Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – Sept. 1, 2016

Mark Roberts v. Boots Smith Oilfield Services, LLC, Bill Jenkins and Jason Smith – premature summary judgment – Roberts began working for Warrior Energy Services Corporation in February 201 as a full time salesman.  He was fired in March 2013,  Roberts sued alleging that his  his termination was the result of a conspiracy by Warrior and various others. because Roberts reported illegal activity and bought the assets of a pipeline company to compete with Boots Smith. The trial court granted summary judgment. The Miss. S.Ct. reverses finding that it was premature to grant summary judgment when the only deposition taken was that of Roberts and Roberts filed a Rule 56(f) motion tfor a continuance to permit him to take the depositions of the persons he alleged were part of the conspiracy.  

In The Matter of The Estate of James Oldrum Smith, Jr., Deceased: Lela Smith Flowers, Christopher Stanton Smith, and Christy Noah as Administrator of the Estate of Jinx P. Smith, Jr. v. Todd A. Boolos as Successor Trustee of the J.O. Smith, Jr., Family Trust, Patrick Raymond Smith, Ernest Lane, III, Trustmark National Bank, Big River Shipbuilders, Inc., Yazoo River Towing, Inc., Steve Sessums, and Vicksburg Plant Food, Inc. wills and estates – This is a complicated estate case arising from the death of James Oldrum Smith Jr. on August 24, 2006.  Smith had created a family trust before he died.  But he died before three years elapsed after its creation.  This mean it was taxable but the trust did nnot have the liquid assets to pay the taxes.

 Therefore, the Estate borrowed $2,020,000 from the Trust, secured by a promissory note and deed of trust, to help pay the taxes. Some of the siblings, who would receive a greater amount of money from the Trust than from the Estate, later took issue with the loan, specifically that the amount now owed on the loan was much greater than what the other siblings, the trustee, and the co-executors claimed. As a result, the aggrieved siblings filed several actions challenging the trustees’ and the co-executors’ decisions, particularly as related to the loan between the Trust and the Estate. The special chancellor appointed to the case determined that the trustees and co-executors did not breach any duty owed to the beneficiaries and that the loan was valid in the amount of $2,523,004.83 plus four percent interest per annum. The present appeal is the result of the chancellor’s judgment, and finding no error, we affirm.

 

Walter Griffith, Jr., Commerce and Industry Insurance Company and Bomac Electric, Inc. v. Entergy Mississippi, Inc. –   injury to workmen working near electrical pole – Griffith  was critically injured while attempting to attach a ten-foot piece of metal conduit to an electrical pole owned by Entergy.  Griffith sued  Entergy. Entergy moved for summary judgment on the grounds that Griffith knew he was supposed to stay ten feet away from the wires.  The trial court granted summary judgment and Griffith appealed.  The Miss.S.Ct. affirms.

And in Eric LaQuinne Brown  v. State of Mississippi, the Court finds that its earlier grant of cert. was improvident.

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