Tort Cases To Be Argued in June 2007

The Tennessee Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Nashville on June 5, 6 and 7.  Here is a list of the tort cases which will be heard and the issues to be determined in each case:

* Simpson Strong-Tie Company v. Stewart, Estes, & Donnell – Rule 23 Middle District Court of TN – Certified Question

1. Does the absolute litigation privilege apply to communications made preliminary to a proposed judicial procedure, where such communications are directed at recipients unconnected with the proceeding in hopes of soliciting them to become parties to it?

* Owens v. National Health Corporation, et al.

1. Whether the Court of Appeals correctly held that a durable power of attorney for health care granted the attorney-in-fact authority to waive the principal’s right to a trial by jury and to bind the principal to mandatory arbitration.
2. Whether the C/A correctly dismissed Plaintiff’s challenges to the arbitration clause without remanding the case for discovery.
3. Whether the C/A correctly held that the arbitration clause at issue does not violate federal law.
4. Whether the C/A correctly held that the arbitration clause was enforceable even though a material term of the contract for arbitration was incapable of performance.

* Health Cost Controls v. Ronald Gifford

1. Whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the insured had been made whole and therefore owed reimbursement to the insurer?  (Continued from Jackson)

* Miller v. Dacus – (Rule 23 Certified Question from the Sixth Circuit)

1. Whether a child born alive has an independent cause of action for injuries allegedly caused by the failure of a physician to obtain informed consent from the child’s mother during labor and delivery?
2. If the answer to question 1 is “Yes,” whether the minority provision of Tennessee’s legal disability statute, Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-1-106, tolls the medical malpractice statute of repose, Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-116(a)(3), as applied to a fetus’s lack of informed consent claim?