Can a Church be Legally Responsible for the Negligence of Its Volunteers?


It is well settled law in Tennessee that employers can be held vicariously liable for the negligent acts of their employees. But can churches and charity organizations be held vicariously liable for the negligent acts of their volunteers? Surprisingly, this question has never been squarely addressed by Tennessee case law. Given Tennessee’s common law agency principles and case law in other jurisdictions, a Tennessee appellate court may very well hold the answer to this question is yes.  Read more

No Duty to Prevent Employee from Driving Intoxicated

There is no duty to prevent an employee from leaving the premises driving his own vehicle while intoxicated. Thompson v. Best Buy Stores, 2016 WL 6946786 (Tenn. Ct. App., June 21, 2016). This is a companion case to Lett v. Collis Foods Inc., 60 S.W.3d 95 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2001), which addressed for the first time the question of an employer’s duty to an injured third person to prevent an impaired employee from driving his or her own vehicle. See also Williams V. Walmart Stores East LP, 832 F. Supp. 2d 923, 928 (E.D. Tenn. 2011). Read more

Summary Judgment Practice in Davidson County

This is a good summary judgment ruling from the Davidson County Circuit Court in a slip and fall case.  Boykin v. Moorehead Living Trust, 2015 WL 3455433 (Tenn. Ct. App., May 29, 2015).  This case came out of Sixth Circuit in Davidson County Tennessee.  The Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment in favor of the property owner after plaintiff tripped and fell on a concrete landing pad in a parking lot. Read more