SHIRLEY ANN ATKINSON, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF ROBERT LEE PATTEE, JR., DECEASED v. STATE OF TENNESSEE (Tenn. Ct. App. July 12, 2010)
This is an appeal from the Tennessee Claims Commission. The claimant/appellant alleged that state employees or their agents negligently caused the death of her fiancé, who committed suicide while incarcerated at the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility in Nashville, Tennessee. The Commission determined the claimant was not entitled to recover because she failed to produce expert testimony to establish the standards of care by which to judge the conduct of the prison officials and mental health professionals allegedly responsible for the care, custody, and control of the deceased. Because the Commission correctly determined that the claimant is unable to prove a breach of duty without expert evidence to establish the applicable standards of care, we affirm.
Opinion may be found at: