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

Amazon Can Be Liable for Negligent Assumption of Duty to Warn for Website Sale of Dangerous Product

In 2015, online retailer Amazon, Inc. sold more than 250,000 hoverboards through its website.  By November 2015, Amazon knew that these products presented a risk of explosion. Amazon stopped selling the hoverboards and emailed customers with an “Important Product Safety Notification” that mentioned news reports of safety issues and offered information on how to return the product,...

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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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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…  This negligence action arose following a high...

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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.  Background Plaintiff Christopher Dylan Thompson filed a negligent entrustment alleging that Best Buy was “negligent in allowing him...

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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… Background This health care liability action was filed following a fall by Plaintiff, Vicki...

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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. Background Defendant Richard Wright, the adult son of Larry and Marianne...

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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.   Background Plaintiff James Boshears was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his girlfriend, Nicole Penchion, when an automobile driven by Cleave C. Brooks struck his car. Boshears filed suit against...

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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. Case:  Karla J. Dennis, et al. v. Donelson Corporate Centre I,...

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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.  Case  Sandra Gibson v. Young Men’s Christian Association of Middle Tennessee Background Plaintiff Sandra Young fell after she tripped on an allegedly uneven or cracked sidewalk just outside the entrance of her local YMCA where she was a member.  Ms....

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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 This premises liability case arose from a plaintiff’s fall at an auto parts store where she was inquiring about a job opening. Plaintiff Carol Mooney visited the NAPA Auto Part in Alamo, Tennessee, to apply for a job but after determining that the...

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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...

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Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words of Medical Testimony?

In the recent Tennessee Court of Appeals case,  Garvin v. Malone, the Plaintiffs wanted to introduce pictures of a damaged vehicle to prove the extent of the physical injuries they suffered in a car crash.  It does raise an interesting question: what correlation is there between the damage that appears on a car following a collision and the injuries to the bodies inside that car?  And does this...

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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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