Poor pleading of conversion in a case involving trust required dismissal of conversion claim.  Particularity in pleading is required for such claims.

In Stalnaker v. Cupp, No. M2023-00404-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. June 18, 2024), plaintiff was the sole beneficiary of a residual trust, and plaintiff and defendant were co-trustees. A related surviving spouse trust existed, and when the surviving spouse passed away, defendant was the executor of her estate and her sole beneficiary.

Three years after the surviving spouse’s estate was closed, plaintiff had a stroke that left him impaired for several years. When he regained his mental faculties, he requested an accounting of the residual trust from defendant, but defendant did not respond to the request. Plaintiff eventually filed suit in California, which was dismissed, then later filed this suit in Tennessee. The trial court dismissed plaintiff’s claims for breach of fiduciary duty and conversion, and the Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal.

The following graphs demonstrate the resolution of personal injury, wrongful death, and other tort cases in Campbell County, Tennessee during the last six fiscal years ending June 30, 2023.

BirdDog Law shares this information for every county in Tennessee. Click on BirdDog’s County Pages, go to the county of choice, and click on Court Statistics.

Click on the link for more information on the Campbell County court system.

The following graphs demonstrate the resolution of personal injury, wrongful death, and other tort cases in Cheatham County, Tennessee during the last six fiscal years ending June 30, 2023.

BirdDog Law shares this information for every county in Tennessee. Click on BirdDog’s County Pages, go to the county of choice, and click on Court Statistics.

Click on the link for more information on the Cheatham County court system.

Where a child’s booster seat was only dangerous because it was used in conjunction with an aftermarket seat belt extender, the booster seat manufacturer had no duty to warn purchasers of that potential danger under Tennessee products liability law.

In Woodruff v. Ford Motor Company, No. E2023-00488-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. May 28, 2024), plaintiff’s husband was killed and her children were severely injured in a car accident. At the time of the accident, her husband was driving a Nissan vehicle. Her son sat in the back seat in a booster seat manufactured by defendant. Because the car had recessed seat belt receivers, the husband had added a seat belt extender to the back seat belt and used it on the seat belt securing the son in the booster seat. The seat belt extender was not manufactured by the same company as the booster seat and had no affiliation with the booster seat.

After the accident, plaintiff filed this products liability case against several manufacturers and sellers. (See this post for a separate opinion in this case affirming summary judgment for Ford Motor Company as the manufacturer of the seat belt extender). Relevant to this opinion, the trial court granted summary judgment to defendant booster seat manufacturer, finding that defendant had no duty to warn about a seat belt extender that it did not manufacture or sell. The Court of Appeals affirmed this ruling.

The following graphs demonstrate the resolution of personal injury, wrongful death, and other tort cases in Fayette County, Tennessee during the last six fiscal years ending June 30, 2023.

BirdDog Law shares this information for every county in Tennessee. Click on BirdDog’s County Pages, go to the county of choice, and click on Court Statistics.

Click on the link for more information on the Fayette County court system.

Because a seat belt connector was safe for its intended use when it left the manufacturer, the manufacturer was entitled to summary judgment on plaintiff’s failure to warn claim.

In Woodruff v. Ford Motor Company, No. E2023-00889-COA-R9-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. May 20, 2024), plaintiff’s husband was killed and her children were severely injured in a car accident. At the time of the accident, her husband was driving a Nissan vehicle. Her son sat in a booster seat in the back seat. Because the car had recessed seat belt receivers, the husband had added a seat belt extender to the back seat belt. The seat belt extender attached to the seat belt securing the son and his booster seat.

The seat belt extender bore defendant Ford’s brand on it. Ford worked with another company to design and create the extender, then sold it to Ford dealerships. The extender was intended to be used for adults who needed additional seat belt room in the front seat of a specific model of Ford vehicle. The extender in use by plaintiff’s son was purchased from a person who worked at a Ford dealership.

The following graphs demonstrate the resolution of personal injury, wrongful death, and other tort cases in Warren County, Tennessee during the last six fiscal years ending June 30, 2023.

BirdDog Law shares this information for every county in Tennessee. Click on BirdDog’s County Pages, go to the county of choice, and click on Court Statistics.

Click on the link for more information on the Warren County court system.

The following graphs demonstrate the resolution of personal injury, wrongful death, and other tort cases in Franklin County, Tennessee during the last six fiscal years ending June 30, 2023.

BirdDog Law shares this information for every county in Tennessee. Click on BirdDog’s County Pages, go to the county of choice, and click on Court Statistics.

Click on the link for more information on the Franklin County court system.

Signing an optional arbitration agreement during the process of signing other nursing home admission paperwork is a legal decision, not a healthcare decision, according to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

In Williams v. Smyrna Residential , LLC, 685 S.W.3d 718 (Tenn. 2024), Granville Williams, Jr. (“Williams”) executed a durable power of attorney (“POA”) appointing his daughter, Karen Sams (“Sams”), as his attorney-in-fact. This POA gave Sams authority to act for Williams “in all claims and litigation matters.” The POA did not mention healthcare decisions and no healthcare POA was executed.

In 2020, Sams assisted with Williams’ admission to defendant nursing home. Sams signed the admission paperwork for Williams, which included an arbitration agreement. Although the admission contract stated that it incorporated the terms of the arbitration agreement, the arbitration agreement itself stated that it was optional and “not a condition of admission” to the nursing home. Two months later, Williams died.

The following graphs demonstrate the resolution of personal injury, wrongful death, and other tort cases in Lawrence County, Tennessee during the last six fiscal years ending June 30, 2023.

BirdDog Law shares this information for every county in Tennessee. Click on BirdDog’s County Pages, go to the county of choice, and click on Court Statistics.

Click on the link for more information on the Lawrence County court system.

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