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Monday, November 30, 2020

New Case Concerning Motions to Dismiss Under Rule 12.02(6) of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure and When a Duty Arises in Negligence Cases

The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently released its decision in Thompson v. Southland Constructors, No. M2019-02060-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 6, 2020).  The syllabus from the slip opinion reads:

This action involves a tragic accident resulting in the death of Tommy Smith (“Decedent”), who was working as a plumber connecting a sewer line when the trench he was in collapsed and crushed him. Decedent’s children (“Plaintiffs”) sued, among others, Focus Design Builders, LLC, general contractors for the building project, alleging negligence. The trial court granted Focus Design’s motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(6). The trial court held that Focus Design did not owe a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances because Decedent’s death was unforeseeable. We hold the complaint states a cause of action for negligence and consequently reverse the judgment of the trial court.

Here is a link to the slip opinion:

NOTE: This is a great opinion because it gives us a good overview of the current state of the law on motions to dismiss under Rule 12.02(6), Tenn. R. Civ. P., and when a duty arises in negligence cases. 

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