Recent Court of Appeals Decision Clarifies Workers’ Compensation Remedy

In a recent decision, the Tennessee Court of Appeals considered whether a civil action brought by an employee following a sexual assault and robbery on the job should be exclusively remedied under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act.   In the case of Jane Doe, et al. v. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc., et al, an employee of P.F. Chang’s (hereinafter …

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An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

In describing an odd Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) formation that ended in a court battle, the Tennessee Court of Appeals stated that “[a]s was the case with Alice in Wonderland, the evidence reveals that the parties wanted to go “somewhere,” and as the Cheshire Cat explained, if you want to go somewhere, ‘you’re sure to do that, if only you …

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Despite Administrative Turnover, HIPAA Enforcement Highly Active

Last year the HHS Office for Civil Rights continued its current phase of HIPAA enforcement in earnest by increasing focus on audits for healthcare providers and business associates nationwide. As a result, 2016 was a record year for HIPAA enforcement actions and settlements with roughly $22,855,300 paid to OCR as a result of HIPAA violations. While speculation exists that the …

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April Website Update: Seventh Circuit Holds Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation is Covered by Title VII

There are now two camps when it comes to whether Title VII prohibits discrimination based solely on sexual orientation. In one camp, the EEOC and, most recently, the Seventh Circuit say discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is sex discrimination for Title VII purposes.  The other camp, including the Sixth Circuit, in which Tennessee resides, and the Fourth Circuit, …

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Defense Victory

DRI member Steven C. Huret of Wilson Worley PC in Kingsport, successfully defended an appeal of the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to the defendant. The defendant was the brother of deceased federal postal worker and named as the sole beneficiary on the decedent’s life insurance policy. The decedent’s two children filed a lawsuit to enforce their status as …

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Apologies, lawsuits and John Wayne

We live in a society where apologies seem out of fashion. John Wayne is quoted as saying: “Never apologize and never explain. It’s a sign of weakness.” But what should you say if you are involved in an accident and someone else is injured? It is only natural to show concern for another person’s suffering. Does it show weakness? And …

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Tennessee Statute on Will Execution Amended to Permit Signatures on Affidavit of Will to Satisfy Witness Signature Requirement for Wills Executed Prior to July 1, 2016.

The Tennessee legislature passed a law effective July 1, 2016, to address and overrule a recent Tennessee Court of Appeals decision that disallowed the enforcement of a will in which the witnesses had signed the affidavit attached to the will rather than the will itself. The Tennessee Court of Appeals decision was in the case of In Re: Estate of …

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Prenuptial Agreements Must be Entered Into Knowledgeably to be Valid

An antenuptial agreement (informally called a “prenup”) is binding on each party if both parties signed it “freely, knowledgeably and in good faith and without exertion of duress or undue influence upon either spouse ” Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-501. Whether an agreement is valid can be an issue in the probate as well as divorce context. In a recent …

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HIPAA Compliance – Not Just for Healthcare Providers

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPPA”) is designed to require the protection and confidential handling of protected health information by mandating a certain standards for its transmission and storage. Generally, Protected Health Information is individually identifiable information that is transmitted by electronic media, maintained in electronic media, or transmitted or maintained in any other medium. It …

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New DOL Persuader Requirements Effective July 1, 2016

More detailed reporting will now be required for both employers and their attorneys related to an employer’s “persuader” activities (See 29 C.F.R. Parts 405 and 406).  “Persuader activities” are defined as “any actions, conduct, or communications that are undertaken with an object, explicitly or implicitly, directly or indirectly, to affect an employee’s decisions regarding his or her representation or collective …

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