$3 Million Jury Verdict Overturned; No Duty to Warn of Danger

In products liability cases, a duty to warn arises when a product is defective or unreasonably dangerous. What happens when a jury finds that the maker of a product had a duty to warn others about danger but the jury can’t agree on whether the product was actually defective or unreasonably dangerous?  The resulting Tennessee Court of Appeals opinion in Stockton v. Ford Motor Company presents three judges who agree on the proper result but not the reasons why, in a ruling that has the potential to affect all duty to warn jurisprudence in Tennessee. [Read more…]

Dance Party Results in Injuries But No Liability

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…  [Read more…]

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

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.  [Read more…]

Tort Law Blog: Is the Common Knowledge Exception Obsolete?

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… [Read more…]

Court Rules on Parent Liability for Acts of Adult Son Living at Home

Parents of “boomerang kids” take note: the Tennessee Court of Appeals has noticed that the number of young adults ages 18 to 34 living with their parents climbed to over 32% in 2014.  Read on to see what the Court determined in Riggs v. Wright and what this means for your potential liability for their actions.

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New Case Law on the “Sudden Emergency Doctrine”

The recent Tennessee Court of Appeals case Boshears v. Brooks provides practitioners with a good framework for the application of the “Sudden Emergency Doctrine” in negligence actions.   [Read more…]

Sometimes a slip and fall is really just a slip and fall…

The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is a rule of evidence intended to assist the plaintiff who has no direct evidence of negligence by providing a way to have  circumstantial evidence considered when a plaintiff is trying to proof negligence.  The doctrine won’t save a case where there is simply no evidence of negligence, though. [Read more…]

Injured Patron Can’t Sue; Membership Agreement Waived Right

An exculpatory clause waives the right to sue.  A recent Court of Appeals case shows that it the waiver can be far broader than you may realize.  [Read more…]

Premises Liability Case Falls Short

Premises liability cases are often difficult, and the recent case of Mooney v. Genuine Parts Company d/b/a National Automotive Assoc illustrates [Read more…]

City Not Liable for Acts of Fleeing Suspect

The recent Tennessee Court of Appeals Holt v. City of Fayetteville examined the application of the public duty doctrine to bar a suit against a public employee.

Background
Henry Holt, Sr. died in a car accident when his car was struck by a police car driven by an individual – Misty Shelton – who had been placed under arrest by the Fayetteville Police Department. Mr. Holt’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit on his behalf alleging that the arresting officer did not follow proper procedures in arresting Ms. Shelton by failing to properly restrain her, which then allowed her to flee in the police car that struck Mr. Holt’s car. The named defendants were the City of Fayetteville, the Fayetteville Police Department, John Doe Police Officer, and Misty Shelton. [Read more…]