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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No Liability for Fall on Defective Sidewalk

April 15th, 2017

This is a good example of why lawyers need to develop (and use!) checklists for trial.  When you file suit after a fall on a defective sidewalk, you need to be sure you can elicit testimony not just that the sidewalk was defective but that it caused the fall…

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Court of Appeals Provides Guidance on Statutory Summary Judgment Standard

April 3rd, 2017

The Tennessee Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Rye v. Women’s Care Ctr. of Memphis, MPLLC, 477 S.W.3d 235 (Tenn. 2015) established that Tennessee generally follows the federal standard where summary judgment motions are concerned, but left many open questions–particularly regarding the interplay between the Rye decision and the pre-existing Tennessee statutory summary judgment standard.  (See our write-ups here and here.)  But, the Court of Appeals has recently provided some help for practitioners… (more…)

Dance Party Results in Injuries But No Liability

March 22nd, 2017

The Court of Appeals  recently examined potential liability from a deck collapse during a party attended by “a ridiculous amount” of high school students.  The upshot?  It seems like a determination that having lots of people jumping and dancing on a deck doesn’t make it forseeable that the deck could break and hurt people…  (more…)

Wrongful Death Claims Present Challenges for Surviving Family Members

March 15th, 2017

The recent Tennessee Court of Appeals case Nelson v. Myres, offers a succinct and helpful analysis as to who has the priority right to bring a wrongful death claim, particularly in the situation where the surviving spouse may bear some responsibility for the death. (more…)

Legislative Update

February 28th, 2017

The General Assembly is back in session and that means that more than a few items of interest will be considered in the next few months.  Here are some matters under consideration that will impact the legal system and the ability of Tennesseans to have access to justice. (more…)

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…)

For the complete list of blog posts, click here.