Thursday, December 11, 2008

Falling Flag Litigation

Off topic again, but hard to resist is a decision earlier this week from the Tennessee Court of Appeals in a premises liability action brought for personal injuries sustained at a party on election night 2004 in the grand ballroom of the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. The bash (excuse the pun) was hosted by the Tennessee Republican Party ("TRP"). A flag with attached wooden dowel draped over a landscape painting fell and struck the plaintiff on the head. He and his wife sued the hotel and later amended the complaint to add TRP as a defendant.

The TRP claimed that it had not requested that the landscape painting be covered; rather, TRP wanted only to cover the hanging portraits of Democratic Presidents Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson. The hotel admitted that TRP had not sought to cover the painting from which the flag had fallen.

The court here reversed the grant of summary judgment to the hotel  but directed dismissal of the claims against TRP as time barred. (Mike Frisch)

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Not so far off topic -- the opinion discusses the insufficiency of the "put up or shut up" argument in a motion for summary judgment, and the facts are straightforward enough for class discussion. It would have been even more poignant had the offending flag fallen from a portrait.

Posted by: nitpicking paralegal | Dec 11, 2008 8:34:36 AM

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