A motion for summary judgment cannot be based solely on “unverified reworded statements of some of the factual allegations of the complaint,” along with unsworn, unverified, and unsigned exhibits. In addition, when a defendant asserts their Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination in an answer or in response to discovery requests, such assertion cannot “in and of itself be taken as an admission of the allegations[,]” but a plaintiff should be allowed to “present corroborating evidence as to each fact for which it seeks a negative inference” in connection with the assertion of the privilege.
In Smith v. Palmer, No. M2017-01822-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2019), plaintiff filed a wrongful death suit against several defendants regarding the death of her daughter. The daughter and defendants were camping at a music festival, and daughter’s body was found one morning in the lake. There was a dispute as to the cause of death, and though criminal charges were not filed, plaintiff alleged that defendants “caused her daughter’s death and conspired to cover it up.”