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Hodge v. Craig

Tennessee Supreme Court
382 S.W.3d 325 (2012)


Facts

When Chadwick Craig (plaintiff) and Tina Hodge (defendant) met, they were both 16 years old and Hodge already had a one-year-old daughter. The couple dated on and off, and Hodge had sex with someone else during an “off” period. Hodge was back with Craig when she learned she was pregnant. Craig asked Hodge if she was sure he was the father, and Hodge said she was sure and that nobody else could be. The couple married and Hodge gave birth to baby Kyle. Craig raised Kyle believing him to be his own son, adopted Hodge’s daughter, and had a vasectomy after the couple decided they did not want more children. Eventually Hodge divorced Craig and the couple reached a marital-dissolution agreement that said Craig would pay child support and provide medical insurance for the children. When Kyle was 14, Craig obtained DNA testing showing he was not Kyle’s father, and the court terminated his child-support obligations. Craig sued Hodge for $300,000 in damages, claiming she had intentionally or negligently misrepresented whether he was Kyle’s father. Hodge testified she believed at the time that Craig was the father and did not intend to mislead him. But the trial court found Hodge fraudulently deceived Craig and awarded Craig damages just over $25,000 to refund the child support, medical expenses, and insurance premiums he paid, plus $100,000 for emotional distress, and attorney’s fees. The appellate court reversed. Craig appealed, but failed to challenge the reversal except as to the refund of child support and related expenses.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Koch, J.)

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