Supreme Court Reinstates Jury Verdict For Railroad

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Tennessee Supreme Court reinstated a jury verdict denying recovery for a railroad employee who claimed he was injured as the result of a faulty railroad switch. Andrew Spencer sued Norfolk Southern Railway after injuring his back on May 16, 2010, when he threw a switch in an effort to move a section of track. 

In order to recover damages, Mr. Spencer was required to prove that Norfolk Southern knew or should have known that the switch was not operating properly and failed to take adequate precautionary measures prior to the incident.

The instruction to the jury specified the railroad knew or should have known “on the day of the incident” that the switch wasn’t working.  Mr. Spencer appealed, claiming the trial court had erroneously narrowed the “notice window” and required him to prove that the railroad was specifically aware on the day of the injury, not just some time prior to the incident.

In a unanimous opinion authored by Chief Justice Gary Wade, the Court ruled that the trial judge’s instructions were substantially accurate and he had properly instructed the jury on whether Norfolk Southern had notice of a defect in the switch, reversing a Court of Appeals decision that held that the instruction was erroneous. 

To read the majority opinion in Andrew Spencer v. Norfolk Southern Railway authored by Chief Justice Wade, visit the Opinions section of TNCourts.gov.

Karen Tindell And Kelly Still Join Southern Community Bank

Robert Stahl, Chattanooga city president of Southern Community Bank, announced Karen Tindell and Kelly Still have joined the Chattanooga branch. “Karen joins the staff as assistant vice president and Kelly joins the staff as a commercial lender,” said Mr. Stahl.  “Together Karen and Kelly collectively have over 50 years’ experience in the financial industry with regional ... (click for more)

Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Drops Significantly To 7.2 Percent In November

The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 7.2 percent. This is a significant drop from the previously released preliminary rate of 7.7 percent in October, which has been revised to 7.6 percent. The rate in November of last year was also 7.6 percent. “This is the largest monthly rate decrease we ... (click for more)

Investor Group Plans $31 Million Hotel In Chattanooga Bank Building

An investor group announced that it is planning the development of an upscale 150-room hotel in the historic Chattanooga Bank Building. MCA is comprised of 20 EB-5 investors as limited partners with Red Leaf Development, managed by David Roos, as the general partner. Long-time partner PHG is involved in the development of the hotel and will be responsible for its management ... (click for more)

Police Say Texts From Slain Minister Detailed Drug Deals

An investigator testified Thursday that a minister who was beaten to death during an apparent drug deal had texts on his phone dealing with similar exchanges of illegal drugs. The minister's wife said he had gone out that night as part of a church counseling program to women. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck bound charges of felony murder and especially aggravated ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: God Bless Cathy & Co.

The secret to the whole thing is not getting caught but somebody at the Toys R Us store in Framingham, Mass., had a camera when Cathy O’Grady was very quietly paying off all the layaway balances at the popular location last week. The picture snaked its way onto social media sites and her friends quickly recognized the area’s most famous “layaway angel.” Then somebody in nearby ... (click for more)