Tort Law Blog

The litigation team at Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella, PC shares updates and thoughts on developments in the law.

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Employer Not Responsible For Injuries to Employee Who Was Sent Home For Suspicion of Drug Use

February 10th, 2017

In a negligent entrustment action, the employer’s ability to control the employee when he leaves the premises is the essential issue. Knowledge of the employee’s incompetency is also important.  Here, the facts didn’t establish that the employer was at fault.  (more…)

Jury Verdict Reversed; Personal Injury Claim Reinstated

January 31st, 2017

For personal injury claims, exacerbation of previous injuries are fraught with peril.  This recent Tennessee Court of Appeals case offers a bit of hope… (more…)

Auto Insurance Statutes Unclear Where Rentals are Concerned

January 3rd, 2017

Renting a car can be complicated.  Unwinding the insurance issues when a rental in involved in an accident requires untangling the intersection of state and federal law. A new Tennessee Supreme Court ruling gives some guidance. (more…)

Tort Law Blog: How is Pleading Vicarious Liability Like Skinning a Cat?

December 28th, 2016

Every once and a while, a court case will serve as a helpful refresher on some concepts that attorneys may have not thought of since law school.  The Tennessee Court of Appeals’ ruling in Bowman v. Benouttas includes a helpful primer on various theories of vicarious liability: respondeat superior, joint venture, and implied partnership.  In other words, there’s more than one way to get there, but you still have to plead each argument. (more…)

Court of Appeals Addresses Nonsuits in Healthcare Liability Actions (Again—-and Again!)

December 21st, 2016

This fall, two opinions, issued two days apart and from different sections of the Tennessee Court of Appeals, have explored the same essential question: should a plaintiff in a health care liability action be permitted to voluntarily dismiss his lawsuit without prejudice in the face of a motion to dismiss arising from an inadequate certificate of good faith? (more…)

Tort Law Blog: Is the Common Knowledge Exception Obsolete?

November 28th, 2016

Last month we wrote about the common knowledge exception, and it crops up again this month. Lawyers, be warned: Even if the common knowledge exception applies in a health care liability case so that expert testimony is not required, the failure to file a certificate of good faith may still be fatal… (more…)

Big Changes to Appellate Procedure in Tennessee

November 12th, 2016

Big changes are coming to Tennessee’s appellate courts in 2017. While news of the move to electronic filing is not new, the recently filed proposed amendments to the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure have some significant changes to make way for the change…. (more…)

Insurance Company Can’t Have It Both Ways, Estopped From Statute of Limitations Defense

November 7th, 2016

In the recent case of Clark  v. Powers, the Tennessee Court of Appeals determined that an insurance company couldn’t avoid liability under a statute of limitations defense by arguing lack of service of process when it had allowed a co-defendant to enter into a written agreement to delay service.   (more…)

“Common Knowledge” Exception Insufficent to Save MedMal Case

October 18th, 2016

In Unitta Sue Newman v. Guardian Healthcare Providers, Inc., the Tennessee Court of Appeals addressed the “common knowledge” exception – an exception to the requirement of expert testimony in certain medical malpractice actions.  Spoiler alert: the exception almost never applies… (more…)

When Your Civil Suit Intersects with a Criminal Prosecution

October 3rd, 2016

A version of this article originally appeared as the Monthly Spotlight Article in the Tennessee Tort Law Letter.  DPBC attorneys Donald Capparella, Tyler Chance Yarbro, and Elizabeth Sitgreaves serve as editors. To learn about subscribing click here.

If you are a tort law practitioner, then it is not unusual to have a criminal case pending alongside a tort case you are handling. This intersection of the areas of law requires careful attention on behalf of the practitioner. (more…)

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