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Rogers v. Louisville Land Co.

Tennessee Supreme Court
367 S.W.3d 196 (2012)


Facts

Betty Rogers’s (plaintiff) son died in a motorcycle accident and was buried in Fort Hill Cemetery. Shortly thereafter, Rogers purchased easements from the Louisville Land Company (Louisville Land) (defendant) for two adjacent burial plots in the same cemetery. At the time of the sale, Rogers expressed concerns about whether the cemetery was regularly mowed and the grounds maintained. A Louisville Land representative assured Rogers that the cemetery was properly maintained on a regular basis. However, that turned out not to be the case. Rogers became emotional when she went to visit her son’s grave and witnessed grass higher than headstones in some areas, overturned headstones, and debris strewn across the premises. Rogers filed suit against Louisville Land and its sole shareholder for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), seeking $45,000 in damages. The trial court held for Rogers. Louisville Land appealed. The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s award of compensatory damages and held that Rogers had failed to present sufficient evidence that she had suffered serious mental injury, which was required for her claim of IIED. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Lee, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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