Thursday, March 11, 2010

Court reviews summary judgment finding in alcohol-related wrongful death case

EDWARD P. LANDRY, et al., v. SOUTH CUMBERLAND AMOCO, et al. (Tenn. Ct. App. March 11, 2010)

Plaintiffs brought this wrongful death action against defendants for the wrongful death of Brandi Coyle, who died as a result of a motor vehicle accident allegedly caused by an underage intoxicated driver who had purchased intoxicating beverages from South Cumberland Amoco. Defendants moved for summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiffs would be unable to prove essential elements of their claim. The Trial Court held that the alleged underage driver had stated initially that he was over the age of 21, but later, in another statement, represented that he was a minor at the time of the accident. The Trial Judge held that his statements cancelled each other and there was no evidence to establish that he was a minor at the time of the accident. The Court also held that plaintiffs could not prove that the South Cumberland Amoco cashier had "knowingly sold intoxicating beverages to a minor". On appeal, we vacate the summary judgment and remand for further proceedings.

Opinion may be found at:

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