Tennessee Supreme Court To Hear Oral Arguments For April Docket

May 2, 2022

 The Tennessee Supreme Court has two cases set for its May 3, 2022 docket. The cases will be heard in Knoxville, beginning at 9 a.m., EDT. The cases will be livestreamed to the TNCourts YouTube page at: https://www.youtube.com/TNCourts/featured.  The details of the cases are as follows:

  • Brittany Borngne ex rel. Miyona Hyter v. Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority et al. – This 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, Tennessee v. Netflix, Inc., et al. – 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.          

Media members planning to attend oral arguments should review Supreme Court Rule 30 and file any required requests.