ensure that parties can
allocate risks and responsibilities as they see fit—applies equally to cases involving
contracts for services. And to the extent that any exceptions to the rule would be needed,
their creation would not be nearly as difficult or messy as the majority predicts. I would
hold that the economic-loss doctrine applies here and precludes the subcontractor from
recovering punitive damages and pre-judgment interest.
The economic loss doctrine generally precludes a contracting party who suffers only
economic losses from recovering damages in tort. In Tennessee, the application of this
doctrine is limited to products liability cases. In this appeal, we consider whether the
economic loss doctrine should be expanded to apply outside the products liability context.
A jury awarded compensatory and punitive damages to a drywall subcontractor in a suit
against a general contractor under theories of breach of contract and tort. The Court of
Appeals applied the economic loss doctrine to preclude the recovery of damages in tort in
a suit between sophisticated commercial entities. The intermediate court, in part, affirmed
the award of compensatory damages for breach of contract, dismissed the tort claim, and
reversed the award for punitive damages. We hold the economic loss doctrine only applies
in products liability cases and should not be extended to other claims.
Petitioner, Fred Auston Wortman, III, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition
seeking post-conviction relief from his 2015 guilty-pleaded conviction for attempted first
degree murder, arguing that the post-conviction court incorrectly concluded that the
Petition was time-barred. After our review of the record, we reverse and remand the case
to the post-conviction court. On remand, the post-conviction court should appoint counsel,
if necessary; provide an opportunity for counsel to amend the Petition; and conduct a
hearing to make findings of fact and conclusions of law relative to due process tolling of
the statute of limitations.
In this appeal, we address whether a Tennessee resident may sue an Alabama corporation in a Tennessee court for alleged breach of contract and breach of warranty pertaining to its construction of a custom lake house in Alabama. Tennessee resident Roger Baskin hired Pierce & Allred Construction, an Alabama corporation with its principal place of business in Alabama, to build a house on a parcel of land in Alabama. Mr. Baskin supplied the architectural plans and some of the materials, all sourced from Tennessee, and the parties communicated throughout the project from their respective states. However, all of Pierce & Allred Construction’s activities on the project occurred in Alabama. Mr. Baskin ultimately became dissatisfied with the quality and expense of the construction work, and he filed suit in the Davidson County Chancery Court. Pierce & Allred Construction moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction, arguing that the corporation lacked the “minimum contacts” with Tennessee that due process protections require. Int’l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945). The trial court granted the motion, finding that the events relevant to the claims occurred in Alabama and that the corporation’s contacts with Tennessee were minor and attenuated. The Court of Appeals reversed, looking to recent decisions from this Court, see Crouch Ry. Consulting, LLC v. LS Energy Fabrication, LLC, 610 S.W.3d 460 (Tenn. 2020), and the United States Supreme Court, see Ford Motor Co. v. Mont. Eighth Jud. Dist. Ct., 141 S. Ct. 1017 (2021) (explaining that the exercise of specific personal jurisdiction requires that a plaintiff’s claim arise out of or relate to the defendant’s forum contacts). We granted permission to appeal. Based on our review, we have determined that Pierce & Allred Construction’s contacts with Tennessee were not such that the corporation reasonably should have anticipated being haled into a Tennessee court to answer this suit. In making this determination, we conclude that certain contacts with Tennessee did not reflect that the corporation purposefully availed itself of the privilege of conducting business activities in Tennessee, while certain other contacts were not sufficiently related to Mr. Baskin’s claims to support the exercise of specific personal jurisdiction. Thus, we hold that Mr. Baskin failed to establish a prima facie case of the minimum contacts necessary for a Tennessee court to exercise specific personal jurisdiction over the Alabama corporation. Accordingly, we reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals and reinstate the judgment of the trial court dismissing Mr. Baskin’s complaint.
Jim Hysen v. T.A. Smythe M2022-00816-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Kenny Armstrong
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph A. Woodruff
Because the notice of appeal was untimely, this Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the appeal. Appeal dismissed.
This appeal arises from a dispute over the estate of Mrs. Willie Seeber. Mrs. Seeber left a purported Last Will and Testament executed in 2021,which the personal representative named therein has offered to the Probate Court for Loudon County for solemn form probate. However, various family members and friends of Mrs. Seeber seek to challenge this will and allege Mrs. Seeber lacked testamentary capacity and was unduly influenced to execute the will. The contestants rely upon earlier testamentary documents to establish standing to bring a will contest. The proponent appeals an order of the probate court holding the contestants have standing to bring a will contest. We hold the probate court did not err in its various findings and affirm the judgment of the probate court. This case is remanded for further proceedings.