Decisions – MSSC – 6/28/2018

Hand down list
In the Estate of Patrauna Hudson: Fanny Hudson, Individually and on Behalf of the Estate of Patrauna Hudson v. Yazoo City, Mississippi –  Tort Claims Act – After a heavy rain in April of 2016, nine year old Patrauna Hudson drowned in a drainage ditch behind her back yard when it  overflowed.  Her estate through her mother Fanny Hudson sued the city claiming that the city’s improvements to the ditch to fix erosion made the ditch more dangerous in heavy rain.  The trial court granted summary judgment to the City and Hudson appealed.  She argues that the City and County breached their ministerial duty to maintain safe drainage ditches that were not a hazard to the community.  The MSSC rejects Hudson’s argument that the City had a duty to comply with various ordinances and federal regulation when it converted a portion of the drainage
ditch into a covered tunnel in 2007.  However, given that the MSSC changed course in Wilcher, Hudson may have a claim for negligent maintenance of the drainage ditch and the case is reversed to allow her to develop that claim.

 

Olshan Foundation Repair Company of Jackson, LLC d/b/a Olshan Foundation Solutions and Wayne Brown v. Gloria Moore, Phillip R. Moore and Katelyn A. Moorearbitration –  In  2013, Phillip Moore contracted with Olshan for repairs to the foundation
of the home he shared with his wife, Gloria Moore, and his adult daughter, Katelyn Moore. In 2016, they sued  Olshan.  Phillip and Gloria sued for breach of contract.  Katelyn sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Olshan moved to arbitration as per the contract.  The trial court ruled that the parents’ claims had to be arbitrated but the daughters’ claim did not.  Olshan appealed the ruling as to Katelyn. The MSSC affirms. “Only in the rarest of circumstances, and with caution, should we shackle a citizen to an agreement of others that strips the citizen of his or her constitutional right to a trial by jury.”  The fact that Katelyn lived  under the same roof was insufficient to confer third-party-beneficiary or direct-beneficiary status.

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