Supreme Court Videos

Video recordings of oral arguments heard in Nashville before the Tennessee Supreme Court beginning October 3, 2018 are available to view approximately 21 days after the oral argument.  You may access the video by clicking on the case number listed below. When the window opens, click on the Play icon on the lower left corner (it will say Opening, but click on the Play icon and the video will begin).

2021          2020          2019           2018

Cases were live-streamed to the TN Courts YouTube page.

June 1, 2022

Greg Adkisson, Et Al. v. Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc - M2021-01239-SC-R23-CV

This case involves a certified question of law filed by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Defendant Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. was hired by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to manage the cleanup and remediation efforts of the Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant following a coal-ash spill in 2008. The plaintiffs are individuals who worked on the remediation efforts. The plaintiffs suffer from a variety of medical conditions, which they claim were caused by the defendant’s negligence with respect to air monitoring, dust control, the use of personal protective equipment, and work training, all in violation of the defendant’s contract with TVA. Pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 23, the federal district court certified four questions to the Tennessee Supreme Court regarding application of the Tennessee Silica Claims Priorities Act (TSCPA): (1) Are the requirements of the TSCPA an affirmative defense that must be pleaded in a responsive pleading, or are they prima facie requirements which can be raised at any stage of litigation? (2) Do the TSCPA’s requirements apply to all cases involving exposure to silica or mixed dust, or, if coal ash is silica or mixed dust within the meaning of the TSCPA, are plaintiffs’ claims exempted from the TSCPA’s requirements because they are raised under the common law? (3) Does coal ash, which contains silica, fibrogenic dusts, and other components that may cause injury, but are not “fibrogenic dusts,” constitute “silica” or “mixed dust” such that the requirements of the TSCPA would apply in these cases? and (4) If coal ash does qualify as silica or mixed dust, does the TSCPA apply even if plaintiffs’ claims are based on injury resulting from exposure to elements of coal ash that are not silica or fibrogenic dusts? The Supreme Court accepted the certified questions.

May 25, 2022

George Gary Ingram v. Dr. Michael Gallaher Et Al. - E2020-01222-SC-R11-CV

Penny Lawson Et Al. v. Hawkins Co., Tennessee Et Al. - E2020-01529-SC-R11-CV

May 3, 2022

Brittany Borngne Ex Rel Miyona Hyter v. Chattanooga-Hamilton Co. Hospital Authority Et Al. - M2021-01107-SC-R23-CV

his health care liability action arises from injuries suffered by a minor, Miyona Hyter, during her birth in 2014. Ms. Hyter, by and through her mother, Brittany Borngne, sued the obstetrician who delivered the child via cesarean section and the certified nurse midwife who assisted with the birthing process, among other healthcare providers. By agreed order, the trial court granted partial summary judgment to the obstetrician on all claims of direct negligence, but the claims against him under the theory of vicarious liability for the alleged negligence of the nurse-midwife remained by virtue of his role as her supervisor. At trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of all defendants, finding that the providers had not deviated from the applicable standard of care. The plaintiff moved for a new trial on several grounds, which the trial court denied. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment and remanded for a new trial, explaining that the trial court erred by refusing to order the obstetrician to answer certain questions during his deposition concerning the nurse-midwife’s care of the patient. The intermediate court also concluded that the trial court erred in excluding proof of Ms. Hyter’s pre-majority medical expenses. Judge Kristi M. Davis filed a separate opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part that stated her belief that the trial court correctly refused to compel the obstetrician’s testimony. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the Defendants’ applications for permission to appeal to consider whether the Court of Appeals correctly determined that the trial court committed reversible error.   

City of Knoxville, TN v. Netflix, Inc., Et Al.- M2021-01107-SC-R23-CV

This case involves a certified question of law filed by the United States District for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The City of Knoxville filed a federal lawsuit against Defendants Netflix and Hulu, which are streaming services that allow subscribers to view television shows, movies, documentaries, and other content through Internet-connected devices. The City claimed that Defendants provide their video services throughout the state of Tennessee without obtaining a franchise in violation of the Tennessee Competitive Cable and Video Services Act (“CCVSA”). Defendants filed separate motions to dismiss asserting that they do not provide “video service[s]” and are therefore not subject to the requirements of the statute. Pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 23, the federal district court entered an order certifying the following question: Whether Netflix and Hulu are video service providers, as that term is defined in the relevant provision of the CCVSA, Tennessee Code Annotated section 7-59-303(19). The Supreme Court accepted the certified question.

April 5, 2022

State of Tennessee v. Marvin Maurice Deberry - W2019-01666-SC-R11-CD

Officers stopped Marvin Maurice Deberry in 2018 and discovered that he had already been declared a motor vehicle habitual offender (“MVHO”). He was charged with driving after having been declared a MVHO and three other misdemeanor offenses. The jury convicted him, but before he was sentenced, the law changed, and the new law replaced the law the defendant had been convicted of violating. The defendant argued that this change in the law eliminated the penalty for his crime. In making this argument, he relied on the Criminal Savings Statute. The trial court agreed with the defendant’s argument and entered a judgment reflecting that the defendant was not subject to a penalty because the law had changed. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the State’s application for permission to appeal to consider whether the “lesser penalty” language of the Criminal Savings Statute, Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-11-112, applies where, as here, the legislature has repealed a criminal offense.     

State of Tennessee v. Quinton Devon Perry - W2019-01553-SC-R11-CD

Defendant Quinton Devon Perry pleaded guilty to twenty-four counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor after a 2017 investigation revealed that the defendant uploaded numerous child pornography files to his Dropbox account and later shared and traded the images and videos electronically with other people. Prior to the sentencing hearing, the State requested consecutive sentencing, asserting that the defendant had an extensive criminal record. Although the defendant had no prior criminal history or prior arrests, the State argued that the court could consider the offenses for which the defendant was being sentenced as proof of his extensive criminal record. The trial court agreed and ordered consecutive service of some of the sentences imposed, for an aggregate sentence of eighteen years’ imprisonment. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the defendant’s application for permission to appeal to consider the issue of what constitutes prior criminal activity for the purposes of consecutive sentencing under Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-115.   

February 24, 2022

Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County Et Al. v. Tennessee Department of Education Et Al.- M2020-00683-SC-R11-CV

State of Tennessee v. Tyshon Booker - E2018-01439-SC-R11-CD

January 26, 2022

State of Tennessee v. Tyler Ward Enix - E2020-00231-SC-R11-CD

Defendant Tyler Ward Enix was accused of killing his ex-wife. A jury convicted Defendant of first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery. After the jury deadlocked on a sentence for first-degree murder, the trial court imposed a life sentence. The trial court also ordered Defendant to serve a consecutive twenty-five-year sentence for especially aggravated robbery. Defendant filed a motion for new trial, which the trial court denied. He appealed raising numerous issues, including sufficiency of the evidence, improper statements made by the prosecutor, and improper admission of certain evidence. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Defendant’s convictions and sentences. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted Defendant’s application for permission to appeal to specifically consider whether plenary or plain error review should apply to a claim of prosecutorial misconduct during closing argument when a contemporaneous objection is not lodged at the time the misconduct allegedly occurred but the claim is raised in the motion for new trial.          

Elijah “Lij” Shaw Et Al. v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County - M2019-01926-SC-R11-CV

Two homeowners filed suit against the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (“Metro”) challenging a code provision that prevented them from serving customers at their home-based businesses. The trial court granted summary judgment to Metro. After the homeowners appealed, the metropolitan council repealed the challenged code provision and enacted a new provision allowing certain home-based businesses to serve up to six clients a day. The Court of Appeals determined that, in light of Metro’s enactment of the new ordinance, the appeal was moot. The homeowners filed an application for permission to appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court arguing that the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the appeal as moot. They also argued that Metro’s restrictions on their home-based businesses violates the Tennessee Constitution. The Supreme Court granted review to consider these issues.

Recipient of Final Expunction Order in McNairy Co Circuit Court Case No. 3279 v. David B. Rausch, Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Et Al.
M2021-00438-SC-R11-CV

In 2015, Plaintiff, an unnamed citizen of McNairy County, Tennessee, entered into a diversionary plea agreement with the State, whereby the State agreed to dismiss one of two charges and Plaintiff agreed to judicial diversion and probation on the remaining charge. Plaintiff successfully completed four years of probation and petitioned for expungement. The State consented, and the trial court entered an expungement order. Plaintiff later learned that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (“TBI”) had not expunged all records related to the case despite having received the expungement order. The TBI asserted that statutes prohibited it from complying with the order because the offenses involved in Plaintiff’s case were sexual in nature and statutorily ineligible for expunction. Plaintiff filed suit against the TBI and the TBI director seeking declaratory and injunctive relief and a finding of civil contempt. Plaintiff and the TBI filed cross motions for partial judgment on the pleadings, and the TBI also moved for permission to file under seal the unredacted criminal record. The trial court denied all three motions but granted Plaintiff permission to seek an interlocutory appeal. The Court of Appeals denied the application. The Tennessee Supreme Court, however, granted Plaintiff’s application for permission to appeal to consider under what circumstances, if any, may the TBI refuse to comply with a final expungement order issued by a court of record.