Friday, February 11, 2011

Court Reviews Apportionment of Fault in a Wrongful Death Case Against the City of Clinton

CURTIS ROBIN RUSSELL, ET AL. v. ANDERSON COUNTY, ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App. February 11, 2011)

This is the second appeal of this wrongful death action, arising from a pedestrian versus motor vehicle collision that fatally injured a seven-year-old child at a downtown Clinton intersection.

The action was filed pursuant to the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act ("GTLA"), Tenn. Code Ann. section 29-20-101 et seq., against the City of Clinton ("the City") by plaintiffs Curtis Robin Russell and Dorothy Louise Russell as next of kin of the decedent, their son Curtis Tyler Russell. The Russells settled with the driver of the vehicle, Ladislav Misek ("Mr. Misek"), who was subsequently dismissed as a party-defendant from the lawsuit. The trial court in the first trial entered judgment after a nonjury trial, apportioning equivalent liability to Mrs. Russell and the City.

On appeal, this court held that: (1) the trial court committed reversible error when it failed to rule on the fault to be attributed to Mr. Misek; and (2) material evidence existed for the culpability and fault to be assigned to Mr. Misek. On remand, the trial court altered its judgment, attributing 45% of the fault each to Mrs. Russell and the City and 10% to Mr. Misek. The City appealed. We affirm.

Opinion available at:

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