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

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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Settlement Agreement Enforceable; Attorney Emails Are the Proof

This case is a good example of why attorneys should always demonstrate professionalism in their communications.  You never know when your email to opposing counsel is going to turn up as an exhibit… Background This case concerns the enforcement of a settlement agreement following a car accident that occurred on August 22, 2008.  The opinion excerpts a number of the e-mails between counsel,...

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Wrongful Death Claims Present Challenges for Surviving Family Members

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. Sharon Myres died following a car accident.  She was a passenger in a car being driven by her husband Charles Myres, and there were...

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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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Jury Verdict Reversed; Personal Injury Claim Reinstated

For personal injury claims, exacerbation of previous injuries are fraught with peril.  This recent Tennessee Court of Appeals case offers a bit of hope… Background On October 14, 2011, Plaintiff Steven Kempson was traveling in his Toyota Tundra on I-24 in Chattanooga when he was rear ended by a Chevrolet van driven by Pamela Casey.  Kempson and his wife filed suit against Casey.  Casey...

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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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