Supreme Court Says Anderson County Jail Not Responsible For Attack On Inmate

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that Anderson County is not liable for damages beyond medical costs after an inmate sustained injuries from an attack by cellmates.

Kenneth E. King had spent the night in the Anderson County Detention Facility after being arrested for driving on a suspended license – a charge that ultimately was in error. His release was ordered at 11:30 a.m., but it took more than three hours for the pretrial release officer to process the paperwork. During that time, Mr. King was severely beaten, causing permanent injuries to his eye.

Mr. King sued the county seeking monetary damages for the attack, stating that Anderson County was negligent in not releasing him in a timely manner and should have known that there was a danger of him being attacked.

The Court focused on the legal requirement that, in order for the county to be liable, officials had to have some type of warning that Mr. King would be attacked—that it was foreseeable.

“There is no evidence that Anderson County Detention Facility officials knew or should have known that Mr. King would become the victim of an attack by his cellmates after he was returned to his cell to await pretrial release,” wrote Justice Cornelia A. Clark in the Opinion.

The Opinion reverses a lower court ruling that determined 55% of the fault for the attack rested with Anderson County and ordered the county to pay $93,500 in nonmedical damages. The county remains liable for Mr. King’s medical costs resulting from the injuries sustained in the attack at the jail.

In a dissenting Opinion, Chief Justice Gary R. Wade disagreed, deferring to the trial court’s finding that Anderson County was liable for Mr. King’s injuries, which were sustained after Anderson County officials failed to timely release him from jail. 

To read the majority opinion in Kenneth E. King v. Anderson County, authored by Justice Clark, and the dissent by Chief Justice Wade, visit the Opinions section of TNCourts.gov


Beltone Announces Grand Opening In Hixson

Beltone is celebrating its grand opening for its newest store located at the Walmart Shopping Center, at 5756 Highway 153, Suite 116 in Hixson on  June 8  at 3 p.m. There is no cost to attend. There will be refreshments and snacks after the ceremony.  Officials said, "Come join us for this occasion with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, and ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Women's Leadership Institute To Host Leadership Luncheon

Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute (CWLI) will host a Leadership Luncheon highlighting the importance of acknowledging mentors in the workplace on  Friday June 5, at The Chattanoogan from  11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. One of the themes for 2015: recognizing and acknowledging the importance of mentors – even though our mentors may not look like us. ... (click for more)

Apartment Fire Leaves 2 Homeless Friday Evening

Chattanooga firefighters responded to an apartment fire just before  7 p.m. on Friday . Six fire companies responded to the fire, at 2709 Citico Ave. Battalion Chief Rick Sewell said heavy smoke was showing in Apartment 5 in Building B when the first firefighters arrived, and flames were shooting out a front window. Chief Sewell said the firefighters made an aggressive ... (click for more)

Fricks Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Cornerstone Community Bank In Dalton

Grady Wayne Fricks has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges arising out of a scheme to defraud Cornerstone Community Bank in Dalton, Ga. “This defendant used his connection with a bank insider to obtain a fraudulently inflated loan,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn. “Fricks’ ability to manipulate people to further his scheme left the bank and its stockholders shouldering ... (click for more)

Best City, Really?

I believe the success Chattanooga has had in the best outdoor city contest has got to be the "Ridge Cut" trail. To be able to sit in your vehicle while inching along right beside the old steel plant and, of course, the train yard where tankers sit loaded with hazardous gases. Then passing through one of the city's most active areas for gunfire, it's a win win.   It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: City Limits Worry Dogs, Cats

If you are a dog or a cat in the Chattanooga area, it is very important to know exactly where the city limits are. You need to know that if a stray animal is rescued in the city, it is taken to one of the finest animal shelters in all of America. But if the errant pooch or tabby is found in Hamilton County – outside the city limits -- it is taken to arguably the worst animal facility ... (click for more)