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

Fall at Convenience Center Not From “Open and Obvious” Cause; Plaintiff Entitled to Recover Damages

Getting a case reversed on appeal is difficult under any circumstances. Where negligence cases are concerned, it is particularly difficult.  Negligence cases in Tennessee are governed by the principle of “comparative fault.” This means that, where premises liability cases are concerned, in order for a plaintiff to recover damages a court must find the plaintiff’s own negligence, if any, to be...

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Defendant Denied Chance to ID Other Parties Potentially At Fault; Affirmative Defense Reinstated

Naming “John Does” as defendants or comparative torfeasors is a necessary and customary practice in hit-and-run cases. This allows the parties to conduct discovery to identify information that can lead to a determination of who should be held at fault and whether a defendant can be sufficiently identified to be served with process.  The case of Santore v. Stevenson dealt with the...

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More Traps for the Unwary in MedMal Cases

Timing is everything when it comes to adding alleged comparative tortfeasors.  Unfortunately, this lesson is too often learned the hard way.  Where medical malpractice is concerned,  the lack of coordination between the drafters of the Health Care Liability Act with the statute allowing a comparative tortfeasor to be added within 90 days of their being identified in an answer adds yet another...

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Tennessee Rejects Preemption Rule When Vicarious Liability Admitted

Does comparative fault still apply for direct negligence claims when the employer has admitted vicarious liability?  In its recent ruling on a Tenn. R. App. P. 10 Extraordinary Appeal, the Tennessee Court of Appeals has answered “yes.” As a result of the recent ruling in Jones v. Windham, the Court of Appeals has rejected the so-called preemption rule, barring direct negligence...

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