PARRIS KEANE ET AL.
JOHN P. CAMPBELL, III ET AL.
Session Date: October 11, 2016
from the Circuit Court for Davidson County No. 12C3924 Joseph
P. Binkley, Jr., Judge
plaintiffs filed this negligence action seeking damages for
injuries sustained from the collapse of a deck at the
defendants' home. The defendants filed a motion for
summary judgment, which the trial court granted, finding that
the injuries were not reasonably foreseeable. We affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
A. Hirsch, Sr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants,
Parris Keane, Joseph P. Keane, and Brendie Keane.
William B. Jakes, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellees, John P. Campbell and Lisa H. Campbell.
G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., delivered the opinion of the
Court, in which Andy D. Bennett and Kenny W. Armstrong, JJ.,
G. CLEMENT, JR., P.J., M.S.
action arises from a party hosted for high school students at
the home of John and Lisa Campbell on September 27, 2008.
Parris Keane ("Plaintiff), who was fourteen-years old at
the time, attended the party along with approximately forty
to seventy other children. While Plaintiff and the other children
were dancing and jumping on an elevated, wooden deck attached
to Defendants' house, the deck suddenly collapsed. As a
result of the collapse, Plaintiff fell and sustained
one year after Plaintiff turned eighteen, Plaintiffs filed
suit against John P. Campbell and Lisa H. Campbell
("Defendants") claiming Defendants' negligence
was the direct and proximate cause of Plaintiff's
injuries. The complaint alleged that Defendants allowed the
children to dance and jump on the deck for an extended period
of time, which caused significant deflection of the deck and
the subsequent collapse. The complaint further alleged that
Defendants: (1) failed to properly and adequately monitor or
supervise the children attending the party; (2) failed to
warn the children of the danger they were facing; (3) failed
to take any action to prevent the collapse of the deck; (4)
failed to prevent the injury to the children; and (5) failed
to observe what they could have observed in the exercise of
reasonable care regarding the flexing of the deck.
Plaintiff's parents joined in the suit asserting a claim
for loss of society and companionship and medical expenses.
filed an answer denying all claims of negligence. Defendants
also filed a third-party action against The Porch Company,
the company that built the deck.
discovery, Defendants moved for summary judgment alleging
that Plaintiffs failed to establish the essential elements of
a negligence claim. Specifically, Defendants asserted that
there was no evidence that any act or omission on the part of
Defendants constituted negligence or was the proximate cause
of the collapse of the deck.
conclusion of the hearing, the trial court ruled that the
collapse of the deck and harm suffered by Plaintiff were not
foreseeable; therefore, Plaintiffs failed to establish the
necessary element of duty. Accordingly, the trial court held
that Defendants were entitled to summary judgment as a matter
of law. The ruling from the bench reads, in pertinent part,
[A]s part of my duty analysis, I have to determine whether
there was a foreseeability of harm to be caused ...