Decisions – COA – Sept. 11, 2017 – part 1

City of Jackson, Mississippi v. Wavie Graham –  Tort Claims Act –  Graham was crossing Northside Drive when her truck  was hit by a City of Jackson police officer  responding to a disturbance of the peace  call  without using his emergency lights or siren.   Graham sued the City for damages and a judge awarded her $121,000 after a bench trial.  The COA affirms finding that the officer acted in disregard of others in speeding down Northside Drive without lights or siren.

In the Matter of the Estate of Louis Labasse, Jr., Deceased: Wendy Chester, Individually and as Executrix of the Estate of Louis Labasse, Jr. v. Ruby D. Labasse –   wills and estates  – Louise Labasse prepared a will in 2014 a month before his death. At death, he was survived by his wife and two daughters from a previous marriage.  He left his wife  Ruby a life estate in real property that served as the couple’s homestead as well as his  interest in the couple’s joint checking account. Louis’s daughters Wendy and Pamela received the remainder of Louis’s property.  Ruby renounced the bequest of the will will and filed a spousal-share election pursuant to M.C.A. sect. 91-5-25.  The chancellor  denied Ruby’s petition for a widow’s allowance;  denied Ruby’s petition to remove Wendy as executor, subject to Wendy’s compliance with the requirements the chancellor established in the order; (4) granted Ruby’s petition to establish her right to the possession and use of the homestead; and (5) granted Ruby a spousal-share election and awarded her a one-third interest in Louis’s estate. He also  ordered Wendy to return all the personal property she had removed from the homestead and to deliver the homestead keys to Ruby. Wendy appealed. The COA affirms.

Karl Hodges, Individually and on Behalf of Other Wrongful Death Beneficiaries of Isaac Hodges, Deceased, and as Administrator of the Estate of Isaac Hodges v. The University of Mississippi Medical Center medical malpractice –   Isaac Hodges was treated at UMMC for  two gunshot wounds.  Exploratory surgery showed that Isaac suffered from a large
gastric perforation, a liver wound, issues with his gallbladder, and a fractured humerus.   Doctors patched him up.  The next day a surgeon performed a wound closure on his
abdomen.  After surgery, Isaac was asked whether he had had a bowel movement and passed gas since his surgery.  Isaac’s mother testified that Isaac lied and said hat he had, He was discharged five days after he was admitted. He deteriorated rapidly  and was brought back to the hospital where he died four days later. The coroner listed Isaac’s
manner of death as homicide and opined that Isaac’s death was caused by complications from multiple gunshot wound.  Isaac’s estate sued.   The trial court, after hearing the plaintiff’s expert in  general vascular and trauma surgery, ruled that his testimony was unreliable in part because he criticized the supervision of medical residents but was not familiar with UMC’s rules regarding the supervision of its residents.  After excluding the expert’s testimony, the trial court dismissed the plaintiff’s case.  Hodges appeals and the COA affirms.

Frank Stockett v. Classic Manor Builders, Inc. and Roger H. Morris, wreck/additur – In 2011, Frank Stockett was involved in a motor vehicle accident with Roger Morris who was driving a car for Classic Manor Builders Inc.   Stockett proved medical expenses of $41,882.18, and lost wages of $3,397.08, totaling $45,279.26 in actual damages A  jury awarded Stockett $50,000. Stockett moved for a new trial or, in the alternative, an additur, which the circuit court denied.  Stockett appealed. The COA affirms.

Jackson-George Regional Library System v. Mississippi Department of Employment Security –  unemployment benefits – Johnell Fowler was terminated  from  the Jackson-George Regional Library System after posting a compromising photo of a library patron in violation of  policy (he posted a patron sitting with her underwear exposed and posted it on Facebook with a caption “St. Martin’s finest”). Fowler’s claim for unemployment benefits was initially denied by the claims examiner on the basis of employee misconduct. On appeal  and benefits were awarded. JGRLS appealed to the MDES Board of Review which adopted and affirmed the ALJ’s findings and conclusions. JGRLS appealed to the Jackson County Circuit  Court and lost again.  On appeal again, the COA reverses and renders.


Pro se PCR appeals affirmed: 

Bernice Frierson  v. State of Mississippi 

Christopher A. Darden v. State of Mississippi

David Yates v. State of Mississippi 

Larry Bardney v. State of Mississippi

Johnny Ray Sims v. State

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