Decisions – COA – 8/7/2018

Hand down list 

Corey Ray Cagle  v. State of Mississippipossession of marijuana in jail – Corey Cagle was convicted on one count of possession of a controlled substance within a jail facility.  Cagle contends that in March of 2016,  he was contacted by Blake Rice, an inmate in the Attala County Jail, who asked him to pick up some money at Rice’s mother’s house and to pick up some clothing from a woman and bring it to him. Cagle did as asked and dropped the bag off with a jailer. One of the guards testified he could smell marijuana. The bag was inspected and found to contain some marijuana and Cagle was charged with possessing it within a jail.  On appeal he argues that the weight and sufficiency of the evidence.  The COA affirms finding that the jury had the evidence that the guard smelled the marijuana and the jury was the arbiter of who to believe.

Culpepper Enterprises Inc., Kathy Culpepper, and Brannon White v. Joseph R. Parker and Cheri C. Clancy –  emotional distress damages in breach of contract case – Joseph R. Parker and Cheri C. Clancy filed a complaint against their former employer, Culpepper Enterprises Inc. alleging breach of oral contract for three years’ of  unpaid wages.  Culpepper’s primary business  involved fulfilling Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) contracts to mow grass along interstate right-of-ways. The jury awarded Parker and Clancy unpaid salaries in the respective amounts of $48,000 and $40,960 against Culpepper and  awarded them $25,000 each for emotional distress and mental anguish against Culpepper and the individual defendants. On appeal the COA finds that there was no reason to find the individual defendants liable and reverses the emotional distress damages as to  Kathy Culpepper and Brannon White. It also reverses the emotional distress damages on the basis that the plaintiffs lacked sufficient proof.   The COA also reverses the lost wages  awarded before June 22, 2015, based on the statute of limitations.

The Commercial Bank v. Smith Shellnut Wilson LLC –  negligent advice regarding securities – In 2005 and 2007,  the Commercial Bank of DeKalb purchased  $1,850,000 of securities from third-party securities dealers based  on recommendations by the Bank’s investment advisor, Smith Shellnut Wilson LLC. According to the Bank, it learned that it allegedly was not qualified to purchase the Soloso securities based on a December 2014 email from SSW. However, despite the purported ineligibility, the record reflects that the Bank continues to hold the securities at issue. The Bank, nonetheless, sued SSW in March 2016 for SSW’s alleged failure to disclose the purchasing-and-holding eligibility requirements for the Soloso securities when SSW advised the Bank to purchase them. The trial court granted summary judgment for SSW finding the claims time-barred and that the Bank could not prove at least one elements of its claims.  On appeal, the COA affirms.

Upon appellate review, we find that (1) the Bank’s claims are barred by the applicable statutes of limitation or repose; and (2) the Bank cannot succeed on any of its claims on the merits because it has not shown that it is unlawful for the Bank to purchase or hold the Soloso securities; nor has the Bank shown that the issuers’ alleged violation of the Investment Company Act impaired the value of the Soloso securities to the Bank. We therefore affirm the circuit court’s decision on these grounds.

Koninedou F. Walker  v. State of Mississippi –  expungement –  Walker was on parole for two 2002 convictions, robbery and burglary, when in 2006 he was indicted on two counts of possession with intent. His parole was revoked and he was sentenced to serve ten years.  The 2006 charges were passed to the file.  In 2016, Walker filed a motion to expunge the two possession charges. The trial court denied the motion and Walker appealed.  The COA affirms finding that no statutory basis for expungement apples.

Craig Bridgeman v. SBC Internet Services Inc. and Old Republic Insurance Company –  workers comp. – Bridgeman was working for SBC Internet Services Inc. when he injured his right arm and shoulder. In August 2014, a  doctor opined that because Bridgeman could no longer climb utility poles, he could not return to his pre-injury position.  Bridgeman reached maximum medical improvement in January 2015 but had permanent work restrictions.  SBC terminated Bridgeman because he could not return to work and Bridgeman filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
The administrative judge found that Bridgeman’s injury was compensable finding that he had a 7% medical impairment to his right arm, but  a 50% industrial loss of use.
Consequently, the administrative judge found that Bridgeman was entitled to PPD benefits equivalent to two-thirds of his average weekly wage for 100 weeks. Bridgeman appealed claiming that it should have been 100%. The COA affirms.

Pro se PCR appeals affirmed:

Clarence Lovett  v. State of Mississippi

Victor Bailey  v. State of Mississippi 


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