May 2011_v2_.pub - PDF by wulinqing

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									                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ATTORNEYS:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          G. Frank Lannom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          B. Keith Williams
     C ON TACT I N F ORMAT ION                                                                                                                                                                                                            Melanie Bean
 LEBANON OFFICE       NASHVILLE OFFICE                                                                                                                                                                                                    James R. Stocks
 137 Public Square    Nashville City Center
 Lebanon, TN 37087    511 Union St., Suite 1850                                                                                                                                                                                           Alex Bird
 (615) 444-2900       Nashville, TN 37219                      This newsletter is published by Lannom & Williams,
                      (615) 313-3999                           PLLC as an informational service to our past and present
                                                               clients, friends, and family. It is for informational pur-
                                                               poses only and no legal advice is intended. Each case is
                                                               different and should be reviewed on its own individual
                                                               facts and circumstances.
                                                                                                                                                          T HE P EOPLE ’ S V OICE
                                                                                                                                                              V OLUME 4, I SSUE 2                                O CTOBER 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   rights of individuals as
                                                                                                                                         F IGHTING F OR T HE I NJURED , THE                                        new laws are passed
       W E’ RE   ON T HE      WEB!                                                                                                                                                                                 every year in the legisla-
                                                                                                                                          F ORGOT TEN , AND THE D AMNED                                            ture. We have a tal-
     L ANNOM WI L LIA MS .CO M
                                                                                                                                                                                                          ented, hardworking staff devoted
KE IT H WI LL IAM SL A WGROUP. COM                                                                                                         As many of you may know, I    it is an association of trial at-
                                                                                                                                                                                                          to promoting the cause of Justice
                                                                                                                                        have been elected as the Presi-  torneys across the State of
                                                                                                                                                                                                          in the Tennessee legislature, and
                                                                                                                                        dent of the Tennessee Associa-   Tennessee who are devoted
                                                                                                                                                                                                          many of our members are actively
                                                                                                                                        tion of Justice. It is a great   to the right of individuals and
                                                                                                                                                                                                          involved every year in the legisla-
                                                                                                                                        honor and privilege to serve in  their families to obtain justice
                                                                                                                                                                                                          tive process fighting to promote
                                                                                                                                        this position, and I am hum-     through the judicial process                                           award a victim accordingly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          the interests of the injured, the
                                                                                                                                        bled to be following in the      when they have been harmed.                                            We will continue to fight for
                                                                                                                                                                                                          forgotten, and the damned. Last
                                                                                                                                        footsteps of some of the finest  Our focus is on the rights of                                          justice and against this and
                                                                                                                                                                                                          year we even had Fred Thompson
                                                                                                                                        lawyers and advocates for jus-   everyday people like you and                                           other similar measures that
                                                                                                                                                                                                          arguing for our cause.
C HARITY S POTLIGHT : A B LANKET S TATEMENT O F S ECURITY                                                                               tice that Tennessee has ever     me to seek justice in the Civil                                        restrict the rights of victims
                                                                                                                                        known.                           Justice system against those        In a prior article, I wrote about to obtain justice for their
 Those of us with children know how          tions in their lives. Appropriately      Murfreesboro, Hospice, Skills For Childhood                                        who harm them.                    so-called “tort reform” that was     harms. It’s a daunting task,
insightful Charles Shultz was when he        named “Project Linus,” the organiza-     Development Center in Tullahoma, and                For those of you who might
                                                                                                                                                                                                           proposed in this year’s legislative especially at the present time,
created Charlie Brown’s friend Linus,        tion’s primary mission is “to provide    Shriners Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.         not know what the Tennessee         To promote this goal, we
                                                                                                                                                                                                           session. Unfortunately, a version but I’m glad to lead the fight.
the blanket toting little boy in the Pea-    love, a sense of security, warmth and    Blankets are also sent to individual families,    Association for Justice is (also do a number of things. First,
                                                                                                                                                                                                           of the proposed tort-reform          I certainly won’t back down.
nuts cartoon. It seems that a soft,          comfort to children who are seriously    including military families, as needed, and are   called “TAJ” and formerly        we provide education and
                                                                                                                                                                                                           passed and was signed into law.
                                                                                                                                        called the Tennessee Trial       training to attorneys to fur-
warm blanket is a universal source of        ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need   sometimes sent out of state to other chapters                                                                        Among other provisions, the law —B. Keith Williams
comfort, especially to children. Just        through the gifts of new, handmade       during emergencies.                               Lawyers Association “TTLA”), ther develop their knowledge
                                                                                                                                                                                                           now places a $750,000.00 limit on
picture a small child pulling the blan-      blankets and afghans, lovingly created                                                                                      and skills, and to help ensure
                                                                                        For more information about the Nashville                                                                           how much an injured person can
kets over his head to hide when scared       by volunteer ‘blanketeers.’”                                                               I NSIDE THIS ISSUE :             that new attorneys develop                                                  PRACTICE AREAS
                                                                                      chapter of Project Linus, or for information                                                                         receive for non-economic dam-
at night, or a tired and cranky young-                                                                                                                                   into seasoned advocates for
                                            The Nashville chapter of Project Linus    on how to donate your time, sewing skills,                                                                           ages. Think about that for just a •Auto Accidents
ster curling up with her blanket to drift                                                                                                                                the rights of those harmed
                                          serves children in the Middle Tennessee     money, supplies, or blankets, you can go to       T HE I NJURED , THE           1                                    second—is your life, or that of
                                                                                                                                                                         across our state.
into a solid and much-needed sleep.
                                          area through a number of organizations,     www.projectlinusnashville.org, or call chap-      FORGOTTEN , AND THE                                                your spouse or child, worth only •Aviation Accidents
 If a blanket can have such an effect on including Vanderbilt Children’s Hospi-       ter co-coordinator Tina Wilke at 615-449-         DAMNED                              Second, our members have $750,000? Would you trade the •Construction Accidents
an average child, imagine how impor- tal, Vanderbilt Newborn Intensive Care           5097.                                                                              a network of fellow attorneys life of your child for that much
                                                                                                                                        R ECALL UPDATE                2  with whom to discuss impor- money, or take that much for              •Dangerous Products
tant it would be for a child in the midst Unit, Meharry General Hospital, TN
of some kind of stressful, traumatic      Department of Children’s Services,                                                                                             tant issues and developments them spending the rest of their          •Medical Malpractice
event. I guess that’s why we often        Lebanon and Goodletsville Police De-             YESTERDAY IS HISTORY.                        CONSTITUTION UNDER 2             in the law, and to help craft lives in permanent physical pain,
refer to them as “security blankets.”     partments, Wilson County Sheriff’s           TOMORROW IS A MYSTERY. AND                       ATTACK                           arguments and bounce ideas sitting in a wheelchair, or worse? •Motorcycle Accidents
                                          Department, Baptist Hospital, Ronald                                                                                           around. This is often a very                                          •Nursing Home Abuse
                                                                                       TODAY? TODAY IS A GIFT. THAT’S                                                                                        We believe in the traditional
 One local chapter of a national or-                                                                                                    W ORKERS COMP                 3  helpful resource for attorneys
                                          McDonald House-Nashville, Our Kids             WHY WE CALL IT THE PRESENT.                                                                                       conservative value that it should •Personal Injury
ganization is dedicated to making and                                                                                                                                    as they fight for the rights of
                                          Center-Nashville, Avalon Center in                                                            L OCAL HISTORY                3                                    be up to a jury—not the govern-
providing blankets to provide to such                                                                                                                                    their clients.                                                        •Trucking Wrecks
                                          Crossville, the Exchange Club-                                                                                                                                   ment—to determine what the
children encountering difficult situa-                                                       — BABATUNDE OLATUNJI                       CHARITY SPOTLIGHT             4    Finally, we fight for the       true amount of damage is, and to •Death Cases
 P AGE 2                                                                                                     T HE P EOPLE ’ S V OICE         V OLUME 4, I SSUE 2                                                                                       P AGE 3
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         puter—to try to get off the hook for these
 RECALLS—RECENT ITEMS RECALLED                                                                                   You can visit               W ORKERS ’ C OMPENSATION I SSUES :                                                          types of injuries, even when the work was
    While this is not a com-      Radio Flyer Scoot ’n Zoom              hazard, as well as inadequate        www.cpsc.gov for               2011 C HANGES T O T HE WC L AW                                                              an important contributing cause.
plete list, here are a number     Children’s Riding Toy, sold            user instructions.                 more specific informa-                                                                                                         Proving “causation” of injuries across the
of the most recent items that     nationwide August 2010 and                                                                                    The 2011 Tennessee legislative session    others, however, who expect to have
                                                              Explorer and Hammer-                           tion about these and                                                                                                        board has also been made more difficult.
have been recalled in the last    August 2011, due to fall hazard                                                                            finally came to an end, and as expected,     significant continuing medical care, it
                                                              head Strollers, imported by                                                                                                                                                The treating doctor’s opinion on that issue
several months for various        to young children.                                                         other recalled items.           big business and the insurance companies     could make settlement more difficult.          is now presumed correct (though the pre-
                                                              phil&teds USA, Inc. and sold                                                   have wielded their muscles in further
reasons. There have been a                                                                                                                                                                We’ll have to wait and see how this turns      sumption can be overcome by sufficient
                             Browning 800 Mag Air Pis- nationwide and in Canada be-                                                          limiting the rights of workers in Tennes-
number of children related                                                                                 ucts, Inc. and sold at Ace                                                     out in everyday practice, however.             proof)...the treating physicians are, by the
                             tols, imported by Umarex USA, tween August 2010 and June                                                        see.
items, some of which are                                                                                   Hardware and Menards                                                            Another significant change is to the          way, paid by the employer/insurance co.
                             Inc., and sold at sporting goods 2011 due to potential brake
listed below.                                                                                              stores nationwide between            So what are the changes, and how do      definition of what kinds of injuries are
                             and gun shops nationwide be-     failure posing injury hazard.                                                                                                                                                Also, if an employee tests positive for
Martha Stewart Enamel        tween July 2006 and February                                                  May 24, 2010 and June 13,         they impact most workers? Well, here        covered by workers’ compensation. An
                                                              Circo Children’s Task                        2011, due to some pads not                                                                                                    drugs/alcohol or refuses to take a test, it is
Cast Iron Casseroles, sold 2008, due to danger of the safety                                                                                 are a few of the more notable changes.      injury now must be caused by “a specific
                                                              Lamps, sold at nationwide at                 sticking to bathtub surface,                                                                                                  now much more difficult to show that
nationwide at Macy’s stores, not preventing gun from firing
                                                              Target stores and target.com                 posing a fall hazard.                First, an employer and employee can incident, or set of incidents” arising out           drugs/alcohol were not the cause of the
macys.com, and AAFES,        under various circumstances.                                                                                    now settle the worker’s right to future     of the employment. This may make it             accident.
                                                              from January 2011 to April
MCX, NEX locations be-
                             “Metoo” Children’s Clip-On 2011, due to laceration and                        Task Force 5-Ton Elec-            medical benefits from the get-go. Under more difficult for repetitive type injuries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           We’ll keep you updated on how we see
tween June 2007 and June
                             Chair, imported by phil&teds     fire hazard.                                 tric Log Splitter, sold at        the prior law, the parties could not settle such as carpal tunnel, where it is often
2011 due to risk of enamel                                                                                 Lowe’s stores nationwide                                                      difficult to point to a particular “incident”   these changes affecting workers and their
                             USA, Inc. and sold nationwide                                                                                   the right to medical benefits in most
cracking and flying off as a                                  Child Safe Children’s                        between January 2008 and                                                      the way you could, for example, if you          claims for workers compensation benefits.
                             between May 2006 and May                                                                                        cases until several years down the line.
projectile.                                                   Bathtub Non-Slip Pads,                       March 2011, due to lacera-                                                    hurt your back lifting a heavy box on a         —Jim Stocks
                             2011 due to fall and amputation                                                                                 Not any more.
                                                              imported by Prime-Line Prod-                 tion and amputation hazard.                                                   particular day.
                                                                                                                                                How will this affect most workers?
                                                                                                                                             We expect that employers will now be         Also with repetitive motion injuries, the
  O UR C ONSTITUTIO N U NDER A T TACK ?                                                                                                      pushing to “close” the medical benefits in  plaintiff must now demonstrate not just
  If hindsight is 20/20, we       Founding Fathers are potentially        jury determines are in fact the                                    most cases when trying to reach a settle- that the condition arose out of the em-
                                                                                                                                             ment agreement. This may be a good          ployment, but that it “primarily” arose
must then truly admire the        becoming a mere history lesson.         actual damages. Tennessee                                                                                      out of the employment. Look for em-
acuity of our founding fathers                                            has also enacted sweeping                                          thing for those who do not expect to
                                    For example, the concept of a                                                                            need continued medical care into the        ployers to point at all sorts of outside
when they were drafting the                                               changes to consumer protec-                                                                                    activities—everything from washing
                                  jury trial has been a staple in this                                                                       future, and will let them get additional
Constitution, as their fore-                                              tion laws by limiting this type                                                                                dishes at home, to using your home com-
                                  country since it was established in                                                                        money up front in the settlement. For
sight certainly surpassed nor-                                            of action to prosecution by
                                  the Seventh Amendment to the
mal bounds. The plain lan-                                                the Attorney General and                                                                                                           This was very interesting to me           the Idaho/Utah territories.
                                  Constitution. The framers of our
guage was simple, intended to                                             Reporter rather than by an
establish and preserve funda-
                                  Constitution demanded this funda-
                                                                          individual citizen, and exclud-
                                                                                                                                             A L      I TTLE OCAL    L                H ISTORY              :
                                                                                                                                                                                                          when I discovered it. As I wrote
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         And, of course, we know
                                  mental process for citizens be-                                                                                                                                         in a prior edition, Sam Houston
mental rights to all people.
                                  cause of the oppression that oc-
                                                                          ing damages to punish busi-       and protected principles.        H ISTORY F LOWING W ESTWARD                                  was involved in a duel in 1826
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       that the “Trail of Tears”
At the time, it was probably                                              nesses who engage in unfair                                                                                                                                                  walked by the Cherokee
                                  curred when decisions were taken                                            The founders knew that the       When most people hear the        Well, it is interesting   near Franklin, Kentucky, which is
difficult for them to truly                                               deceptive practices.                                                                                                                                                         Indians came directly
                                  out of the hands of the people. Is                                        erosion of individual rights     old saying “Go West, young      how small a world this       along the Sumner County, Ten-
fathom the breadth and im-                                                                                                                                                                                                                             through Middle Tennessee
                                  there any reason that we should           This is but one example that led to a slippery slope of in-      man” they do not think of Mid- really is. As it turns out,   nessee/Simpson County, Ken-
pact of their work.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    on its way West. Interest-
                                  not trust important issues to the       should make us consider how creased intrusion. If we can           dle Tennessee. I certainly did my Middle Tennessee roots tucky border.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ingly, many prominent Ten-
  Even as we rely on and          citizens of this country and peers      current legislation is eroding exercise the same caution and       not...until now.                actually go all the way back
                                                                                                                                                                                                            So, as it turns out, my ancestors          nesseans opposed the Chero-
regularly utilize these rights,   of the accused? One has to beg the      our fundamental constitu-         assessment when looking at                                       to the early 1800’s. In
                                                                                                                                               As many of you know, I                                     were probably living somewhere               kee removal, including
we often take the same for        question due to a movement to           tional rights. With all the       present legislation, it is our                                   looking through some gene-
                                                                                                                                             moved here from California and
                                                                                                                                                                             ology records, I discovered close to where that duel occurred,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Davey Crocket, and Sam
granted, by enacting, sup-        limit jury trials and/or set prede-     rhetoric and propaganda at- hope that we can ensure a              grew up on the West Coast.                                   and I can picture it being a lively          Houston himself, who was
porting, or simply ignoring       termined rules for juries in civil      tached to political issues, it is fairer future. If we do not                                      that one of my multiple-
                                                                                                                                             While I have family living in                                topic of conversation by them and            an adopted Cherokee whose
some issues that wear away        cases.                                  very difficult for the average apply all rights as defined in                                      great grandmothers was
                                                                                                                                             Middle Tennessee now, they are                                                                            Cherokee name was
the principles established as                                             citizen to make an informed the Constitution in the pre-                                           born in Sumner County— the others living in the area.
                                   Potential legislation in Tennes-                                                                          not originally from here. So, I                                                                           “Raven.”
the bedrock of this country                                               decision as to who benefits       sent moment, the means to                                        where I now live—in the        It is also interesting because it
                                  see, as well as other states, has                                                                          always thought the extent of my
and of our justice system. A                                              from proposed changes to          do so in the future may have                                     early 1800s. And her hus- shows how Middle Tennessee                        History certainly “flows”
                                  attempted to modify this funda-                                                                            Southern heritage was con-
review of legislation among                                               these rights, the reasoning       already been eroded beyond                                       band was born in Simpson played a frontier role in our na-                with a strong current
                                  mental principle on several levels,                                                                        nected to my grandmother,
state and federal governments                                             behind the changes, and           recognition.                                                     County, Kentucky—just on tion’s expansion west. Those                     through the Middle Tennes-
                                  including adopting limitations on                                                                          who is from South Carolina and
indicates that the fundamental                                            whether the changes are at                                                                         the other side of the State same ancestors I spoke of earlier             see hills and ties us all to-
                                  the amounts juries can award for                                          —Melanie Bean                    whose family wore Grey uni-
principles established by our                                             the expense of the established                                                                     line.                        had a child who would play an                gether in many unexpected
                                  damages regardless of what the                                                                             forms in the Civil War.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          important part in the settling of            ways. —Jim Stocks

								
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