Retaining Wall Foundation Materials Deemed Irrelevant, Collapse Inevitable

Judgment upheld on appeal where subsequently discovered materials used to backfill retaining wall would not have altered Trial Court’s grant for summary judgment In Lyon Roofing, Inc. v. Griffith, 2023 Tenn. App. LEXIS 232, *7 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 5, 2023), the City of Carmel, Tennessee was granted summary judgment based on an engineering expert’s undisputed opinion that the retaining … Read More

Owners Not Entitled to Statute of Repose Defense

Appellate Reversal of Summary Judgment Highlights Purpose of Construction Statute of Repose In Clayton v. Dixon, 2023 Tenn. App. LEXIS 115 (Tenn. Ct. App. March 23, 2023), a property owner sued adjacent property owners for property damage caused by the installation of an allegedly deficient pipe culvert. Mark Clayton, the owner of residential property, sued his neighbors, Joseph and Faye … Read More

Court Rules for Subcontractor in Corporate Veil Piercing, Fraudulent Conveyance Appeal


Trial Court Erred in Awarding Directed Verdict for Undercapitalized Contractor Defendant The recently decided Ruben Estrada v. DJ Exteriors, LLC et al. (2023 Tenn. App. LEXIS 91) involves a contractual dispute between a contractor and subcontractor. DJ Exteriors, LLC, a limited liability company specializing in masonry, siding, and roofing, was owned by three members – Dustin Jones, James Reedy, and … Read More

Economic Loss Rule Applied to Commercial Construction Contracts

Drywall mudding room under construction

The economic loss rule bars tort claims arising under construction contracts negotiated between sophisticated commercial entities. For years, the economic loss rule (or economic loss doctrine) has applied to limit a claimant to its contractual remedies and bar tort claims for purely economic loss. In fact, the Tennessee Supreme Court recently held in Milan Supply Chain Sols. v. Navistar that: … Read More

Developer Ordered to Cede Control to Homeowners’ Association

Appeals Court Sides with Homeowners in Pool Construction Lawsuit A recent decision sheds light on the ability of a subsequent purchaser of a subdivision (who we refer to as the “Developer” for simplicity’s sake) to usurp control of a development. Along with family members, the Developer sought to retain full control over architectural decisions of homeowners within the community without … Read More

False Claims Act: Extending the Reach of the Act to Address Increasing Instances of Cyber Fraud

In October 2021, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a new initiative under the False Claims Act: The Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative (“CCFI”). (LINK to DOJ News Release on the CCFI).  DOJ Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced that the CCFI “will hold accountable entities or individuals that put U.S. information or systems at risk by knowingly providing deficient cybersecurity products … Read More

Qui Tam Background: Suing on Behalf of the Government as well as Himself

The False Claims Act (“FCA”) remains an important mechanism for the Government to fight actions that defraud us– the citizen taxpayers. (LINK to Cornell Law Article on the FCA).  In the FCA, there exists a unique and ever-important provision for whistleblowers, known as the Qui Tam Provision. (LINK to Whistleblower Blog Entry).  Qui tam is an abbreviation for the Latin … Read More

Whistleblower Provision of the False Claims Act Remains a Tool to Combat Fraudulent Medical Billing

According to the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), healthcare fraud continues to be a leading contributor to False Claims Act (“FCA”) settlements and judgments. (LINK to DOJ’s Feb. 7th Press Release).  The FCA settlements and judgments operate to restore funds to the taxpayer-funded government program that has been defrauded.  We are seeing the DOJ consistently use the FCA as a deterrence … Read More