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Thursday, May 30, 2019

New Case on Summary Judgment; Grant of Summary Judgment for the Defense Reversed

The Tennessee Court of Appeals released its opinion the day before yesterday in Emert v. Millennium Taxi Service, LLC, No. E2018-01450-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. May 29, 2019).  The syllabus from the slip opinion reads as follows:
The trial court granted summary judgment to various of the defendants in a personal injury action. The Plaintiff appeals, contending that material facts are in dispute, precluding summary judgment. Finding that disputes of material fact exist, we reverse the judgment and remand the case for further proceedings.
The link the majority opinion is here:

Judge Susano's dissenting opinion is here:

NOTE: This opinion is a good refresher on summary judgment procedure in Tennessee.  However, Tenn. Code Ann. sec.20-16-101, which purports to adopt a summary-judgment standard similar to the one in federal courts, may provide the applicable standard of review instead of Rye v. Women’s Care Center of Memphis, MPLLC, 477 S.W.3d 235 (Tenn. 2015), because this case was filed after July 1, 2011.  Rye, 477 S.W.3d at 261 n.7 (pointing out that Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 20-16-101 did not apply therein because the Ryes filed suit before the statute's July 1, 2011 effective date).  However, that may be a distinction without a difference as the standard in 20-16-101 and Rye are consistent.  Rye, 477 S.W.3d at 274 (Bivins, J., concurring).  

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