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Redmond v. Walmart Stores Inc.

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

December 22, 2014

CONNIE REDMOND
v.
WALMART STORES, INC., ET AL.

Session December 2, 2014

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Davidson County No. 13C3247 Joseph P. Binkley, Jr., Judge

Robert L. Vogel, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Connie Redmond.

G. Andrew Rowlett and Meredith L. Hiester, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Kenny Armstrong, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which J. Steven Stafford, P.J., W.S., and Arnold B. Goldin, J., joined.

MEMORANDUM OPINION [1]

KENNY ARMSTRONG, JUDGE

I. Background

The facts in this case are not in dispute. On August 12, 2012, Connie Redmond ("Appellant") was shopping in Wal-Mart Store #668, located in Nashville, Tennessee. While inside the Wal-Mart store, Ms. Redmond slipped on a puddle of water and fell. She sustained injuries as a result of her fall. When Ms. Redmond first contacted her lawyer, he incorrectly recorded the incident as having occurred on August 13, 2012, when, in fact, it had occurred on August 12, 2012. On August 13, 2013, Ms. Redmond's attorney filed the complaint in the Davidson County Circuit Court against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ("Appellee"). Ms. Redmond's complaint alleged that she suffered "a severe jolt to her pelvis and back, " which "caused her to suffer serious and permanent injuries including, but not limited to, bruising, instability to her hip and pelvic area, and an aggravation of existing conditions." The complaint further alleged that the injury impaired Ms. Redmond's ability to walk. Wal-Mart filed its answer on September 12, 2013.

Subsequently, on November 1, 2013, Appellee filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the one-year statute of limitations barred Ms. Redmond's claim. In response, Appellant argued that the discovery rule tolled the statute of limitations and that the trial court could expand the statute of limitations under Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 6.02.

On January 31, 2014 and April 25, 2014, the trial court heard arguments on the motion for summary judgment and Appellant's response. In an order dated May 5, 2014, the trial court granted Appellee's motion for summary judgment. The trial court found "the discovery rule [does] not apply in this case." The trial court also found that "'excusable neglect' does not apply to counsel's failure to file a complaint … within the applicable one-year statute of limitations." Ms. Redmond appeals from the trial court's grant of summary judgment.

II. Issues

Appellant's only issue is whether the trial court erred in granting Appellee's motion for summary judgment. Appellant presents three arguments for review in regard to this issue:

I. That the trial court ignored the existence of genuine issues ...

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