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

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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Collateral Source Rule under Attack

This article by Donald Capparella originally appeared in the Tennessee Tort Law Letter. The Court of Appeals recently decided a case that will affect every personal injury case in Tennessee… Background Jean and Fred Dedmon filed a personal injury lawsuit against John T. Cook to recover medical expenses resulting from a car accident between the parties. This dispute arose regarding the...

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Legislative Summary: The Long and the Tort of It

Here are a few items of interest to the tort law practitioner stemming from the Tennessee General Assembly’s last session… There are two new laws that relate to healthcare liability actions.  One such law (HB0713/SB0889, sponsored by Rep. Wilburn, R-Somerville, and Sen. Kelsey, R-Germantown) limits certain information about a healthcare provider that can be “used” in a healthcare...

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Statute of Limitations Bars Subrogation Claim in Car Wreck Case

The Tennessee Court of Appeals case State Farm Mutual Ins. Co. v. Blondin presents a clever (but unsuccessful) attempt to work around a statute of limitations defense. Background This action arises from an automobile accident that occurred on July 7, 2009. State Farm filed an action to recover amounts paid to its insured, Jenny Rone and a passenger in Ms. Rone’s vehicle under the uninsured...

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New Dog Bite Case Law in Tennessee

Dog bite cases can be particularly tricky.  A recent Tennessee Court of Appeals ruling  in the case Moore v. Gaut, No. E2015-00340-COA-R3-CV provides a good overview of the law on the subject and points to the simmering debate of whether specific breeds are inherently dangerous… The plaintiff was at the Defendant’s  home to service a satellite dish for his employer.  The defendant...

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