Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 10/21/2020
Format: 10/21/2020
Linda Laseter v. J. Martin Regan, Jr.
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Alan E. Highers
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donna Fields

This appeal involves a defendant’s attempts to discover certain financial information from the plaintiff’s medical expert in order to facilitate an inquiry into potential bias. The trial court entered several orders requiring the expert witness to provide the requested financial information, which related to his income and compensation, but the expert witness repeatedly failed to comply with the trial court’s orders. The trial court also ruled that the defendant would be permitted to question the expert witness about certain financial information during cross-examination at trial, and the expert witness communicated to the trial judge that he would refuse to answer any such questions. The trial court eventually excluded the medical expert as a witness and allowed the plaintiff time to find a replacement expert. When the plaintiff failed to identify another expert witness within the time allowed, the trial court dismissed the complaint. The plaintiff appeals. We affirm.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 07/24/14
Alexander A. Stratienko, M. D. v. Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority, et al
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Michael Swiney
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jacqueline S. Bolton

Over nine years of litigation in both state and federal courts has stemmed from a 2004 incident (“the Incident”) wherein Alexander A. Stratienko, M.D. (“Plaintiff”) pushed Van Stephen Monroe, Jr., M.D. while in a staff break room at Erlanger Hospital (“the Hospital”) in Hamilton County, Tennessee. In this appeal, Plaintiff raises issues regarding whether the Trial Court erred in granting partial summary judgment to Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority, in not allowing another amendment to the complaint and additional discovery, in excluding claims at trial relative to an administrative hearing, and in holding that Plaintiff failed to prove at trial intentional interference with business relations. We find no error in the Trial Court’s judgments and, we affirm.

Hamilton County Court of Appeals 11/21/13
Stephanie and Eddie Woodard v. Lawrence B. Gross, M.D., Eduardo V. Basco, M.D., and Methodist Healthcare-Memphis Hospitals
Authoring Judge: Judge Holly M. Kirby
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jerry Stokes

This is a medical malpractice case. The plaintiff patient presented at the hospital emergency room with chest pains; a stent replacement was performed. Three months later, the plaintiff’s treating physician told the plaintiff that she had suffered a heart attack during the stent replacement. The plaintiff obtained all her medical records and filed a lawsuit against the surgeon who performed the stent replacement. This lawsuit was later dismissed without prejudice. After the plaintiff substituted counsel and the plaintiff’s substituted attorney reviewed the medical records, the plaintiff filed a new lawsuit against the emergency room physicians, asserting that they were negligent prior to the stent replacement. The emergency room physicians filed a motion for summary judgment, based in part on the three-year statute of repose. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant emergency room physicians, finding that the statute of repose had run on the plaintiff’s claim. The plaintiff patient appeals, arguing that there is an issue of disputed fact as to whether the defendant physicians engaged in fraudulent concealment, so as to toll the time limit under the statute of repose. We affirm.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 09/10/12
Jeffrey D. Key, Individually and as Administrator of the Estate of Randall Eugene Key et al v. Blount Memorial Hospital, Inc. et al.
Authoring Judge: Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood

This is an appeal from a grant of summary judgment to the defendant hospital in a medical malpractice wrongful death case. The trial court struck as untimely the materials filed by the plaintiff in opposition to the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The responsive materials were filed less than five days before the date originally scheduled for a hearing on the defendant’s motion; however the hearing was continued for several months. Having struck the plaintiff’s filings, the court held that the motion negated violation of the standard of care and causation and granted the motion as unopposed. The plaintiff contends on appeal that the defendant did not negate either violation of the standard of care or causation; that the materials responsive to the motion should not have been stricken; and that, if the materials filed in opposition to the motion are considered, the plaintiff presented issues of material fact for trial. We vacate the trial court’s grant of summary judgment and remand for further proceedings.

Blount County Court of Appeals 05/31/11
Mark W. Urlaub, as Next of Kin and Executor of the Estate of Bertha Worley Urlaub v. Select Specialty Hospital-Memphis, Inc., et al.
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Alan E. Highers
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert L. Childers

Plaintiff filed this medical battery suit on behalf of his deceased mother and named as defendants the nephrologist who ordered an allegedly unauthorized hemodialysis procedure, another treating physician, and the hospital where she was treated. The trial court granted summary judgment to the treating physician who did not order the procedure and to the hospital. Plaintiff appeals. We find that both of these defendants were entitled to summary judgment and therefore affirm the trial court’s decision.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 01/20/11
Tina Johnson, et al vs. David J. Richardson, M.D.
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Steven Stafford
Trial Court Judge: Judge Karen R. Williams

This is a medical malpractice case. Plaintiff/Appellant appeals from the trial court's disqualification of her expert witness and grant of the defendant/appellee's motion for directed verdict. Finding that the appellant failed to show that her expert was familiar with the standard of care in a community similar to the defendant's community, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 08/12/10
Thomas M. Gautreaux v. Internal Medicine Education Foundation, Inc.
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Howell N. Peoples

This case1 involves the interpretation of a portion of the Tennessee Public Records Act, Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-503. The trial court found that despite the fact the defendant foundation qualified for the statutory exemption set forth in Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-503(d)(1), the entity is subject to the Tennessee Public Records Act because it is the functional equivalent of a public agency. The foundation has appealed. We affirm.

Hamilton County Court of Appeals 10/30/09
Tommy McDaniel, et al. v. Amal Rustom, M.D., et al.
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Highers
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jerry Stokes

The plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging medical malpractice against emergency room physicians who treated their daughter. The defendants filed motions for summary judgment, claiming that the plaintiffs’ only expert was not qualified to testify as to the recognized standard of acceptable professional practice in the defendants’ profession and specialty in their community or in a similar community. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants, finding that the plaintiffs’ expert did not meet the qualifications of Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-115. The plaintiffs appeal. We affirm.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 05/05/09
Mae Ellen Williams, et al., v. Baptist Memorial Hospital, et al.
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge W. Frank Crawford
Trial Court Judge: Judge James F. Russell

This is a medical malpractice case. Appellants appeal from the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Appellees, a doctor and her employer. The trial court found that the affidavit of Plaintiffs/Appellants’ expert was inadmissible because it was filed after the deadline for identifying experts and that such late filing was not excusable neglect under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 6.02. We affirm.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 12/30/04
Deron A. Hatton v. CSX Transportation
Authoring Judge: Senior Judge William H. Inman
Trial Court Judge: Judge W. Neil Thomas, III

This is a an action for damages under FELA wherein the Plaintiff claimed that he was negligently exposed to toxic chemicals in the workplace. The Defendant pleaded, inter alia, the defense of the three-year statute of limitations, to which the discovery rule was applicable. This issue was bifurcated and tried separately, to the same jury, which found in favor of the Plaintiff. On the issues of liability, causation, and damages [the second phase of the trial] the jury found in favor of the Defendant. Plaintiff appeals, claiming that the issue of the statute of limitation should not have been bifurcated, that the court should have directed a verdict for the Plaintiff on account of OSHA violations, and the exclusion-admission of expert testimony. Finding no error, the judgment is affirmed.

Hamilton County Court of Appeals 06/29/04
James Kelley v. John Cage
Authoring Judge: Judge Jane W. Wheatcraft
Trial Court Judge: Barbara N. Haynes
This appeal involves the granting of a summary judgment motion in a medical malpractice case. The issue is whether the trial court properly granted summary judgment on the basis that there was never a physician/patient relationship between the decedent, Lillie Donnette Kelley, and Dr. John Cage, a cardiologist, and an employee of Mid-State Cardiology Associates, P.C..
Davidson County Court of Appeals 06/18/02
Tire Shredders vs. ERM
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge: James F. Russell
Shelby County Court of Appeals 08/30/99
Suzanne Burlew vs. Brad Burlew
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge: Floyd Peete, Jr.
Shelby County Court of Appeals 07/23/99
Katherine Jewell Smith and Jimmie Lewis Smith v. Methodist Hospitals Memphis, Keith G. Anderson, M.D. and The Sutherland Clinic, Inc., F/K/A Cardiology Consultants of Memphis
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge W. Frank Crawford
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert L. Childers

This interlocutory appeal involves an action by a setling tortfeasor for contribution from an alleged joint tortfeasor. Defendant/cross-plaintiff, Methodist Hospital of Memphis (Methodist), appeals from the order of the trial court dismissing its cross-complaint for contribution against defendant/cross-defendant, Keith G. Anderson, M.D. Apparently, Smith reluctantly included Anderson as a defendant and chose not to prosecute her claim against him. In a Motion in Limine filed April 18, 1997, Smith stated that she would not seek to produce expert testimony in her case against Anderson, and he agreed not to seek a directed verdict because of absence of expert proof.


Shelby County Court of Appeals 01/07/99
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge: Walter C. Kurtz
Davidson County Court of Appeals 08/29/97